Ray-Ban And The Leading Man: A History Of The Eyewear Brand On The Silver Screen


According to SWNS Digital reports, 58% of surveyed adult Brits feel their confidence rise while wearing shades, while one in ten even say it makes them feel more ‘famous.’ This reaction to sunglasses is unsurprising, given that eyewear has a unique way of evoking an enigmatic allure that’s made it a staple among cinematic leading men. Arguably the most recognisable eyewear brand in film history is Ray-Ban.

Its stylish frames are virtually inseparable from the image of Hollywood’s many iconic characters, from James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause to Tom Cruise in Top Gun. It’s even been reported that Cruise’s use of Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses on- and off-screen helped boost company sales.

Today, a new set of 21st-century leading men represents a fresh new era for Ray-Ban: evocative, female-directed, and brimming with mystery. We’ll be looking at a few examples below.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer: Robert Pattinson in Twilight


Credit: Summit Entertainment

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Sixteen years after its release, Twilight has evolved from a critically panned romance horror to a cult favourite. In fact, having raked in a cool $3.3 billion (£2.5 billion) at the worldwide box office, a Lionsgate Television reboot of the well-loved franchise is now in the works with author Stephenie Meyer.

In Twilight, brooding vampire Edward Cullen (Pattinson) is seen in the Ray-Ban Wayfarer silhouette, providing a razor-sharp look in a bold acetate frame. These iconic Wayfarers, also seen in American Psycho, The Wolf of Wall Street, and more, have reached such iconic heights that they’ve been made accessible to all. This includes those who need a prescription and 104-year-old bloodsuckers who need to blend in.

Twihards can opt for Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer prescription sunglasses, with the New Wayfarer Classic being an updated take on the classic design. To emulate the leading Cullen, choose the Original Wayfarer Classic’s polished black frame and crystal green lens treatment – the perfect nod to Cullen’s introverted nature.

Ray-Ban Clubmaster: Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling

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It makes sense that a psychological thriller set in the 1950s would feature a Ray-Ban style that originally came out in 1947. In the film, suburban husband Jack Chambers (Styles) is seen in Ray-Ban Clubmasters in one of the scenes. He wears a polished-black-and-gold version of the vintage silhouette, a hint to the increasingly luxurious purchases that the rising ‘50s middle class indulged themselves in.

The browline frames, which draw attention to the eyes, seem to invite audiences to decipher Chambers’ underlying sinister intentions. In this case, art does imitate life: the One Direction alum has been photographed numerous times in Clubmasters, further validating the style’s posh appeal.

Ray-Ban 4368: Jacob Elordi in Saltburn

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Director Emerald Fennell has made clear that every single fashion choice in the genre-defying Saltburn is deliberate. For instance, co-lead Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) is seen in Wayfarers, alluding to his desire to be in with the cool crowd. But as the movie is set in 2006, the costume team also pulled from Ray-Ban’s rich archive to paint an accurate portrayal.

Sunglasses feature prominently in its summer scenes, where Felix Catton (Elordi), keen to abandon his aristocratic pedigree, wears the historically “rebellious” Ray-Ban brand to chill by the lakeside. Specifically, he wears the RB 4368, a previously-archived style that’s making a comeback. Its polished, bright red facade screams in defiance of the Catton family’s highbrow stature. The revival of these frames, which may have been due to Elordi, is another reminder of the timelessness of Ray-Ban’s design repertoire.

Copying movie-character looks can sometimes feel too costume-like, but Ray-Ban pieces are universal and utterly versatile. We’ll surely see more of them on Hollywood’s male stars, guaranteeing continued fashion inspiration.

What do you make of this news? Are you going to be watching any of these movies? We’d love to hear from you.