Our third installment of ICONS IN ICONIC SUNGLASSES – THE AVIATOR, forged from metal, the aviator has a tear dropped shaped lens held in place by a wire frame, or the modern polished acetate plastic. First constructed by Bausch and Lomb in the 1930’s, the tear dropped shaped lens offered excellent coverage against sunlight, ideal for pilots as they glide through the sky. The distinctive image of the Aviator style ushered in a new demeanor the military were trying to portray, gone were the days of bulky pilot goggles, in with the new and exciting stylish frames, a new design with a touch of elegance.
Through the ages, aviator sunglasses have been worn by actors, musicians, writers, all at the top of their profession, all of who have made a mark on their era. The timeless style has been worn at key points in history, while the pressure is building; the aviator adds a sense of calm, a sharp and powerful look, allowing the bravest and most courageous of us to perform at the highest level and best of our abilities.
As styles come and go, the aviator is one a few frames that has been able to preserve a vintage yet contemporary look, and still maintain its cultural popularity. From the original Bausch and Lomb frame, what we know today as the Ray-Ban Aviator – RB3025, to the flatter lens to in the Caravan – RB3136, Cockpit – RB3362, or the bold acetate plastic Cats 5000 RB4125. Ray-Ban have been able to broaden their range, offering styles to match taste, face shape, and allowing manufacturing to keep up with modern day materials or ergonomic designs. Porsche Design P8478 Aviators have been subject to a great deal of demand due to global sensations, The Kardashians, and most notably Kylie Jenner being seen in the frame. Porsche Design have given the option of interchangeable lenses, a real advance in eye wear technology that allows you to stay versatile. Tom Ford has had the good fortunes of advertisement from British Secret Service Agent James Bond, one of the most sought after roles and icons of British cinema and literature. Two Tom Ford Aviators appear in our collection, the Eva – FT0374, which incorporates the crossover bridge into the classic style, and the Erin – FT0466, your more typical looking aviator with a bold top bar. Cartier reaches our pinnacle of high-end eye wear, the Santos de Cartier is an aviator style with a leather buttoned cover over the bridge, the frame incorporates precious metals with unique styling for a marvellous look. We have the Oliver Peoples Benedict OV1002S available in both male and Benedict OV1002S female, colours vary from gold, silver and mirrored lenses, and the Clifton – OV1150S, a square lens flat build aviator forged from metal.
One of the most notable figures in Martial Arts, Bruce Lee enjoyed a prosperous career, from an early age competing in competitions and going on film sets with his mother, to later appearing on the big screen himself. He quickly became one of the most recognisable actors, playing lead protagonist in the biggest and best martial art films, his quick reflexes and great showmanship, coupled with his stylish persona earned his iconic status through hard craft and raw talents.
In 1969, Buzz Aldrin became the first man of two men to set foot on the moon, a most noble and courageous feat which very few can claim to have achieved. With the success of going where no man had gone before, Aldrin become a familiar face in homes across the world, with images of fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and himself were plastered across newspapers and televisions, marking a new era of technological advancement.
Hunter S. Thompson
The works and image of Hunter S. Thompson will remain in the public conscience as humans exercise their rights of escapism and enjoyment of being free. Honest and off the cuff portrayals, writing styles and techniques which entice the reader, just a few traits which made Thompson one of the most unique author’s of his era, penning exceptional articles and cult novels gifted Hunter S. Thompson the Icons status his character demanded.
The streets of Brooklyn have given birth to a great number of cultural icons, none more successful that Hip-Hop entrepreneur Jay-Z, who became one of the best selling decorated rappers ever. His career began at Roc-a-fella Records, after constant success, Jay-Z was able to monopolise the hip-hop scene, becoming CEO of world renowned recorded label Def Jam. With 16 albums spanning over a 17 year career, from his personal relationships to the music he’s able to create, he has made a significant imprint of music, awarding him iconic status.
You can see the King of Pop, Michael Jackson here with Queen’s Freddie Mercury, both of which during their time became cultural icons. Jackson became world renowned for excellent music and live performances. Both he and Mercury possessed the ability to rock a crowd and perform to the highest standard on a regular basis, both men were true entertainers, naturally gifted people who’s legacy still lives on.
1986 saw the release of Top Gun, an American military action drama film starring Tom Cruise as the iconic Maverick, a fighter pilot who enters a turbulent time in search of making amends. The Aviator frame worn by Cruise in Top Gun became an iconic image from the film and reinforced the tough demeanour intended on its inception, with the pilot shaped frame being the ideal look for a film of this kind.
Austrian F1 driver Niki Lauda earned 3 Championships during the 1970’s and 80’s, competing in breathtaking races against his main rival, Britain’s own James Hunt. A real student of the sport, Lauda’s contribution to F1 knew no bounds; he spent his life subtly seeking brilliance while the rest lived lavish lifestyles. Niki Lauda was a real professional; he has gone down in history with Iconic status as man who dedicated his life to Formula 1.
With a career that ran for over half a century, Paul Newman enjoyed lead roles in the eras greatest films, from black and white romance flicks to Wild Western classics. During the 50’s and onwards, Newman had the power to draw in large crowds, packing out theaters across north America and Europe, this lead to him gaining iconic status, a real Hollywood star who’s impact on film can be felt today.
Richard Burton was one of the most accomplished actors of his day, born in a small village in Wales, he went on to have huge success on stage and in the cinemas across the West. In 1964, Burton marriage to Elizabeth Taylor propelling the couple into international stardom, appearing in the biggest Hollywood blockbusters from the 50’s to the 80’s. Burton’s humble upbringing prepared him for the lime light, and hard work earned him iconic status.
In 2014, Robert Redford was declared one of the most influential people in world for his contributions to Indie Film movement, this gives you an idea of the dedication Mr. Redford applied to his craft. Redford’s tireless efforts didn’t go unnoticed, thousands of film makers and enthusiasts across North America and the World flock to his ‘Sundance Festival’ to show appreciation for the platform given to them by Redford, which funded by his earnings from his successful work in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer.
The Doors front man Jim Morrison became a sex symbol of the 60’s and 70’s. With global success, Jim was met with admiration from fans but with slight trepidation. Never the less, Morrison soon grew accustomed to constant attention, his continued achievements propelled him into iconic status. Jim Morrison’s ability to channel his artistic flair was like no other, his poetry to his music, we are fortunate to have a man like Morrison bless the earth.
Chapter 1 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Wayfarer
Chapter 2 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Clubmaster
Chapter 4 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Cat Eye
Chapter 5 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Round Eye