About 1970s Vintage Sunglasses

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by amy

In the 1970s, sunglasses continued to evolve in their fashion and several new styles and designs became popular during this decade. It wasn’t just Ray-Ban that was producing fashionable vintage sunglasses, but other manufacturers started to jump on board such as Bausch & Lomb and Carrera and Revo, as well as smaller manufacturers. The competition to produce fashionable sunglasses started to increase significantly, and more varieties became available than ever before. Consumers were able to pick from several options including new styles that offered some unique features that were not seen before. Several of the styles that became popular during the 1970s continued to be popular to some degree in following decades, and like many styles of the past there has been a recent reemergence in modern culture.

New features were available on 1970s sunglasses
Several new features became available with 1970s sunglasses including reflective mirror sunglasses, uniquely designed and etched metal frames, interchangeable lenses and more. Interchangeable lenses could be switched out with different colors, reflective mirror sunglasses were a unique style that wasn’t seen before, and glasses could be customized to a much larger extent with personal etchings. Lenses were manufactured out of a new material called Optyl which improved them significantly because they were lighter and easier to carry around, and it allowed the size for sunglasses to become larger than they ever were before. Traditional mineral glass lenses were heavy and burdensome and limited the size of many different styles of sunglasses.

Oakley was founded in the 1970s
One of the biggest changes to the style of sunglasses was the founding of Oakley sunglasses in the late 1970s. The company was founded by James Jannard in 1975 when he started selling a motorcycle grip called the Oakley grip. The grips were created out of a material nicknamed, “unobtanium” and it was this material that was used to eventually construct Oakley sunglasses. Oakley sunglasses were known for wrapping around the head with their unique curved shape which provided more protection from the elements, and the material unobtanium was used to create some unique shapes and styles that were never before seen. Of course Oakley went on to become one of the most popular vintage sunglasses brands in the world after its founding.

Photochromatic sunglasses became available in the 1970s
Another major advancement was the development of photochromatic sunglasses which became available during the 1970s. They would change color depending on the amount of ambient light and they would eventually be able to change color in different temperature as well. Photochromatic lenses were available in aviator sunglasses which were still popular during this decade as well as a few other styles as they began to grow in popularity and demand. The Ray-Ban Ambermatic sunglasses was one of the first model to feature photochromatic lenses, and Ray-Ban also produced some new styles that became popular during the decade such as the “bullet hole” frame with a round hole above the nose, and other unique styles.