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Ray-Ban Wayfarer: Past Meets Present

Apr 03, 13 Ray-Ban Wayfarer: Past Meets Present

Spring is upon us and summer is soon to follow. This can only mean one thing (or a few); kids out and about at unholy times of the day, enough traffic to bring out the inner claustrophobia victim in you. Oh yeah, one more thing; the little star that stares incrementally at the world each and every day is going to decide to press the OMFG button in an attempt to blind you every time you set foot outside.

Well, if you are anything like me, then you probably have your handy-dandy Ray-Ban Wayfarer glasses at arm’s reach to combat the sun in its most heinous crime. Yep, the world around always stops to marvel at you, not to mention for some strange reason you always seem to get more dates coming your way this time of year. It’s in the shades, so go ahead and prance around in the summer sun.

Slick, stylish and classic, the Wayfarer glasses have become a staple and a must have benchmark in style. Just like a good pair of slacks, there’s barely any room for improvement, if any. Just a square black frame with a rounded bottom, there’s an art to having a complex design, but making elements so simplistic that it just stands on its own.

The Wayfarer hit the market in the mid 50’s, a time before Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or digital art in general. Honestly, it is amazing that any business created anything without the help of digital art software or even a computer.

I would imagine the painstakingly accurate blueprints in the design of the glasses without the help of a computer program. Either way, the legendary design by Raymond Stegeman has aced the test of time with flying colors, but what about now? With all of the technology and all of the artists out there in the world, what can they do now with the spectacles? We’ve seen what happened when they tried to redesign the classic glasses in the form of the “New Wayfarer,” but that only lead to an eye shuttering production (for my tastes of course, I prefer the whole Blues Brothers rounded bottom design).

So, with that being said, this leads me to bring up the age old question; can you improve upon perfection?

Well, it seems like we have an answer; yes, but for a limited time only.

Every year for the past three years Ray-Ban has unveiled a new, rare model for their signature glasses. This line is called “Rare Prints” and every time they dream up this perfect match up the company sacrifices baby lambs and lets the spirits decide who the next graphic artist is to create a design that will grace the Wayfarer model (or maybe they just call the artist and closed a deal, I forget at times).  My favorite print at the moment would have to be the 2010 print with art by David Sossella.

The 2013 rare print model has yet to be released, but with sunglasses season almost upon us, they are surely around the corner.

Whether you are a Wayfarer enthusiast, or you are on your first pair in your collection, the rare prints are a definite. With one foot in classic 1950’s design and the other in the graphic design of the current times this is the perfect combination of the past meets the present.

But really, put some on. Those UV rays are serious.

Image Credit: Ray-Ban

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