When it comes to the Swingin’ ’60s, few objects are as iconic as sunglasses.
Recently, the brand that helped define the style of the era, as well as the ’70s and ’80s — Polaroid Polarized Sunglasses — has returned to the U.S.
While looking good in sunglasses may not be that difficult, seeing clearly when looking through a pair of sunglasses can be another matter. Polarized sunglasses are designed to filter out some or all of the glare, allowing the wearer to see with comfort and without potential eyestrain.
To better understand why the new glare-free collection from the innovator of polarized lens technology has quickly become a hot seller, Eden Wexler, trend expert for the Solstice Sunglasses retail chain, offered some brand insight on the glasses and the brand.
“While many are very familiar with the Polaroid instamatic camera, which was introduced in 1948, few are familiar with the fact that its inventor, Dr. Edwin Land, developed the technology for polarized lenses almost 10 years prior and began selling the first commercially sold polarized sunglasses in 1937 when he formed the Polaroid Corporation,” said Wexler.
“Polaroid Sunglasses have a rich and iconic history, and today, it is one of the top four global sunglass brands in Europe, selling over 4 million pairs of polarized sunglasses in over 80 countries,” Wexler added. The new line, which features Polaroid UltraSight lenses, ranges from $60–$98, with a higher-end Polaroid Plus line at $140.
Other interesting fun facts about the brand:
• Dr. Edwin Land created the name for the company and polarized lenses from the words “Polarizing Celluloid” to emphasize the company’s focus on polarized lens technology and sunglasses.
• Land is also credited with developing the first 3-D movie glasses in 1939 and goggles for the U.S. Air Force in the ’40s worn by the likes of Gen. Patton. In 1950, Polaroid Eyewear introduced their Cool Ray sunglass generation, the best sunglasses yet, made to protect people from reflected glare.
• In the 1960s, the sunglasses were launched in Europe and became available globally in 45 countries. The company also offered a variety of unique Windsor rimmed sunglass models, which they followed in the 1970s with their famous aviator-style glasses.
• The year 2012 marked the brand’s 75th year as a leader in polarized lens technology and saw it become part of Safilo Group— the second-largest eyewear manufacturer in the world.
• This year marks Polaroid Polarized Sunglasses’ return to the U.S. at SOLSTICEsunglasses.com and better department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s.
The man who brought polarizing lens technology to sunglasses, Dr. Edwin Land, also developed the Polaroid instamatic camera.
Dr. Edwin Land—acknowledged as one of the developers of 3-D movie technology—still holds more patents than anyone except Thomas Edison.