No identifiable brand, but square frame and generous size. The image of fake Oakley sunglasses are the genesis of that curious alliance consisting of wearing dark cheap Oakley sunglasses with a tailoring suit. The most influential Italian actor (in stylistic terms) of the twentieth century consecrated the image of the gentleman dandy, something frivolous and apparently disillusioned, that hides his cynicism (and his hangover, always suffered with elegance) behind the shadow of the cheap Oakleys lenses. If you try to understand why whenever we imagine an Italian we visualize it that way, the answer is the same one that Anita Ekberg shouted in ‘La dolce vita’: “Marcello”.
The actor with the best pint of the sixties, Steve McQueen, took them in ‘The Case of Thomas Crown’, one of the best-looking films in history. The 714 were born as a folding variant of the 649 and became an icon of the prodigious decade and inseparable companions of McQueen, who used to use them also in his private life. Today they are still for sale, and there is even an almost exact replica of the American actor’s favorite replica Oakley sunglasses.
Two models of Ray Ban Predator (2027 and 2030) that became almost as famous as the forgettors they used in ‘Men in black’. Although few now remember, ‘Men in black’ was one of the great stylistic successes of the late nineties. The mix of futuristic sunglasses, black suit and tie and white shirt gave birth to several generations of men dressed as bodyguards. And they even influenced such traditional phenomena as ‘Caiga Quien’, that glorious satirical informative in which sunglasses with acetate frames.
The Ray Ban Clubmaster, inspired by the bohemian and intellectual world of the fifties, have become in recent years a safe bet of the most famous optical firm in the world. His mount, which combines acetate and metal, is a classic ‘millennial’ thanks to a hybrid formula with an intellectual touch.
Because the fake Oakleys is a classic of the twentieth century that is increasingly valid among new audiences. Because they recognize themselves instantly, but they are not ostentatious. Because, designed for the tram drivers of Turin in 1957, they were a symbol of the sixties and have arrived untouched until today, so it seems unlikely that they will go out of fashion overnight.
Voluminous, with metal frame, double bridge and inspired by the automotive world. Michael Jackson was very fond of Ray Ban’s designs, but this seems to be a little song on the air. In his search for privacy and in the social panic that dominated him until the end of his days, Jackson knew how to turn his personal appearance into an authentic impregnable cuirass. The Oakleys knockoff that she used since she was young in her public appearances fulfilled the same protective function as the gloves, the mask or the extravagant garments: to draw attention and divert her at the same time. Today they are excessive, but the eighties (this photo is from 1984) were so striking.