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Shading the Journey: Unveiling the Rich History of Oakley Sunglasses

history of oakley logos from 1975 to 2010

Shading the Journey: Unveiling the Rich History of Oakley Sunglasses

Shading the Journey: Unveiling the Rich History of Oakley Sunglasses

History of Oakley logo

Welcome to the world of eyewear excellence! In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through the vibrant history of one of the most iconic sunglass brands – Oakley. From its humble beginnings to its status as a global leader in performance eyewear, Oakley has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation and style. Let's dive into the fascinating evolution of Oakley sunglasses.

The Genesis: 1975-1980

Oakley James Jannard founder of oakley

Oakley was born in the garage of James Jannard in 1975 with an initial investment of $300. The brand's first breakthrough came in 1980 when Jannard introduced a unique motorcycle handgrip that featured a patented material known as 'Unobtainium.' This material is still used to make the ear socks on Oakley glasses, increasing grip with perspiration.

Eyeshades and the Sports Revolution: 1980s

The 1980s marked Oakley's foray into the world of sports eyewear. The release of the Oakley Eyeshades in 1984 catapulted the brand into the limelight. These sunglasses were a game-changer for athletes, providing both performance and style. Notably, they were a hit among cyclists and set the stage for Oakley's deep-rooted association with sports.

oakley eyeshades from 1989

Oakley in the Limelight: 1990s

As the brand continued to innovate, the '90s witnessed Oakley's expansion into new territories. The iconic Oakley M Frame sunglasses were released in 1989, followed by the Over The Top sunglasses in 1995, featuring a unique frameless design. Oakley's presence in sports reached new heights with endorsements from top athletes, including Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong.

oakley m frame from 1989

Technological Innovation: 2000s

Oakley's commitment to technological advancement became even more apparent in the 2000s. The introduction of High Definition Optics (HDO) technology set a new standard for clarity and visual fidelity in eyewear. This era also saw the launch of the Oakley Thump, the world's first digital music player sunglasses, blending technology and style seamlessly.

oakley hdo logo

Collaborations and Lifestyle: 2010s

The 2010s brought about a shift in Oakley's approach, expanding beyond sports and into the lifestyle realm. Collaborations with fashion icons and celebrities, such as the Oakley Frogskins collaboration with designer Eric Koston, showcased the brand's versatility. Oakley continued to embrace innovation with the release of PRIZM lens technology, enhancing color and contrast for specific environments.

Oakley Frogskins collaboration with designer Eric Koston picture

Oakley Today: A Fusion of Style and Performance

In the present day, Oakley stands as a symbol of cutting-edge design and technological innovation. With a diverse range of eyewear for sports, lifestyle, and everyday use, Oakley continues to shape the future of eyewear. From the iconic Oakley Radar to the sleek Oakley Holbrook, the brand remains at the forefront of both style and performance.

Best Practices for Choosing Oakley Sunglasses

  1. Identify Your Purpose: Whether for sports, lifestyle, or specific activities, knowing your purpose helps narrow down the vast range of Oakley sunglasses.
  2. Understand Lens Technologies: Oakley offers various lens technologies like PRIZM and HDO. Understanding these technologies ensures you choose the right lenses for your needs.
  3. Consider Face Shape: Different Oakley frames complement various face shapes. Take your face shape into account when selecting a style that suits you.
  4. Check for Authenticity: With Oakley's popularity, counterfeit products are a concern. Purchase from authorized retailers to ensure authenticity.
  5. Stay Updated on Collections: Oakley frequently releases new collections and collaborations. Stay informed to discover the latest styles and innovations.


The history of Oakley sunglasses is a testament to the brand's unwavering commitment to excellence. From its garage origins to becoming a global eyewear powerhouse, Oakley has left an indelible mark on the industry. As you explore the diverse range of Oakley sunglasses, remember the brand's rich history and the dedication to pushing boundaries in both style and performance. Happy exploring!

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