80s Sunglasses Brands


80s sunglasses brands

The 1980s were a vibrant decade known for its bold fashion statements, and sunglasses were no exception. The era saw an explosion of unique and unforgettable styles that have since become synonymous with retro cool. Let’s dive into some of the most iconic sunglasses brands of the 80s that defined the look of the decade.


Ray-Ban was arguably the most influential sunglasses brand of the 1980s. Known for their timeless designs, Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer and Aviator models became cultural icons. The Wayfarer, with its distinctive trapezoidal frame, gained immense popularity after being featured in movies like “The Blues Brothers” and “Risky Business.” Meanwhile, the Aviator, originally designed for pilots, became a fashion staple thanks to its sleek metal frame and teardrop-shaped lenses. Ray-Ban’s impact on 80s fashion was profound, solidifying its place as a timeless brand.


Oakley brought a futuristic edge to 80s eyewear with its innovative designs and advanced materials. Known for their high-performance sports sunglasses, Oakley’s models like the Frogskins became popular among athletes and fashion enthusiasts alike. Their use of lightweight, durable materials and distinctive wraparound lenses set them apart from traditional styles, making Oakley a favorite for those seeking both functionality and flair.


Vuarnet sunglasses, with their high-quality lenses and stylish frames, were a hit in the 80s, particularly among skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. The French brand’s signature model, the 002, was known for its sleek design and exceptional optical clarity. Vuarnet’s combination of fashion-forward styles and technical excellence made them a favorite for both sport and leisure.


Italian brand Persol brought a touch of European elegance to 80s sunglasses. Known for their superior craftsmanship and classic designs, Persol’s sunglasses featured the iconic silver arrow detail on the temples.

Models like the 649 and 714, popularized by celebrities such as Steve McQueen, became symbols of sophistication and style. Persol’s timeless appeal ensured their continued popularity beyond the 80s.


Carrera sunglasses, with their sporty yet fashionable designs, were another standout brand of the 80s.

Originating from Austria, Carrera was known for their oversized frames and bold colors. The brand’s distinctive models, such as the Champion and Safari, were favored by celebrities and athletes, making Carrera a symbol of retro chic.

Porsche Design

Porsche Design brought a sleek, luxurious aesthetic to 80s eyewear. The brand’s innovative approach combined high-tech materials with minimalist design, resulting in sunglasses that were both stylish and functional. Models like the P’8478, with interchangeable lenses, became highly sought after for their versatility and modern look.


Serengeti sunglasses were renowned for their advanced lens technology and classic designs. Their photochromic lenses, which adjusted to changing light conditions, made them a favorite for driving and outdoor activities. Serengeti’s commitment to optical excellence and timeless style made them a key player in 80s eyewear fashion.

    The 1980s were a golden era for sunglasses, with brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vuarnet, Persol, Carrera, Porsche Design, and Serengeti leading the charge. These brands not only defined the look of the decade but also set the stage for future trends in eyewear. Their iconic designs and enduring appeal continue to influence fashion today, proving that the legacy of 80s sunglasses is truly timeless.

    The Cultural Impact of 80s Sunglasses

    The cultural impact of 80s sunglasses extended beyond fashion, influencing music, film, and popular culture. Sunglasses became a powerful symbol of identity and attitude, often associated with rebellion, glamour, and sophistication.

    Music and Sunglasses

    The 80s music scene, characterized by the rise of MTV and the dominance of pop and rock stars, played a crucial role in popularizing sunglasses. Artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and U2’s Bono were often seen sporting stylish shades, making sunglasses an integral part of their iconic looks. Michael Jackson’s mirrored aviators and Bono’s oversized, colorful frames became synonymous with their public personas, influencing fans worldwide to adopt similar styles.

    Film and Television

    Movies and TV shows of the 80s also had a significant impact on sunglasses trends. Films like “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise, brought Ray-Ban Aviators into the spotlight, making them a must-have accessory. Similarly, “Miami Vice” popularized the sleek, sophisticated look of pastel suits paired with stylish sunglasses, epitomizing the decade’s fashion.

    Fashion and Beyond

    The fashion industry embraced sunglasses as a key accessory in the 80s, with designers incorporating bold and innovative eyewear into their collections. Runway shows and fashion magazines featured models wearing oversized, colorful frames, reflecting the decade’s penchant for extravagance and individuality.

    Sunglasses also became a staple in advertising and marketing campaigns. Brands leveraged the allure of celebrity endorsements and the glamorous image of sunglasses to promote their products, further embedding these accessories into the cultural fabric of the 80s.

    The Legacy of 80s Sunglasses

    The legacy of 80s sunglasses lives on, with many of the era’s iconic styles remaining popular today. Retro-inspired designs continue to influence contemporary fashion, and vintage sunglasses from the 80s are highly sought after by collectors and fashion enthusiasts. Brands like Ray-Ban and Persol have reissued some of their classic models, catering to the ongoing demand for nostalgic eyewear.

    Moreover, the innovative spirit of the 80s has inspired modern sunglasses design. Contemporary brands often draw inspiration from the bold colors, unique shapes, and advanced materials that defined the decade. This fusion of retro aesthetics and modern technology keeps the spirit of 80s sunglasses alive and relevant in today’s fashion landscape.

    The 1980s were a transformative decade for sunglasses, marked by the emergence of iconic brands and unforgettable styles. From the timeless appeal of Ray-Ban to the futuristic designs of Oakley, 80s sunglasses embodied the bold, adventurous spirit of the era. Their influence on music, film, and fashion cemented their place in cultural history, and their legacy continues to shape eyewear trends today. Whether you’re a fan of vintage fashion or simply appreciate the artistry of classic design, 80s sunglasses offer a perfect blend of nostalgia and style.