As a company, Oakley sunglasses have been on a journey for 30 years, focused on creating some of the world's finest and most stylish sunglasses. Having successfully created a new motocross handgrip which became famous for its unique orbicular design, Oakley founder Jim Jannard decided to focus his attention elsewhere. With growing confidence and a solid reputation behind him, Jannard created his first set of motocross goggles. Following upon their success, Jannard then decided to create a pair of sunglasses specifically for wearing when playing sports. This was a much larger market to crack, but he was confident that his unique approach would see him through and expand Oakley's business.
Jannard decided that the core of the new range of sports sunglasses should be strength, function and style. Keeping this in mind, he named the the new style line Eyeshades in the 1980s which were effectively a one-lens sunglass promoted as a goggle. Sales gradually started to grow and Oakley Eyeshades became a phenomenal success. Athletes and consumers alike took notice of Oakley's unique design; however, at the time, Eyeshades were only available in one color. When Tour de France champion Greg Lemond called Oakley to enquire if Eyeshades were available in different colors, Jannard realized he had stumbled into a massive opportunity to introduce different frame and lens colors. Jannard also realized that in order to spread the word about their sunglasses they needed to be creative in their advertising. Jannard used advertising as a means to inspire and motivate consumers away from the standard sunglasses and towards Oakleys, and his reputation for artistic creativity permeates the entire Oakley range of sport sunglasses, clothing, and accessories.
Oakley has a reputation for producing the unthinkable and overcoming the most daunting manufacturing challenges in the pursuit of ever higher standards such as their use of the trademarked "X Metal" in designs such as the Oakley Juliet and Oakley Romeo. X Metal is also called C5, a composite of 5 different metals that are heated and then fused together during the manufacturing process. The beauty of using C5 is that it is extremely strong, lightweight, durable and aesthetically beautiful. It is also highly resistant to shocks, humidity, UV, thermal shocks and stresses exerted during wear, and this incredible strength makes them the sunglass of choice for many athletes. Oakley also pioneered Unobtainium Earsocks, a patented creation that guarantees the wearer the most comfortable fit and provides a better grip when a person sweats during exercise or sport. Oakley also uses titanium in their sunglasses, a space-age metal famed for it's extreme strength to weight quotient. Yet another Oakley advance comes in the form of lightweight Plutonite used in their lenses, and it has the ability to block out 100% of harmful blue lights as well as UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
Oakley sunglasses are available in full rim frames (Oakley Juliet, Frogskins, E-Wire, A-Wire, C-Wire), half rim frames (Oakley Romeo, M-Frame), and rimless frames. One reason why Oakley sunglasses have grown massively in terms of popularity lies in their wide range of colors available throughout the entire range of styles. Always innovating, Oakley have made it possible to choose either a single frame color or else combine your two favorite colors on the same pair of sunglasses. Even more diverse than their frame options, Oakley lenses were produced in a wide variety of Oakley lens tints that capture the colors of the rainbow, many incorporating the patented Oakley Iridium lens coating. Oakley serial numbers were used on the production of Oakley X Metal sunglasses such as Romeo, Juliet, and Penny from inception up until December 2004. The success of Oakley sunglasses and their high brand status has inevitably been met with fake Oakleys entering the market, often called Foakleys by those like us at the Vintage Sunglasses Shop that see them all the time.
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