What would you say, which sunglasses had the most memorable appearance in the movies? Ray-Ban in Top Gun, Oakley in Mission: Impossible 2, Oliver Peoples in Fight Club, several slick and modern models in The Matrix or some other brand elsewhere?

My choice would be Ray-Ban in Risky Business. I even put that placement in the sixth spot in my list of top placements ever. Risky Business was the beginning of the Ray-Ban Wayfarers phenomenon. Ray-Ban has been manufacturing Wayfarer model since 1952, but in the 80s sales were very poor, just around 18,000 annually. In 1983 Tom Cruise wore the model in the movie and Wayfarers were also on the cover of the movie. This product placement contributed to

fantastic sales that year: 360,000 pairs of Wayfarers were sold in 1983. By 1986, after appearances in Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and The Breakfast Club, sales had reached 1.5 million.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses in Risky Business (1983, Warner Bros., screen capture)


On June 30, 2012 Travis from a T-shirt online store Found Item Clothing published an interesting supercut of iconic 65 sunglasses from the movies. There are 51 clips in the supercut, pulled from 47 different movies. Supercut first appeared on Found Item Clothing’s blog.

Take a look:

Travis, author of that awesome supercut, gave an exclusive comment to Brands & Films on making that supercut:

I developed the concept earlier in the year. I was on a beach in Vietnam, and it hit me – a supercut of the best, most iconic movie sunglasses! A bit of research confirmed that nothing of the kind had floated across the Internet so I began to compile a bank of clips and suss out options for the soundtrack (we opted for Dean Martin’s “Shades” over ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses” because it was the ideal length (about 2:40) and it had a sweeping, almost cinematic quality).

From there, I partnered with a local video ninja, Brett Roberts, on the editing and sequencing. Things feel into place fairly quickly but we worked through a couple of drafts before settling on the final edit. We had more material than we needed so we reluctantly bid adieu to a couple of secondary scenes.

In the end, my goal was to draw from a wide assortment of movies – some popular, others less so, some old, some new – and show some of the different ways that filmmakers incorporate sunnies into the movies, either directly as part of the visual experience or as subtle accents (and I’d like to think we’ve done that).

My favorite clips would be:

– Iron Giant (animated, :35 mark)
– Apocalypse Now (1:46)
– The Professional (2:15)

My favorite pair of actual glasses are Stiles’ mirrored shades from Teen Wolf (1:56)



Some background information on the sunglasses market:

According to the article The Sunglasses Industry the vision care industry was worth $32 billion in 2010 and sunglasses had a 10.3 percent share. The biggest manufacturer is Italian company Luxoticca which produced 70 percent of all name-brand designer sunglasses, such as Burberry, Chanel, Polo Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney, but also owns two big brands: Ray Ban and Oakley.

* Supercut is a fast-paced montage of short video clips that obsessively isolates a single element from its source, usually a word, phrase, or cliche from film and TV.