James Jannard OAKLEY Factory Pilot Eyeshades 1984
Whatever sport you exercise, the moment you go fast, your eyes will need protection. This American designer and businessman started up as a manufacturer of grips for motorcycle handlebars. This is probably how he came to understand that racing cyclists need to hold on to their bike, but more money and more innovation could be made protecting their eyes. He patented ‘Unobtainium’, the soft plastic material used for the grips, and developed goggles for athlete’s needs that featured nosepieces made from the same material. This is how the first sport sunglasses were born. When a prominent racing cyclist wore them during the famous Tour de France and ended up winning it as the first American participant, he and the extremely visible neon yellow coloured glasses became instantly famous. The creator’s company, which he named after his dog, contuinued to push innovation, new materials and complex geometries to optimally cradle the human face. His brand and his models grew to a household name in the sports world. They also became popular with the military and for activities and inactivities outside sport.
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