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A History of Oakley Sunglasses

Last updated 5 years ago

In 1975, Jim Jannard started Oakley with only $300 and a dream to make better motorcycle handgrips that molded to a rider’s clenched hand. Inspired by the simple idea that invention could be wrapped in art, Jannard began to create goggles for motocross racers, sunglasses for athletes, and finally, the iconic line of Oakley eyewear that Americans today know and love. Here is the story of Oakley sunglasses:

Imagined by a Scientist

A self-described mad scientist, Oakley inventor and innovator Jim Jannard knew he could raise the standard for the entire biking industry. When no one would listen, he broke all the rules and went into business for himself, creating a motorcycle handgrip that actually increased a rider’s grip with sweat—and he never looked back.

Designed for Performance

Operating by the principle that everything in the world can be made better if someone is brave enough to improve it, Jannard’s next product would become a staple for MX racing: the O Frame® goggle. This patented new technology utilized a lens curved in the perfect arc of a cylinder for maximum visual acuity, and pros like Mark Barnett and Jeff Ward took notice.

Championed by Athletes

Jannard’s next invention took the entire sunglasses industry by storm. Designed specifically for athletes, Eyeshades® capitalized on Jannard’s previous innovations in lens technology to create durable, light-blocking sunglasses. Under Jannard’s watchful eye, Eyeshades evolved from a fashionable accessory to a piece of vital equipment whose utility was praised by Tour de France cyclists for its performance and protection.

Worn by Everyone

Today, Oakley sunglasses, accessories, and apparel are known worldwide for their classic lines, functional appeal, and cutting-edge technology. The Oakley team’s inventions have been awarded over 600 patents, and Jannard’s brand is now the mark of excellence for motocross riders, athletes, parents, and children everywhere.

EJ’s Sunglasses is one of the largest online retailers of Ray-Ban, Oakley, Costa Del Mar, and more. To learn more about our unparalleled selection of men’s and women’s designer sunglasses, visit our website or call us today at (612) 360-2340.


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