Aviators reach new heights as modern designs range from rugged to elegant

In 1986, Tom Cruise made what amounted to a two-hour long commercial for Ray-Ban aviators in Top Gun — product placement at its best. The website Brands and Films notes that aviator sales spiked 40 percent after Cruise’s star turn as a gutsy Navy pilot. The style has a long history with the military, since Bausch & Lomb invented the original in the 1930s to literally ban rays from the eyes of U.S. Army Air Corps pilots. (World War II leader Gen. Douglas MacArthur liked them, too.) Aviators remain popular on fashion runways and with celebrities, and while the original is still available, today’s aviators come in updated materials, colors and lenses for your customers eager for a remake. — MARISSA WALSH


This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of INVISION.

Ahlem Concord aviator sunglasses

PHOTO: Dani Brubaker


Witness the birth of the cool as fashion model Adeng sounds a playful but sophisticated note in model Concorde, handmade in France of gold-plated palladium. The Christian Dalloz flat lenses have built-in anti-reflective coating, and a signature vintage acetate temple tip provides a fine finish. See more from model Adeng at

(310) 754-0885 |


37562 aviator sunglasses from Jaguar


Like its namesake car, these stainless steel frames are designed to perform. Masculine model 37562 is a pilot-inspired shape that works equally well behind the wheel of a car or a plane. Mirror lenses also available in red and brown.

(800) 645-3710 |


Barbara aviators from Vera Bradley


Aviators like to play dress-up, too. With brown gradient lenses, slim temples and a Windsor rim wrapped in a signature print, model Barbara mixes vintage and modern in blush pink.

(800) 966-2020 |


SCHB24 aviators sunglasses from Chopard


Not for people who sit on their sunglasses by accident, model SCHB24S features handset crystals on both temples and bridge. These statement sunnies are eye-catching and luxurious. Shown in shiny rose gold/blue mirror bronze; also available in shiny palladium/violet mirror pink and shiny rose gold/brown gradient.

(877) 606-7852 |


RB3029 aviator sunglasses from Ray-Ban


Protection meets style from the company that created the original aviator. RB3029 is part of the Havana Collection, with classic acetate temple tips and upper bar. Whether for beach volleyball or outflying an enemy in a MiG-28, these light and resilient frames are designed for men with a passion for the outdoors.

(800) 422-2020 |


Cliff House aviators from Maui Jim


Inspired by a landmark located at the top of Waipi`o Valley on the Big Island and providing unprecedented, panoramic views of Hawaii, model Cliff House features the brand’s first blue flash mirror lens, Blue Hawaii, which lets you take it all in while protecting your eyes. Mahalo!

(888) 666-5905 |


CE118S aviator sunglasses from Chloe


A feminine take on the classic, model CE118S has a lavish look, but they’re lightweight for spring adventures. Shown here in light gold/blue; also available in light gold/khaki and light gold/beige, light gold/peach and gold/blue.

(800) 645-1300 |


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