How Oakley Sunglasses Have Changed over the Years

There probably isn’t a company on earth that doesn’t at least attempt to grow alongside society, and those that refuse to budge are probably defunct by now. One of the amazing aspects of Oakley is that the founder based his line of Oakley sunglasses on the belief that there isn’t anything in the world that can’t be made better. With this in mind, let’s look at how Oakley has evolved over the years and how this amazing brand now lets you, the customer, virtually design your own sunglasses so that you can “Make It Your Own.”


Photo by Rene

A Bit of Oakley History

At the very beginning, the founder of Oakley, Jim Jannard, started his ‘homespun’ company with a mere $300 in his garage. He has been known to describe those early years as frustrating because no one seemed to have any faith in his ‘inventions.’ The first innovation that earned him a small amount of recognition was a set of handlebars for racers that easily conformed to the shape the hand and as the rider began sweating the handles became even more malleable.

As a racer, Jim also recognized a need in protective eyewear, hence the creation of the iconic Oakley Goggles. In MX racing, his O Frame® goggles became the industry standard for almost two decades. Racers such as Johnny O’Mara, Mark Barnett and Jeff Ward were advocates of Oakley goggles and actually helped put Oakley on the map. (The sunglasses, not the city!)

The Evolution of Standard Oakleys – Then and Now

For the first several years of the company’s history, Oakley sunglasses were seen as sporty men’s sunglasses, which in fact they were. Having been developed for a sport that was traditionally a men’s sport, you can see why. However standard Oakleys soon branched out into styles that were designed for women. Then, over time, they began to take on an even more stylish appeal and quickly became one of the top selling brands worldwide.

Today you can take standard Oakleys and Make It Your Own®. Here, it is good to remember Jim’s philosophy that anything can be made better. In terms of giving customers the opportunity to mix and match features to their liking, they are making it better in terms of what they expect from style and function. Here are some of the leading customizable styles from Oakley:

  • Custom Flak 2.0
  • Custom Crankshaft
  • Custom M2 Frame
  • Custom Quarter Jacket
  • Custom Offshoot

And, those are just some of the styles/frames which can be customized to your wants and needs. This is an innovative step that few, if any, manufacturers of sunglasses fear to take.

Knowing that each person has his or her own personal tastes and preferences, Oakley is now allowing customers to pick and choose features that will make those shades one of a kind. True to the belief of Jim Jannard that anything can, and will, be made better, they are allowing their customers the ability to do just that.

More about Aprill

Aprill Coleman is an award-winning beauty, lifestyle and wellness blogger and freelance writer based in Jackson, Mississippi.

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