Retro Throwback: Custom Wayfarer’s

11 Jun Posted by in Swag Projects | Comments
Retro Throwback: Custom Wayfarer’s

Over here at Swagmatic, one of our favorite niches of promotional products is anything retro. If it was hot, and then it was not, and now it’s making a comeback, you can bet we’re over here loving it. In our debut “Retro Throwback” blog post, we bring to you one of the most popular retro items in our industry today: the ever so popular wayfarer sunglasses!

Originally made famous by Ray-Ban in 1956, these sunglasses have been adopted and modified by several designers, manufacturers and wholesalers over time. Wayfarer was the first style of shades to move away from the popular metal-framed style and begin using the newly available plastic molding technology of the time. While high profile men like Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol helped them hold their popularity through the 50’s and 60’s, it is said than John Lennon and his infamous teashades assisted in the decline by the 70’s.


Almost extinct, the wayfarer style was renewed in the 80’s, widely attributed to the $50,000 per year product placement deal that placed them in over 60 feature films and television shows between 1982 and 1987 (think Tom Cruise in Risky Business or Don Johnson as Miami Vice’s James Crockett) and by the mid 80’s, iconic musicians, like Michael Jackson and Madonna, could be seen wearing them just about everywhere; Corey Hart loved his wayfarers so much he even sung a song about wearing them at night! However, the revival was merely temporary, giving way to the sporty style of the wraparounds by the 90s.

It wasn’t until the early 21st century, when the youth of the 90’s looked to restore the 80’s retro fashion, that wayfarers made their most recent appearance back into pop culture yet again. Seeing a boost in sales, Ray-Ban even decided to re-release the original design from 1956! Still thriving today, you can see A-listers like Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry flaunting their wayfarers with style on the Hollywood scene.


With the longer lasting popularity of the wayfarers this go-round, the advertising specialty industry has had a few suppliers decide to take the item on over time. Originally, they were offered in a few select neon colors with a one color imprint on the left or right arm of each pair. However, over the last couple of years, with no sign of the popularity of the item dwindling, new solid, translucent and two-tone color options have been added; kids and juniors sizes have been introduced; and multiple locations, and even completely custom imprint options, are available within standard production times, as well. Whether you’re looking for a trendy summer giveaway, a child-friendly promo or something uniquely custom to your brand that’ll blow your competition out of the water, the versatile retro throwback wayfarer sunglasses is an excellent option!