In 1984, then-garage-based brand Oakley introduced the Eyeshade, an innovative sunglass design for professional cyclists derived from the O-frame snow goggle. A few years later, the Razer Blade was introduced, followed by the Frogskin, setting the bar for performance eyewear higher with each release. The radical designs turned heads and changed minds. Now, 30 years later, the eyewear giant aims to salute the early era frames that elevated their brand and overall identity to a level few brands have ever been able to achieve. To do this, today Oakley announces the Heritage Collection, complete with the three original design reissues and four modern design updates.
In short, the idea behind the 30th anniversary collection was to keep the reissues as true to history as possible. And, thanks to the ingenuity of Oakley founder Jim Jannard's original designs, the only necessary update was bringing the lens material up to today's safety standards. The collection as a whole is tied together through three colorways, apart from the unique designs alone. While the black, grey and sea foam base colors are perfectly retro, they're more than just a way for the collection to catch attention. "The colorways are what were produced 30 years ago," confirms Peter Yee, Oakley's VP of design. "It's a part of our history, not something we hired copywriters to come up with."
"If you were doing any sport or hanging out at any beach anywhere in the US in '85, '86 or '87 you were probably wearing a Frogskin or Eyeshade," says Yee on the importance of reintroducing the seminal designs. "I think they speak for themselves, and the genius of what they were then still applies now." A very limited number of the collection's seven styles will be available online at Oakley on 1 February and the following week in-store from select premium dealers, selling for between $130 and $200; contact Oakley for locations. And for the first look at the remainder of the Heritage Collection's Frogskin, Eyeshade and Razorblade styles, see the slideshow.
Images courtesy of Oakley