Ray-Ban Wayfarers are a style of sunglasses, originally produced by Bausch and Lomb, that were worn by Det. James "Sonny" Crockett in Miami Vice. Like the 1983 film "Risky Business", Miami Vice further popularized these sunglasses. These sunglasses are characterized by the classic "trapezoidal" lenses and popularized by their usage by celebrities from Johnny Marr of The Smiths to Bruce Willis.
Ray-Ban Wayfarers were first manufactured in 1952, by Ray-Ban, a marque of Bausch and Lomb. This revolutionary design marked a great departure from Ray-Ban's metal styles, such as the Aviator and Shooter. The classic trapezoidal design has been credited to early 50s trends such as Cadillac fins and angular Art Deco designs. Initial popularity was not as well as expected, but soon thereafter sales took off in the mid-50s to late-60s. In the 70s, sales waned, most likely due to the great number of knockoffs and other repopluarized styles, such as the Aviator and mirrored aviator styles. Sales remained low until 1982, when key product placement deal gave Ray-Ban Wayfarers a new life. Tom Cruise popularized them in the 1983 movie Risky Business, and sales soon tripled. The trend continued to rise, given further popularity by Michael Mann's seminal cop show Miami Vice.
Miami Vice Connection
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer became Det. Sonny Crockett's sunglasses of choice in the second episode of Miami Vice, "Heart of Darkness." In the first episode of the show, he is seen wearing Carrera 5512s in brown with pink lenses. Crockett would later relegate these lenses to Tubbs, as he would begin wearing the Wayfarers. He is first seen wearing these while riding in a limousine with Artie Rollins, Det. Rico Tubbs, and a porn director named Jimmy. In the first two seasons, Sonny would wear Mock Tortoise framed Wayfarers, model RB5022, with G-15 lenses. The season 3 episode "When Irish Eyes Are Crying" would show Sonny wearing Persol 69218s in black. Sonny would return to the Wayfarers in Seasons 4 and 5, this time wearing black framed Wayfarers with G-15 lenses.