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Ray-Ban Updated the Iconic Wayfarer and the Results Are, Well, Questionable

The new “Blaze” Wayfarer attempts to take a classic accessory to a weirdly futuristic place.

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It’s not a trade secret the Ray-Ban’s sunglasses workhorse is the Wayfarer frame. Conceived in the late ’50s and popular enough through the ’60s to be seen on the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Plant and John F. Kennedy (admittedly his were American Optical’s model, but still), the original Wayfarer frame is simple and out of that simplicity it is versatile. Wear them with a suit like JFK or with very little clothing like the Led Zeppelin frontman, it just fits.

Ray-Ban’s all-new “Blaze” frame strays a bit from that path. The Blaze places the lens over the frame for the first time in the history of the iconic eyewear, and, for three of four colorways, uses a gradient lens (the black frame with green lens remains sacred, at least). Ray-Ban describes the Blaze Wayfarer as having a “futuristic attitude, while transparent frame enhance its elegance. This combination results in a catchy, daring and illuminating effect.” It could be argued this change flies in the face of what fueled the Wayfarer’s resurgence in a market full of wraparound sport frames in the first place — an utter denial of any futuristic attitudes or “catchy” features.

The Blaze ships in black & grey, blue and tortoise gradient models, as well as the classic black with green lens.  

Buy Now: $178

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