Oakley, the history
It's hard to overlook Oakley when thinking of the biggest eyewear brands. This brand has established itself as a leader in technical materials and intensive sports.
The origins of the brand
The Oakley brand was founded by Jim Jannard in 1975. Funnily enough, the name Oakley is that of the founder's dog; the dog used to lie down at the foot of an oak tree, which literally means "Oak-Ley".
However, the origin of the Oakley brand had nothing to do with either the optical world or eyewear. In fact, Jim Jannard started out making motorcycle handlebars out of a new material called "unobtainium".
It wasn't until 1984 that the brand decided to branch out into eyewear, when its creator discovered that the innovative material he used for motorcycle handlebars could also be used to create eyewear. From that point on, the brand became synonymous with innovation, technology and performance. The first pair of glasses he created was called "O-Frame", with a cylindrical lens that would later become the brand's logo. This frame was designed primarily for motorcycle riding.
As the brand was talked about more and more, sportsmen became interested in it. One particular cyclist, Greg Lemond, became a proud ambassador of the brand. He went on to climb the podium of the Tour de France three times, in 1986, 1989 and 1990. He wore the Eyeshades frame, which was based on the O-frames, but was lighter and offered superior performance.
Originally reserved for sportsmen, Oakley decided to open their product line of quality sunglasses and eyeglasses to the general public, all the while keeping their style and philosophy. As a result, several iconic models have since been created.
There is no question that Oakley's strength lies in its ability to innovate and to offer products that perform well and are suitable for all uses, whether for sports or for everyday life.
Oakley is one of those brands that we appreciate because, like IRIS, it offers quality products, renowned for what they are. You can find a vast collection of Oakley frames on iris.ca.