Sunglasses have become an indispensable accessory. Of course they have an eye protection function – hence the importance of the quality of the glass and how it’s treated – but they give the finishing touch to any look, and not just in summer. But who first came up with the idea of sunglasses?
In China, but as something to hide behind
The first evidence of darkened quartz glasses is from China in the 12th century. But the reason was none other than to hide the expression of judges before they issued their verdicts. They didn’t have a protective function, unlike what the Eskimos wore. Made of bone, these didn’t have glass, but by practically covering the eyes and seeing through a small slot in the middle, they protected against the glare of sun on snow.
With ocular functions
Even though the first progressive dark glasses appeared in China in 1430 (imported from Italy), again worn by judges, it wasn’t until 1752 that they were improved by the English optician Ayscough, who began experiments in darkening glasses to solve the problems caused by exposure to sun.
The 20th-century boom
In 1920 the American brand Foster Grant began mass producing sunglasses. In 1937 the first Ray-Bans went on sale, later becoming world famous after being popularised by allied flyers during the Second World War. In the sixties, Foster Grant finally managed to transform the concept, turning them into a fashion accessory worn by all celebrities. The hippy movement finally catapulted them to fame, developing a range of shapes and colours and democratising them.
Something to suit all tastes at illa Carlemany
Quars has the widest selection of branded sunglasses of any establishment in the shopping centre. Just the right model for him or her. If you’re looking for something more technical, you need to take a look at Oakley; while if you need graduated sunglasses, Alain Afflelou has the solution.