Maui Jim is a privately owned company. Originally started by Walter Hester. Walter retired to Maui, where he purchased a small sunglass company which produced polarized lenses from none other than Maui Jim himself.
In 1996 he merged with Paul Daltons optical company in Peoria, Illinois. Since then the company has grown from 16 employees to around 700.
The company has built its success on its patented Polarized Plus 2 technology. The basic patent is “it’s the best sunglass in the world.”
Ray Bans are truly the most recognizable sunglass brand the world over.
Originally designed in the late 1920’s. Their aim was to help US pilots with reducing the glare,
which resulted in headaches whilst flying at altitude.
Military influence on fashion was undeniable. Army and Navy T shirts were a staple of 1940′s fashion.
Civilians were eager to emulate pilots, who were sporting cool new sunglasses. Ray Ban made the huge jump from military function to pop culture fashion.
Remember the movies The Blues Brothers, Risky Business. The Wayfarers were prominent.
Today, Ray Bans are still very cool.