Ray-Ban Wayfarers were basic, until this colorful new collection

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Ray-Ban

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer design debuted in 1952, quickly becoming one of the most iconic (and often imitated) shapes on the market. It’s easy to identify, with its sturdy acetate frame, logos on both temples, and two tiny metal ovals (called decorative rivets) on the front. You’ll rarely find them in colors other than gloss black or tortoise, of which there are a few variations, but they can be purchased with or without polarized lenses in a few different tints.

The consistency of the brand has made it a household name. Like your favorite Nike sneakers, that probably haven’t changed that well over time, you recognize a pair of Ray-Bans when you see them. They’re easy to spot for a reason: others will buy them too. They are a status symbol; not quite luxurious but not something to scoff at either. The original Wayfarer will set you back between $163 and $213, which is a fair amount of money for most people.

To be honest, I always thought you could do better with this bit of change. Ray-Bans are not evil. The Wayfarer is an icon. But there are plenty of independent brands designing new sunglasses using a wider range of colors and tints, creating more interesting eyewear. Maybe it’s the individualist in me – because everyone has them, I’d rather not. Maybe I’m drawn to new things, or even things that are changing.

Yes, Ray-Ban introduced Ray-Ban Stories, a Wayfarer with built-in cameras that can capture content and upload it directly to Facebook. But that’s not the kind of evolution that interests me. I’m talking about aesthetic evolution — a change in shape, color, or construction.

Well, finally Ray-Ban has delivered that with their new Colorblock Collection, a sequel to Wayfarers in five new shades. There is a red pair with blue lenses, a purple pair with orange lenses, a green pair with gray lenses, a blue pair with red lenses, and a green pair with green lenses. Each comes with a tonal cord for wearing around the neck, but only one has polarized lenses (the green-on-green iteration).

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Original Wayfarer color block

Original Wayfarer color block

Original Wayfarer color block

Original Wayfarer color block

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