The aviator was not to remain confined to the cockpit, however. Fitted with green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision, the first examples, which went on sale to the public in 1937, featured a plastic frame in the now-classic teardrop shape (echoing the form of pilot’s goggles), but was remodelled with a metal frame the following year and rebranded as the Ray-Ban Aviator.
With their anti-glare lenses, the Ray-Ban Aviator shades became popular with outdoor pursuits enthusiasts from fishermen to golfers, leading to the introduction of new models. The Ray-Ban Shooter – released in 1938 – boasted green or pale yellow Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions. The model’s signature feature was its so-called ‘cigarette-holder’ middle circle, designed to free the hands of the shooter. The Ray-Ban Outdoorsman, issued the next year, targeted hunting, shooting and fishing enthusiasts.