Edwin Land is the father of polarized lenses. From his studies on light in the mid-twentieth century the filter that improves vision and is so popular in glasses to drive and practice certain sports was derived. The Polaroid sunglasses firm turns 80 years old and has become a leader in the segment that combines design and good price.
Edwin Land (1909-1991), student of physics, created the polarized filter in 1935 after observing the effects of light. Two years later he founded the Polaroid Corporation.
This is the story of a man who changed the way we see the world, and it is not a saying. His name is Edwin Land, registered 535 patents throughout his life and Steve Jobs cited him as one of his great heroes with whom he claimed to feel great affinity. From visionary to visionary. For how much is it?
"Yes, Land's breakthrough technology remains the basis of polarized optics, lenses and displays, and there are not many other brands that have had such a big impact on the evolution of the sector." Who is so proud is Alessio Puleo, senior brand director of Polaroid, one of the world leaders in polarized lens technology that is immersed in its 80th anniversary, milestone more than enough to stop and make a little history.
You have to go back to the early 1930s, when Harvard physics student Edwin Land (1909-1991) spent hours observing the sun that filtered through the window. Thus he discovered the magical effects of light that, during the celebration, have been recreated in a short film that bears the title of "The Fish Bowl", mention of the experiment that left the students of the time speechless and that still looks like something of witches...
We ask Puleo to explain it to us. "When light is reflected on a bright surface such as water, snow or road, it travels in many directions, while vertical light is useful for the human eye and helps us see, clarifying colors and contrasts, light On the contrary, it dazzles, what Land did was create a filter that reduces this effect and showed it by placing it in front of the fish tank: by moving it, hiding or letting the public see a fish ". Magic in sight of all.
In the 70s the brand was presented with the slogan "Nobody knows the sun better": specialists in getting rid of the rays that bounce off sand and water.
That was his invention he called Polaroid; in 1935 he sold his first sunglasses and two years later he created the company under the same name in Connecticut (United States). Some time later, I would bequeath another milestone to the world of the image with the invention of instant photography, but that is another story ...
The takeoff happened in the 40s, when the American Army chose theirs as official glasses for the pilots and the very Marlon Brando wore one of his models in a mythical image on his motorcycle. Since then they have become a must to drive, ski, ride a bike or just sunbathe ... and be up to date, as evidenced by the historic Polaroid, where we can find magazine covers and advertisements through the that you can take a tour of the aesthetic movements. Today they are associated with models like Elliott Sailors, skateboarders like Sky Brown and Kitchen ...
The truth is that as customers we increasingly value technical quality in balance with aesthetics when purchasing a new pair of fake Oakley sunglasses. "That's right, from those who practice sports to those who care about the protection of the smallest, including those who are committed to driving safety or a more comfortable daily routine," they say from the brand, belonging to the group Safilo, an optical giant that adds 26 brands, five owned (Polaroid, Carrera, Smith, Oxydo and Safilo) and 21 licenses, and that in 2016 invoiced 1.253 million euros.
It seems that fake Ray Bans have come up with the formula of success, namely "an affordable price, the best combination of benefits, easy-to-wear frames and an always updated and cool Italian design". Like that of the grandmother, the recipe is simpler to give than to put into practice, that many brands in the market there are, but not as many are. "It's a healthy sector that continues to grow at the top with luxury brands, but it certainly grows much more in the part of mass cool where Polaroid has a leading role," confirms Puleo.
In that niche, which we could translate as a design at a good price, fake Oakleys are unbeatable: they sell five million units a year of models like the one they sell on the occasion of their birthday, a reinterpretation of one of their classics that dates back to the 40s. The company's halls still echo one of the founder's maxims: "It's not that we need new ideas, but to stop having old ideas".