Back in the ’90s, Oakley's sports sunglasses were, along with spiked hair, baggy pants, and chained wallets, pretty much everywhere. Fast forward three decades and these designed-for-motocross shades are still as relevant, an item fixed firmly on heads of the style literati by a runway resurgence and a sustained demand for performance-driven gear today.

Surprisingly, Oakley only began offering sunglasses and motorcycle goggles a few decades ago. Founded by Jim Jannard in 1975, the brand initially designed and produced handle grips for motocross bikes called Oakley Grips, along with other motorcycle parts. A motocross enthusiast himself, Jannard named the company after his dog — an English Setter called Oakley Anne — and started the business from the back of his car with an investment of just 300 bucks.

By the end of the decade, Oakley had begun selling motocross goggles at events and competitions. The goggles were an instant hit and, by the early ’80s, Jannard expanded Oakley's eyewear line to other sports requiring ample eye coverage, such as skiing and cycling. The first pair were called the Factory Pilot Eye, which were clearly sports-, rather than style-oriented, but pretty soon, a much more casual design came in the form of the wayfarer-esque Frogskins.

The brand's most crucial year came in 1986 — when American cyclist Greg LeMond was crowned champion of the Tour de France wearing a pair of Oakley sunglasses. The worldwide exposure propelled the eyewear, and soon after Oakley was handing its sunglasses to top athletes of all sports, including the legendary Michael Jordan. Just like that, the rest is history.

Oakley's iconic frames made a full fashion comeback in 2018, with sportswear sunglasses taken down the runway by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, and Heron Preston. More labels have followed suit since and Kylian Mbappé has joined its ranks as an ambassador, with Oakley continuing to develop models for a new generation.

"Oakley has been the go-to sports-sunglass brand for decades now. I remember how cool it felt to get a pair of their famous Eye Jacket (kind of a Matrix-sports vibe) as a teenager and I remember even more how uncool it felt a few years later to wear small glasses when Oakley’s bigger frames took over," says Highsnobiety creative director  Herbert Hofmann. "They always seem to be on-trend — an inspiration for the fashion industry."

In appreciation of Oakley and its infiltration of high fashion, we've picked out some of our favorite sunglasses from the brand below.

Re:SubZero

Re:SubZero

$255

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
M2 Frame XL

M2 Frame XL

$225

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Sutro Lite Sunglasses

Sutro Lite Sunglasses

$200

Oakley x Highsnobiety

Buy at Highsnobiety
Re:SubZero

Re:SubZero

$255

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Radar EV Path

Radar EV Path

$245

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Radar EV Path

Radar EV Path

$200

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Clifden

Clifden

$270

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker

$236

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
CMDN

CMDN

$165

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Re:SubZero

Re:SubZero

$255

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Sutro Lite

Sutro Lite

$190

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
CMDN

CMDN

$155

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Re:SubZero

Re:SubZero

$255

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Sutro Lite

Sutro Lite

$190

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Flak 2.0 XL

Flak 2.0 XL

$190

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety
Flak 2.0 XL

Flak 2.0 XL

$167

Oakley

Buy at Highsnobiety

Want to keep browsing? Head to the Highsnobiety Shop for more products that we love. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Nike Looks Set to Snatch the World Cup

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    A Moment For Tyler, the Creator's Cozy Puffer 'Fit

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Glitches the Air Jordan 1

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    OUR LEGACY's British Escapades Continue With Baracuta

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    A Scroll Through Rihanna & A$AP Rocky's Best Couple 'Fits

    Style
  • mr porter sale

    Take Half off MR PORTER's MR P. Line Here

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.