Behind the HYPE: How Oakley Cemented Its Place in Sports, Fashion and Beyond

Tracing the allure of the eyewear mainstay since its big break in the ‘90s.

By
Fashion
14,065 Hypes 5 Comments

California-based Oakley counts its first big success in the ‘90s, having tackled a slew of collaborations with major athletes including Michael Jordan at the time. One of the brand’s most loyal wearers, Dennis Rodman, even donned a pair courtside and in his role as Yaz in the 1997 cult film favorite Double Team. The eyewear mainstay continues to attract a star-studded clientele with Kim Kardashian, Bad Bunny and Pharrell Williams owning several pairs from the brand’s longstanding franchise of performance sunglasses. It’s difficult to pinpoint Oakley’s runaway success in the ’90s to any one factor. The brand’s presence across sports, fashion, and entertainment all played an immense role in cultivating the brand’s longstanding appeal.

Oakley has teamed up with countless streetwear brands for collaborations and even made appearances on the runway. In 2018, the label partnered with KITH for the brand’s Aspen collection that consisted of eyewear and headwear. The next year, Oakley joined forces with Vetements on a spike-adorned Radar EV Model and then followed up with a Palace collaboration on a pair of Mumbo Shades. Not to mention, A-COLD-WALL founder Samuel Ross has been releasing a capsule collection with the brand every year over the last three years with the duo designing apparel, bags and eyewear. Oakley recently tapped celebrated Japanese artist Meguru Yamaguchi to design a full eyewear capsule called the Kokoro collection featuring his signature, hand-painted brushstrokes.

Athletes also prefer wearing a pair of Oakley’s than any other performance-oriented eyewear. Tiger Woods favors the brand on and off the course. Track athlete Ato Bolton wore Oakley’s iconic Over The Top FMJ Silver Fire Iridium Sunglasses at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and professional golfer Jarmo Sandelin is also a fan of the glasses’ X-Men-meets-Natural Born Killers look. The brand’s allure not only reaches sports and fashion, but the film industry as well. Pairs of Oakley’s have cropped up in a range of films, with notable appearances on Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club and Tom Cruise as Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt.

Oakley was founded in 1975 by Jim Jannard who only had $300 USD to his name and dreamed of developing the most innovative handlebar grip in the world. The technology used for Oakley Grips became the basis for Oakley’s motocross googles that were first released in the late ’70s, but was met with mediocre technical reviews. However, BMX riders raved about the way Oakley goggles looked on their helmets. The 1980 release of the O-Frame goggles became Jannard’s first big eyewear success, and cemented a prominent place for Oakley in the sports industry. And now with the reemergence of ’90s nostalgia, along with the influx of brand collabs, Oakley is back in the spotlight and poised to continue.

Learn about Oakley’s history and successes in the video above and then polish your knowledge on Arc’teryx’s legacy.

Read Full Article

Join Our Discussions on Discord

The HYPEBEAST Discord Server is a community where conversations on cultural topics can be taken further.

100 Users Online

What to Read Next

Christie’s and Stadium Goods' Michael Jordan Game-Worn Auction Reels in $931,875 USD
Footwear

Christie’s and Stadium Goods' Michael Jordan Game-Worn Auction Reels in $931,875 USD

MJ’s Air Jordan 1 High from the infamous “Shattered Backboard” game sold for $615,000 USD alone.

Balmain Reveals Basketball-Inspired B-Ball Sneaker
Footwear

Balmain Reveals Basketball-Inspired B-Ball Sneaker

Dressed in a white and off-white colorway.

Cult Classics Including Renault R5 Turbo, Ford Thunderbird and VW Beetle Lead Online Auction
Automotive

Cult Classics Including Renault R5 Turbo, Ford Thunderbird and VW Beetle Lead Online Auction

Stratas Auctions is also listing a Jaguar XJ220 and a Le Mans-raced Porsche Carrera GTR.


Sufjan Stevens Tags "Renegade" Choreographer for Gentle "Video Game" Visual
Music

Sufjan Stevens Tags "Renegade" Choreographer for Gentle "Video Game" Visual

A reminder for everyone to “[d]o all things with absolute purity, love and joy.”

Steve-O Tapes Himself to L.A. Billboard to Promote New Comedy Special
Entertainment

Steve-O Tapes Himself to L.A. Billboard to Promote New Comedy Special

The ‘Jackass’ alumnus is back with a brilliant stunt.

Dior's Luxe B01 Sneakers Receives Smooth Italian Calfskin Makeover
Footwear

Dior's Luxe B01 Sneakers Receives Smooth Italian Calfskin Makeover

Replica meets Samba.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.

Help Support Us

We need ads to keep the lights on and to continue providing free news to our readers. We’d appreciate your support by whitelisting HYPEBEAST on your ad blocker. That way you can keep reading all the great stories for free.

If you have already whitelisted us, simply refresh this page. To find out how to whitelist us, click the button below.

Back

Add Us to Whitelist

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads. Most ad blockers have similar whitelisting steps and settings. If you need assistance, please contact us.

Adblock Plus

  1. Click on the red ABP icon in the upper right corner of your browser.
  2. Click “Enabled on this site” to disable ad blocking for the current site. In Firefox click “disable on HYPEBEAST”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Adblock

  1. Click the AdBlock hand icon.
  2. Click “Don’t run on pages on this domain”.
  3. A new “Don’t run AdBlock on…” dialog may be displayed in the middle of the screen.
  4. Move the “Site” slider to the right. After that, click “Exclude”.
  5. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

uBlock

  1. Click the uBlock icon.
  2. Click the large blue “power” button in the menu that appears to whitelist the current website.
  3. Reload the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Firefox Browser

Firefox Tracking Protection may activate our whitelist notice, which can be disabled temporarily for a browsing session by clicking the shield icon in the URL bar and following the instructions.

Disconnect

  1. Click the Disconnect icon.
  2. Click “Whitelist site”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.