During the 1930s, Army Air Corps commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create specific sunglasses for pilots. They requested that the frames curved down below the eye so that pilots could look down at their instruments. The lenses also needed to protect eyes from strong glares at high altitudes. Thus, the Ray-Ban was born. They were released to the public in 1937. Ray-Ban Aviators are not only worn by pilots nowadays, they have become an iconic shape and are worn by many of the fashion elite.
Sources: Style by Kate Spade
20th Century Fashion by Jim Heimann and Alison A. Nieder