SOURCE: Solaris Eyewear, LLC

September 13, 2011 09:00 ET

Aviator Sunglasses Once Again Taking Flight

Wholesale Distributor Solaris Eyewear, LLC Has Seen Sales Climb in Recent Years

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 13, 2011) - Some 25 years ago, Aviator sunglasses represented the height of fashion. Now this distinctive style of shades is once again the epitome of cool -- worn by A-list celebrities like Renee Zellweger, Jessica Alba and Ben Affleck.

Heather Rhoads of San Diego eyewear retailer Solaris Eyewear, LLC sells numerous brands of wholesale sunglasses. She estimates that Aviator shades now account for 20 percent of her sales.

"We've been bringing in a number of different aviator styles and they've been selling quite well," Rhoads said. "Aviators have been becoming pretty popular in the last couple of years -- coming back from when they were popular in the '80s."

Aviator sunglasses feature a classic blocky style with dark lenses that are two to three times the area of an eye socket. First developed in the 1930s to protect pilots' eyes as they were flying, Aviator sunglasses have had widespread pop culture appeal over the decades.

Moviegoers undoubtedly remember Tom Cruise wearing Aviators while playing the role of a hotshot Navy pilot in "Top Gun." Other pop icons like Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney also became known for their affinity for aviator glasses.

Today many fashionistas visit websites like or to see what sort of shades celebrities are wearing.

Many celebs favor the Aviators look now, but will Aviators always be in fashion?

Sunglasses fashion trends tend to last three to five years, said Rhoads, who has a product development team that researches consumer trends. She points out that styles like rhinestone glasses have become less popular in recent years.

Aviators will inevitably fall out of favor at some point but Rhoads doesn't think it will be anytime soon.

"They're probably more popular than any other kind," she said, "so this trend could last longer than others."

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