Random Fun Facts for Fans of Sunglasses

Elton John Has 250,000 Pairs

Designers at Olympic Eyewear work day in and day out to ensure their retail customers have the finest selection of wholesale designer sunglasses to choose from. They know that sunglasses are an iconic part of American fashion, and they are committed to producing the styles people want.

Olympic Eyewear is not alone. There are dozens of different big-name brands along with hundreds of lesser-known names selling sunglasses in the U.S. Ever since Hollywood stars began wearing sunglasses in the 1920s, they have been a big hit among consumers.

How much do you know about sunglasses? Here are a few random fun facts a lot of people don’t know:

Elton John Has 250,000 Pairs

British pop musician Sir Elton John told the Daily Mail in 2015 that he has 250,000 pairs of sunglasses. While that would seem a bit excessive to most of us, Sir Elton has always been known as someone who adores clothing and accessories. In fact, the only performer more flamboyant was the late Liberace, another musician who thought nothing of adorning himself with ostentatious eyewear.

The Story Behind ‘Cheap Sunglasses’

Aviators Were Originally for the Military

Aviator sunglasses trace their history back to the U.S. military in the 1930s. The military commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create the glasses to help pilots see better. The rest, as they say, is history.

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The Story Behind ‘Cheap Sunglasses’

ZZ Top’s 1980s hit ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ was written when the band was still unknown and traveling to gigs in their car. Bassist Dusty Hill explained in a 1985 interview the song was inspired by the cardboard displays of cheap sunglasses they saw in every gas station on the road. If you were older than 16 back then, you know exactly what Hill was referring to.

Elvis Sunglasses Are Expensive

Elvis Sunglasses Are Expensive

eBay reported back in 2016 that the most expensive pair of sunglasses sold on their site was apparently Elvis Presley’s Madison Square Garden shades. They went for $250,000.

Sunglasses Go Quickly

eBay also reported that someone loses, breaks, or sits on a pair of sunglasses every 14 minutes, in the U.S. alone. Doing some simple math reveals that more than 6,000 pairs fail every single day. It’s no wonder millions of pairs of sunglasses are sold around the world every single year.

Sunglasses Were Big in The Matrix

One last fun fact from eBay: most of the characters in the movie The Matrix wore sunglasses. Even more interesting is the fact that all the good guys wore round frames while the bad guys wore rectangles. As a side note, sunglasses have played a significant role in a lengthy list of feature films from Risky Business to Men in Black.

sunglasses with cool man nd lady

Sunglasses Are Big in Music

In addition to ZZ Top’s ‘Cheap Sunglasses’, there are lots of other popular songs that either feature sunglasses as the main topic or at least mention them. For example, consider Corey Hart’s 1980s hit ‘Sunglasses at Night’ or the Dean Martin classic ‘Shades’. Other great sunglasses songs include ‘Boys of Summer’ (Don Henley), ‘Outlaw Blues’ (Bob Dylan), ‘Sunglasses’ (Tracey Ullman), and ‘Loom’ (Ani DiFranco).

The Dominance of Luxottica

Luxottica, an Italian eyewear manufacturer, is the single largest producer of designer frames. They own a long list of brands including Ray-Ban and Oakley. There are still plenty of smaller competitors like Utah-based Olympic Eyewear.


The world of sunglasses certainly is an interesting one if you’re willing to peel back the veneer and look inside. Who knew at the turn of the 20th century that something as simple as eye protection would become a multi-billion-dollar industry?


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