Before becoming an action-flick hero in movies such as Top Gun and Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise was a goofy teenager on Risky Business.
And one of the key custom items in that film? You guessed it, a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses. Cruise even sported them on the movie’s official poster.
Clearly, he held the brand close to his heart, as he ended up saving it from bankruptcy. No, really. Cruise basically rescued Ray-Bans, which were all the rage in the 1980s. (Risky Business came out in 1983.)
Later, though, the brand was on the brink of bankruptcy. By 1994 or so, they were considered so five minutes ago. That is, to everyone but Cruise.
Tom Cruise in Risky Business
He was still wearing them in 2013 when attending the premiere of Star Trek: Into Darkness, which could be viewed in 3-D. So reporters asked if they were indeed 3-D glasses.
“No, man,” Cruised responded. “These are Ray-Bans.” With that, it seems, Cruise helped to re-create interest in the sunglasses, as sales soon skyrocketed. They gave been steady since — and Cruise still sports them frequently when out and about.
Ray-Ban is an American-Italian company that was founded in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb. It is mostly known for its Wayfarer and Aviator lines. But after falling on some hard times, it was sold to Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica Group for a reported $640 million in 1999.
They are no longer considered fashionable. Those days are long gone. But Cruise does his part to bring them to the forefront, 40 years after he helped to make them famous. So it’s safe to say that Rya-Ban has Cruise to thank for rapidly approaching its 100 birthday.
Now, all we really need is a Risky Business remake, perhaps with Cruise, wearing Ray-Bans, in the role of the father.