This is a piece I wrote to another media-outlet, regarding Luxottica, and sunglasses in general. It is pretty much 'proper sunglasses 101', and I have copied it here:
Well done, Luxottica, for wrecking what used to be a trusted brand. Obviously, when you bought this brand, there was no heritage covenant signed, to ensure the integrity of the brand, and so, we now have this proliferation of cheap, nasty plastic lenses masquerading under the once-respectable Ray Ban name.
Some 75% of so-called Ray Ban 'sunglasses' now, are not equipped with borosilicate glass lenses. Instead, the majority of this brand's wares have cheap, acetate plastic lenses which provide little, if any, protection from UVB/Blue Light.
Twenty-two years ago, the Ray Ban brand, in the USA, then not owned by Luxottica, introduced a series of poster adverts, proclaiming, rightly, the optical superiority of Ray Ban lenses. In the advert, two lenses were juxtaposed. The one on the left - the Ray Ban - passed every test in a straight-lines reflection test (cross-hatch squares, with no elipses). This showed the craftsmanship of zero-distortion Ray Ban lenses, even with steep base-curve aviator lenses, right to the frame-beveling.
The other lense featured in the advert was a 'how not to make a lense' lens: it had wavy lines reflections (not unlike looking at tiling at the bottom of a swimming pool on a windy day), indicating the tell-tale bowing and distortion of a badly-made, cheap lens.
This advert, over two decades ago, showed the superiority of Ray Ban, optically. It gave the impression that opthalmologists would be proud to recommend such glasses to customers, for general wear, and in UV-intense environments.
Just over twenty years-on, and the Ray Ban name has been sold down the river by a buch of craven idiots at Luxottica, with the collusion of a young, receptive audience who are clueless about what constitutes a good pair of sunglasses.
Every single pair of the 'new' plastic-lensed Ray Bans I have looked at suffered from bowing and distortion to a greater or lesser degree. This means that the majority of Ray Ban 'sunglasses' today constitute the cheap, plastic, inferior trash which Ray Ban adverts of 1985 so rightly castigated. Those adverts implied that, if one purchased such cheap, distorted lenses, then one was being defrauded, and ripped-off, and ill-serving their eyesight by such a purchase. So, doesn't the new developments in Ray Ban lenses mean that you, Luxottica, are guilty of all these things?
Luxottica love these plastic lenses: they're profitable in the extreme, because they're made in cheap contract-toy-factories. No one is going to convince me that the protective properties of the Glass Ray Ban RB3027 or RB3025, are shared by the Paris Hilton 'bug' Ray Bans featured in the new, flashy rayban.com website. You will notice that not in the website, nor in the catalogue given to optical store-outlets by Luxottica, will you find a definitive statement about the composition of the lenses, beside the photos of the 'sunglasses' featured. Luxottica Oakley play this game, too, with a made-up name for polycarbonate and plastic lenses, which conceals the provenance of the materials-used.
And the advertising strapline for the past two years, promoting this junk? 'Ray Ban, Genuine since 1937'.
This is advertising fraud, and it is consumer fraud; if the latter, gullible lemmings that most of them sadly are, could discern the difference between well-made glass lenses (such as Serengeti Sedona, Maui Jim Glass, or Oliver Peoples VFX-glass), and rubbish such as Luxottica is now promoting, under the once-admirable Ray Ban moniker.
Shame on you, Luxottica.
The ocular chic of the new frame styles cannot hide the trash-lenses they encircle.
As I walked down a very sunny Oxford Street in London, last week, I could see people in designer 'sunglasses' such as Tom Ford, Miu Miu, over-rated distorted Oakley Gascans...and the new Ray Bans, squinting behind their lenses. These people paid in excess of Â£150 each a pair for these pieces of junk...and they're SQUINTING? I had no such visual discomfort in my Serengetis.
Again, shame on you, Luxottica, I fully expect your marketing putzes to wreck the Persol brand, yet, with plastic lenses. Go on, do it. You did it to Ray Ban, so why stop there?