seventy-five shades of grey

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 75 years since Polaroid has been making its high-tech polarized sunglasses, but a spectacular anniversary event on Tuesday night was a fitting reminder of the heritage and longevity of this innovative brand.

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, whose collection includes a 1946 pair of Polaroid shades, welcomed one thousand guests from around the world, including Leigh Lezark, Whitney Port, Adam Driver and Carson Kressley. Guests were treated to tunes by New York based DJ trio The Misshapes and invited to experience the polarized lens through an interactive installation.

Invented by Dr Edwin Land in 1929, Polaroid was the world’s earliest synthetic polarizer. Land went on to sell his first pair of sunglasses in 1935 and the Polaroid brand was established two years later. The innovative glare-free technology was quickly adopted by the airforce and army as the lens of choice for their pilots and tank crew. As Polaroid’s technology evolved, from night driving glasses to 3-D lenses for the IMAX, so did its style credentials. The I Polaroid frames were the defining eyewear style of the 1960s and the aviator shades a best seller in the 1970s. Collaborations with fashion icons and brands such as Mary Quant, Benetton and Disney followed. Today, all polarized eyewear is based on the technology launched by Dr Land back in the 1930s.

Seventy-five years on, Polaroid continues to evolve, as the new Polaroid Plus collection demonstrates. As well as a paired back, urban style, each of the ten designs feature the new Polaroid UltraSightTM Plus lenses, which are glue-free to ensure better vision, protection and comfort. The collection is produced by the Safilo Group, one of the world’s leading eyewear manufacturers and distributors.

The Polaroid Plus collection will be available from the Spring. For more information, visit

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