History is full of visionaries who have imagined the impossible, turned it into reality and disrupted the world around them in the process. By embracing radical new visions, ideas and concepts, these disruptors have been the originators of a new way of thinking, doing and being. They are revolutionaries of disruptive technology and design.
Artifact: Oakley Eyeshades
Uncrate.com takes a look into the history of eyeshade and how it created the performance eyewear category.
It started in 1975 when Jim Jannard developed a radically new motorcycle hand grip, known to be one of the most innovative grips ever engineered. The B1-B.
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Artifact: Oakley Eyeshades
If you're like most of us, you were probably introduced to Oakley via their casual Frogskins, or perhaps the M-Frame glasses that seemed ubiquitous among MLB players of the '90s. But the Oakley Eyeshades came first. From his garage in 1980, where he was using a new material called Unobtainium to make motocross grips that actually increased grip when exposed to moisture, Oakley founder Jim Jannard decided to make a radical new motorcross goggle design with a later-patented cylindrical-shaped lens. Next on his list? Sunglasses.
Jannard used the same single-lens design from his goggles for the new shades, along with the Unobtainium technology, guaranteeing a secure fit. The lenses themselves were made from an optically-pure synthetic material called Plutonite that was lightweight, boasted stout impact resistance, and filtered out 100% of all UV. If all that sounds familiar, it's because the company still relies on the material today. The Eyeshades also sported innovations like non-slip hydrophilic nosepieces and adjustable earstems.
Launched in 1984, American cyclist Greg LeMond was one of the first to adopt the new Oakley Eyeshades, a fact made more interesting because most Tour de France cyclists shunned eye protection at the time. Following LeMond's second-place finish in the 1985 tour, the glasses became must-have equipment for a host of other riders, cementing Eyeshades as an icon of sport sunglasses. From there, a stampede of other athletes and weekend warriors joined the Oakley bandwagon.
While you can't buy an original pair of Eyeshades — the ones we photographed live at Oakley HQ, inside the metal briefcase of company historian and former motocross rider Mike Bell — you can now pick up a collectors edition of these historic sunglasses, complete with "2014" inside the frame, improved nose pad constructions and two sets of earstems.
Article courtesy of uncrate.com
It started in 1975 when Jim Jannard developed a radically new motorcycle hand grip, known to be one of the most innovative grips ever engineered. The B1-B. Top pros took notice of the revolutionary design that allowed a high-level adhesion and increased grip with sweat. The grip was born out of Jim’s obsessive drive that “Everything in the world can and will be made better; it’s just a matter of when and by whom”; a mantra engrained in the Oakley culture that has been the driver for unconventional product design and innovation. With a unique tread, shape and hard to source material that came to be known as “Unobtanium," the grip was like nothing on the market. The original grip has since evolved into an essential material found in current Oakley product lines. This pioneering technology is incorporated into Oakley performance eyewear designs to eliminate distraction and improve performance, by allowing increased adhesion with sweat. The B-1B grip did more than change an industry and ignited a heritage of innovation, it started a revolution. Disruptive By Design.
"If you had to say what was the most important Oakley product, it was the hand grip – the first one." - Jim Jannard
Journeymen: A quest to tame the absa cape epic
THE UNTAMED AFRICAN MTB RACE
It’s Saturday morning in early October. The drones of alarm clocks all across South Africa ring out at the most ungodly hour. The sun hasn’t even considered peaking over the Western Cape’s horizon, and won’t for another hour or so.
Hundreds of brave men and women spring out of bed and scurry to collect bottles of fluids, energy bars and gels, strategically laid out the night before. While millions around the world serenely remain cozied under the covers, enjoying a peaceful dream and much needed rest, a courageous army of lycra-clad athletes head out the door for their daily dose of pain and suffering; all in preparation for their big day, over a half-year in the future.
To the outsider, it may appear these riders have a screw or two loose (no pun intended). To the rider trading in his or her wife, husband, children and friends for a tumultuous relationship with a mountain bike, it’s a mission towards accomplishing a goal, it’s fueling an obsession, it’s embarking on a journey; a journey to tame the untamable – the Absa Cape Epic.