Tom Cruise is one of the top actors in Hollywood. The star who began his acting career in Hollywood with Taps in 1981 (he had a cameo in Endless Love also 1981) can still give younger actors a run for their money with action-packed films like Top Gun and Mission: Impossible. Today, as the Golden Globes winner turns 60 (can you believe that!), we tell you of the time he helped save a brand.
Are you wondering which brand are we talking about? Well, it’s the American-Italian brand of luxury sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb – Ray-Ban. How could an actor – who was at that time just starting in Hollywood, help a brand that was decades older? Well, scroll down to know it all.
While Tom Cruise may now be known for giving action-packed performances in high-octave films like the Top Gun and Mission Impossible franchises, one of his most iconic scenes comes from his 1983 film Risky Business. In it, we see Cruise dance around the house in his underwear to Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’. While many think he also wore shades in this scene, it’s untrue – but he sported Ray-Ban’s sunglasses during the rest of the film as well as its posters.
As reported by MentalFloss, at a time when the Ray-Ban brand was selling just around 200,000 pairs annually (this boosted from 18,000 after GQ used it for one of their features) Cruise sporting the Wayfarers in 1983’s hit Risky Business saw the eyewear’s sales increased by roughly 50 percent (to around 360,000 pairs) in 1983. By 1988, Bausch + Lomb was selling 3 to 4 million Wayfarers a year. This was because moviegoers wanted to wear what Cruise was wearing in the film.
But that wasn’t the only time Tom Cruise wore Ray-Ban sunglasses and helped the brand sell millions of pairs. In 1986, Cruise’s Top Gun character Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell donned Ray-Ban’s aviators throughout the film. This was once more loved by the audiences and they headed to stores to pick up their pairs of aviators too. This want of the audience to emulate Tom’s look saw sales going up around 40 percent. By 1988, the brand was making around 4.5 million aviators as orders for the same kept coming in.
Isn’t that sweet!
While the Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Aviators may fall in and out of style on a regular basis, Cruise still loves them. In 2013, when the star was greeted by journalists at the premiere of Star Trek: Into Darkness and asked if his sleek dark sunglasses were 3-D glasses for the film, the actor said, “No, man. These are Ray-Bans.”
Well, we bet Tom Cruise’s love for Ray-Ban glasses is still strong as ever.
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