Oakley began it’s meteoric accent as a sports and lifestyle company by developing a motorcycle grip of soft rubber that was comfortable in all conditions. Still largely focused on the motorcross market, the next project the Southern California based company would tackle was O Frame MX Goggle, which combined excellent peripheral vision, a optimized low profile fit, and razor sharp clarity, to raise the bar for performance in the early 1980s.
Where the story becomes relevant to cycling is in 1984, when founder Jim Jannard helped reinvent performance eyewear with the iconic Eyeshades. Over the top in appearance, the glasses utilized a similar lens shape to the O Frame goggles, and offered many of the same optical advantages.
To market the outlandish design, the company reached out to Greg LeMond.While cycling at this point was still very much rooted in traditions, Greg had always been one to buck trends, and the”garish” sunglasses worn by the American drew frowns from the European establishment. Yet, LeMond kept winning on cycling’s biggest stages, and soon everyone wanted a pair of Eyeshades.
To celebrate that wonderful history and the start of the Tour, Oakley is launching three new collections: Heritage Lifestyle, Heritage Sport Performance, and Tour De France.
We first got a sneak peak at these new collections when we visited Oakley earlier this year for a Factory Tour.
The Heritage Lifestyle collection is a limited release of their vintage collection, and includes the Eyeshade, Frogskins, and Razorblades. Each model will be available in three different color schemes, including this Seafoam Green.
The Heritage Sport Performance pairs Oakley’s modern performance eyewear with a svelte stripe graphic, that incorporates the the colors of the original eyewear.
The Tour de France collection is limited to three models – two performance options, and the legendary Eyeshade. Each features a subtle pinstripe graphic, that incorporates the colors of the tours three most important jerseys.
The Eyeshades will set you back $200, the Racing Jacket (bottom left) retail for $250, and the Radarlock Path are $330. They’re available now at the Oakley Online Store.
Bonus: Original Design Sketches
Just for kicks, Oakley also sent along some of the original design sketches. This image was the blueprint for the Flak Jacket.
We’re still waiting to hear back on all the pricing details, but head over to Oakley to learn more.