Year 1975, American inventor and scientist Jim Jennard invented unique rubber mixture called unobtainium. As a motocross enthusiast he wanted to solve long term problem – how to improve the grab between drivers and handles. By that time all the handles were covered with regular plastic which as we can imagine was extremely slippery, especially when it was rainy and wet conditions.
“The Oakley Grip”, this is how Jim Jennard started calling his invention, laid the ground for the motorcycling and regular cycling handles as today we take so obviously.
But as Jim “The Mad-scientist” Jennard had the intention to conquer the world and just some handles won’t make much of revolution, then he had to think bigger!
In 1980, Oakley came out with first motocross goggles – O-Frames. Instantly, O-frame made big buzzing in motocross world, because Jennard hit the jackpot with putting the Oakley logo on the strap. Oakley was the first ones who did it and because of this marketing stunt the logo got instant recognition. Moreover, O-frame got riders sympathy as well, because by that time nobody even would have dreamed about clear and wide field of view.
In 1983 released ski-goggles were already logical next step.
One year later came to the market with first sports-performance eyewear which was inspired by goggles – Oakley Factory Pilot Eyeshades. After Greg LeMond won Tour de France as the first non-European cyclist and wearing Eyeshades during the race the revolution was made in sport-performance eyewear.
1985 came to the market with first lifestyle sunglasses – Frogskins which are still one of the bestsellers. Good things never die!
Since then, Oakley has become the inventor and pioneer in sports-performance equipment and lifestyle pices.
2007 sold Jim Jennard his life work with 2.1 billion to Luxottica which is the world largest eyewear manufacture and retailer.