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Aviators set to take-off again: ‘Top Gun 2’ rumours

The 1986 film franchise, that first popularised the Ray-Ban Aviator 3025, is on its way back, bringing its iconic style along with it.

Hollywood megastar, Tom Cruise is heavily rumoured to be reprising his lead-role in the long-awaited sequel to ‘Top Gun’.

Rumour has it that Cruise’s character Maverick will, this time around, be a test pilot for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This theory was, recently, backed up by the program manager of Lockheed Martin, Tom Burbage, during National Aeronautics Association lunch event. Burbage intimated that the start of filming, at the aerospace company’s base, was imminent.

It’s interesting to note that, in the two-and-a-half decades since the original ‘Top Gun’ was released, un-manned crafts have taken over the world of warfare. So much so, that the F-35 may well be the last piloted fighter aircraft to be made in the Western world. The choice to feature the West’s last manned fighter in the movie sequel could truly capture a moment in time.

Nowadays, a drone pilot is said to see more action in a week than a traditional fighter pilot does in a month. Entire squadrons of US military fighter pilots have made the transition from using manned aircraft to using, the safer, remote-controlled drones. Many of the best test pilots now graduate already armed with extensive drone experience.  The classic F-14 Tomcats, flown by Maverick and Iceman in the original movie, were retired from operational service in 2006.

The ‘Top Gun’ crew’s real life counterparts, the Naval Air Forces, have begun testing the futuristic X-47B drone, which is likely to end up flying alongside the last of the manned fighter jets. It’s possible that such drones will be a feature of ‘Top Gun 2’, when it hits the silver screen. Indeed, if it’s to be grounded in reality, the movie will need to throw light on the challenges faced by modern fighter pilots. In the age of the drone, writers Christopher McQuarrie and Peter Craig must find a balance between the robotic nature of modern warfare and the glamourous dog-fighting of the original film.

Meanwhile, unlike manned fighter planes, Aviator shades are irreplaceable.

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Expert Tips: More advice on spotting fake sunglasses

We received a great response to July 18th’s blog, a guide to identifying counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses, which can be found here.

Many people contacted us to ask for some further, more general, information on fake eyewear. With that in mind, our industry experts have outlined a few extra tell-tale signs to look out for, in a potential pair of fakes…

Be wary of websites with Far Eastern connections, particularly connections of the clandestine kind. Fake Western fashion goods are beginning to flood the Chinese and Japanese markets. In some Eastern circles, wearing fake goods is considered to be an acceptable rite of passage into legitimate designer brand buying.

One way to check the legitimacy of a site’s purported geographic location is to run a domain name search. If a site that presents itself as a Western site is registered to a Chinese organisation, you may have a bootlegger on your hands. Why not try running a WhoIs search using

At this juncture, it should be added that there are legitimate dealers in China. However, Far Eastern legal systems are often less well-equipped to eliminate fraud than their Anglo-American equivalents.

Customers should apply the same kind of wariness when buying on eBay – although it can be tricky to accurately ascertain which eBayers are trustworthy. Checking a product description for basic English errors can often be a useful tactic.

Also, typically, if an eBayer goes to excessive length to tell you that their item is “legitimate”, they might just have a guilty conscience.

Wishing you a happy (and safe) shopping spree!

The Sunglasses Direct Team

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Oakley Frogskins: It’s 1984 all over again!

A smash hit with fans of 80s retro, Frogskins are the design that put Oakley sunglasses on the map.

Re-issued for a new era, their vibrant colours have attracted a diverse assortment of celebrity wearers; from Kanye West to Liv Tyler and from Rihanna to Valentino Rossi.

Speaking of Rossi, it’s a little known fact that Oakley’s original products were a form of cutting-edge motorbike handgrip.

In the mid 1970s, founder Jim Jannard created a small-scale “garage brand” and named the company after his pet dog. Jannard’s holistic love of bike-sports meant, however, that it wasn’t long before Oakley made its first steps into eyewear production. The company’s first sport-specific sunglasses were introduced in 1984.

Soon, Oakley had branched out further, producing all-round performance sunglasses. With their, unmistakable, Iridium-finish lenses, Frogskins went on to dominate the late ‘80s eyewear revolution. The kaleidoscopic range captured the imagination of a generation.

Twenty years on, the Oakley Frogskin has been re-issued, with a number of modernisations having been made, increasing the strength and flexibility of the design.

– Made in Japan, the original Frogskins used separate, metal hinges. On the current, Italian, model, the hinges are the integrated into the frame.
– The modern re-vamped Frogskin is constructed from a nylon-based material.
– Frogskins now possess bevelled hinges, rather than the outmoded cyndrical variation.
– Historically, the prominent Oakley logos were simple screen-prints. Today, the glasses feature a raised emblem – designed to combat counterfeiting.
– Contemporary Frogskins also benefit from the modern technical lens geometry that has become a synonymous with the name “Oakley”.

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How to spot fake Ray-Ban sunglasses

Contrary to popular belief, Sunglasses Direct isn’t the only website that sells sunglasses. Our loyal followers may be surprised to learn that there are, actually, one or two alternatives. The majority of these sites are 100% legitimate, just like us. However, there is a growing minority that sell bootleg fashion items, often trading out of Far Eastern locations.

As part of our ongoing commitment to market research, we have spent a lot of time engaging with sunglasses wearers via online channels. One thing that has occurred to us, during this process, is the increasing number of concerned sunglasses buyers that can be found online. Many of these people have been seeking advice on how to spot a fraudulent pair of designer shades. As a response, we decided to put together this (hopefully) helpful, seven-point guide to telling fakes from the real things. We elected to focus on the finer details of one of the most popular brands that we stock – Ray-Ban.

1)      First, take a look at the box that your Ray-Bans came in. A recycling logo should be clearly visible.

2)      All Ray-Bans should carry a semi-permanent sticker. This sticker should outline details of: the serial number, manufacturer, distributor, lens and frame type and the sunglasses’ model number.

3)      On the case, there should be a gold, engraved logo which reads “Luxottica”. If this logo is painted, transferred or missing, you could have a knock-off pair of Ray-Bans on your hands.

4)      Hold up your Ray-Bans. Check the engraved logo (an interlocking “RB”) under the nose-piece. When holding the glasses the right way up, this engraving should be upside down.

5)      Check the right eye lens for the brand logo engraving. If it can be found above the hinge, the glasses should be legitimate.

6)      Inspect the rubber quality of the earpieces, frames and any other rubber parts. Good quality rubber will have an, almost, chalky feel to its surface.

7)      Consider the quality of the authenticity card that came with the glasses. It should be made from a high-standard material. The text on the card should be completely free of any spelling and grammar errors. The ink, itself, should be impossible to smudge. Try testing the ink with a wet finger.

With this being said, there is no foolproof formula for judging whether or not a fashion item is the Real McCoy. The techniques of organised criminals are becoming more advanced, as technology continues to develop. As such, it’s vital for people who buy sunglasses online to have their wits about them.

If you ever do feel as though you’ve been ripped off, don’t hesitate to take action. You can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Tom Ford Aviator style Sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses are extremely hot property this year and Tom Ford offer a range of quality pilot shades that are sure to grab peoples attention!

First up is the Tom Ford Charles.


One of Tom Ford’s best selling unisex frames, this shape suits everyone! The soft curve of the frame ensures all light is blocked out as well as looking bang on trend!

Tom Ford Peter.


Used in Tom Ford’s advertising campaigns, the Peter has a large frame suitable for both men and women. This model also has the Tom Ford signature cross bridge.

Tom Ford Adrian.


New for 2012, the Adrian has a triple bridge and bar across the top of the frame.

Tom Ford William.


The William replaced the 007 model seen in the Quantum of Solace movie. This smaller aviator model is a great alternative to its larger counterparts.

Tom Ford Burke.


Another new model for 2012, the Burke is an aviator inspired frame but with a twist.

Tom Ford Magnus.


Another take on the aviator, the Magnus has the cross bridge and top bar detailing. This frame has a much softer drop than some of the others.

Tom Ford Silvano.



Silvano is a more traditional aviator frame with the flat front we expect from a pair of pilot sunglasses.

Tom Ford Mathias.


Similar is style to the 007 and William, the Mathias is a double bridged aviator model.

Tom Ford Marko.


The Marko is Mathias’ bigger brother.

Tom Ford Matteo.


Last on our list is the Matteo. With an over-sized plastic aviator frame, the Matteo has another of Tom Fords signature details, the metal aspects on the arms.

Why not view the full range of Tom Ford sunglasses which can be found here.

For more information or to place an order, ring Sunglasses-Direct on 0115 958 9820 today.

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Tom Cruise Wears Ray Ban 3449 Sunglasses at Rock of Ages Premiere


At the recent UK premiere of his new movie ‘Rock of Ages’, Tom Cruise was seen sporting a rather smart alternative to the classic aviator.

This rimless version of the best selling aviator RB 3025 has the same classic shape is but the frame has no metal rim.

The Ray Ban 3449 is available with polarised or non-polarised lenses and in a variety of different colours.

It is a lightweight version of the Ray Ban Aviator with toughened plastic lenses and rimless design. The lenses are extremely strong and 100% UV protecting.