The material world: Wraparound cool

The Eye Jacket is probably the most technically advanced product you are ever likely to put on the end of your nose. Should a madman bearing a 12-bore shotgun fire at you from 15 metres the lenses will be pitted, but not shattered

The Oakley Eye Jacket may look like just another pair of sunglasses to you or me. But we are mistaken. They are the sunglasses for now, as worn by Andre Agassi, Madonna and Sylvester Stallone. Michael Jordan is rarely seen without his. Of course, the cool factor is high on the agenda for those people who "must have" a pair, but by the time they leave the shop, having parted with pounds 72 for the standard style, or pounds 106 for the Full Metal Jacket, they will be experts on refraction and safe in the knowledge that should a madman bearing a 12-bore shotgun fire at them from 15 metres the lenses of their Eye Jacket will be pitted, but not shattered. The Eye Jacket is probably the most technically advanced product you are ever likely to put on the end of your nose.

Appliance of science

We all know about the potential harm that UV light poses to our eyes and that reflective surfaces, such as the sea or ski slopes, make sporty types particularly vulnerable. All basic Oakley lenses protect the eye against harmful rays, but the Eye Jacket lenses also have an Iridium coating which offers an extra filter to protect the eye. In addition all the lenses are designed to improve optical clarity, reduce refraction and distortion. And to think some twenty and thirtysomethings are wearing them as glorified Alice bands.

Sun in his eyes

Oakley saw the light of day almost by accident. Jim Jannard, its founder, was a keen motorcross rider who found his standard goggles useless at stopping light entering from the side and distorting his vision. This was not an occasional problem, but a constant one. You see, he lived in Irvine, California, and had to travel every day to Los Angeles, on a road that goes from North to South. That meant a whole lot of sun in his eyes. So he invented a perfect semi-circular goggle, which minimised refraction, distortion and glare. They were so effective that soon his motorcross buddies wanted them, too, and, in 1985, the wraparound concept was born. Like all concepts, it had to have key words: Strength, Protection and Clarity. The

sports fraternity were the first to benefit, as Oakley created sunglasses designed to cope with different outdoor environments. They were soon appearing in fashion magazines, and then on the street. A Lifestyle range came next.

Put your name down now

Technicalities aside, the Eye Jacket has reached fashion nirvana. It is an object of desire such that there are waiting lists for them in opticians across the land. Angela Campbell, who owns three outlets in the Manchester area, believes they are the best shades of their type on the market. "Not only do they look good, they stay on the face, don't touch the lashes, and have the best lens quality around. We can't get enough of them." she says. Her Eye Jacket customers include Jason Orange from Take That, and the Manchester United player Paul Ince.

Fingerprint or snake effect, madam?

The Eye Jacket comes in two styles and ten colours. The Full Metal Jacket is completely encased in metal, and comes in shades of matt silver and black. The rest of the range, Cheetah, Fingerprint and Snake effects, are strange but fun, and matt black, ivory bronze, and gold are bestsellers. Trademarks such as "Unobtainium", "O Matter" and "Plutonite" all add to the mystique. The first is the type of rubber which coats the hammer arms, the second the "exclusive stress resistant material" from which the frames are forged, and Plutonite is the coating that stops the madman's bullet. And we thought they looked like simple plastic and rubber

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?