Oakley is one of the most recognisable active sports and lifestyle brands. Since the 1980s, the development of cutting-edge technology has been their core value. Most noticeably, the Prizm high definition sunglass lenses have set new industry standards.
Oakley burst onto the scene when they sponsored Greg Lemonde for the 1985 Tour de France. Lemonde wore the early design of Oakley Blades, which evolved into the iconic Razor Blades. The cycling world was abuzz with people talking about Greg’s new eyewear.
Since their introduction to cycling, the brand has been the go-to choice for sportsmen and women for decades. Surfers, cyclists, golfers, snow sports athletes, and many more, choose Oakley not only for sunglasses but for their range of fashion and accessories.
The Oakley logo is a symbol of durability and ruggedness. They are the go-to choice of US Military and Police personnel, and more recently, became the PPE and eye protection supplier of the World Surf League.
Oakley is a brand for the discerning consumer aware of trends but not driven by them. If you are looking for unwavering quality and style, it’s hard to look past their fantastic products.
In 1975, James (“Jim”) Jannard, an avid motocross fan, wanted to increase the grips on motocross bikes. At the time motocross handles were covered with plastic which became slippery, especially when wet or muddy. Looking to solve this problem Jannard created a unique rubber material he coined Unobtainium in the back of his trunk.
Important milestones in the company’s history
1996 – Oakley had a pricing dispute with Italian company Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear manufacturers and retailers. Luxottica stopped carrying Oakley’s products in their stores, including Sunglass Hut, and Oakley’s stock market value declined 33%.
2001 – Oakley bought Iacon, Inc., operator of mall-based sunglasses stores Sunglass Designs, Sporting Eyes, and Occhiali da Sole.
2004 – Starting in 2004, Jannard bought large quantities of Oakley stock: $2 million in 2004, $16 million in 2005, and $4.6 million in early 2006, bringing his personal stake in the company to 63%. Oakley signed a four-year agreement to manufacture eyewear designed by themselves and Fox Racing in September 2004.
2006 – Oakley acquired the Oliver Peoples group, a manufacturer of high-end fashion branded eyewear (under the Oliver Peoples, Mosley Tribes, and Paul Smith brands) for $55.7m, and Optical Shop of Aspen, a luxury eyewear retailer with fourteen stores.
June 21st 2007 – Luxottica announced a plan to purchase Oakley in a cash deal worth $2.1 billion, paying a 16% premium over the extant share price. The deal was completed on November 15, 2007, making Oakley part of a portfolio that includes brands such as Ray-Ban, Persol, and Vogue. After selling Oakley Inc. to Italian Eyeware company Luxottica Group in 2007, founder James Jannard went on to found Red Digital Cinema. Luxottica’s acquisition of Oakley has been criticised as potential violation of Antitrust laws.
August 2013 – Oakley sold its REVO brand to Sequential Brands for $20m.
September 2015 – Oakley shutdown the website of its outlet arm Oakley Vault, while continuing its brick and mortar retail presence of the brand.
Company mission and vision
Provide products that are superior in quality, safety and affordability in a sustainable manner.
Be a leader in the race toward sustainability in the eyewear industry.
Oakley headquarters is located in Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, California, United States.
Do they have a foundation / non-for-profit arm?
Oakley does not have a foundation or non-profit arm.
Which products do they specialize in?
Oakley, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures sports performance equipment and lifestyle pieces including sunglasses, sports visors, ski/snowboard goggles, watches, apparel, backpacks, shoes, optical frames, and other accessories.
In the News
Any mainstream news articles referencing the brand?
Any interesting quotes from executives or ambassadors?
Solve problems with invention and wrap those inventions in art.
I’ve been discouraged by everything I’ve tried to do. And being discouraged inspires me.
My life path has been a blessing and a great learning experience. Skateboarding is my passion and I don’t see that changing. When I’m not skating, I love to surf. I’m open to the new experiences and opportunities.
Circumstances change in every moment of every race.
SNOW: Jamie Anderson, Sage Kotsenburg, Chloe Kim, Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, Red Gerard, Jake Canter, Judd Henkes, Hailey Langland, Craig McMorris, Sebastien Toutant, sean Pettit, Torstein Horgmo, Rene Rinnekangas, Victor De Le Rue, Carlos Garcia-Knight, Scotty James, Valentino Guseli, Charles Reid, Ayumu Hirano, Yuki Kadono, Haruna Matsumoto, Reira Iwabuchi, Eero Ettala
BMX: Dennis Enarson, Chase Hawk, Mike “Hucker” Clark, Caroline Buchanan, Kai Sakakibara, Saya Sakakibara, Rim Nakamura
GOLF: Andrew Putnam, Richy Werenski, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Hideki Matsuyama, Ai Miyazato, Erika Hara
MOTORSPORTS: Valentino Rossi, Eli Tomac, Marc Marquez, Jeffrey Herlings, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Kurt Busch, clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Jess Pettis, Cole Thompson, Maverick Vinales, Franco Morbidelli, Toby Price, Takaaki Nakagami, Ben Watson, Adrien Van Beveren
MTB: Nino Schurter, Greg Minaar, kate Courtney, Cam Zink, Kyle Strait, Luca Shaw, Kurt Sorge, Jackson Goldstone, Jenny Rissveds, Simon Andreassen, Myriam Nicole, Danny Hart, Rachel Atherton, Manuel Fumic, Valentina HöLl, Amaury Pierron, Mattias Fluckinger, Gee Atherton, Marco Fontana, Troy Brosnan, Kohei Yamamoto, Henrique Avancini
CYCLING: Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team, Mark Cavendish, Team INEOS, Canyon/Sram, Chas Christiansen
MULTISPORTS: Jan Frodeno, Holly Lawrence, Alessandro Fabian, Henri Schoeman, Jake Birtwhistle, Sebastian Kienle, Richard Murray, Lionel Sanders, Alistair, Brownlee, Tim Don, Josh Amberger, Lucy Charles, Ashleigh Gentle, Mirinda Carfrae, sarah Crowley, Igor Armorelli, Ryan Sandes, Ben Hoffman, Yuichi Hosoda, Ryosuke Yamamoto, Yuko Takahashi, Takumi Hojo
BASEBALL: Daniel Norris
SKATE: Ryan Sheckler, Alex Sorgente, Ronaldo Gomes (Ronny Gomes)