Foster Grant, or FosterGrant, is an American brand of eyewear founded by Sam Foster in 1919. The Foster Grant brand is a subsidiary company of FGX International, a consumer goods wholesaler with headquarters in Smithfield, Rhode Island, which has been owned by Essilor since 2010.
|Subsidiary of FGX International|
|Products||Eyewear and sunglasses|
In the 1850s, celluloid was invented as a substitute for substances such as ivory and tortoiseshell. One major use for the new substance was in the production of hair combs, and this was Foster's first major product.
Foster Grant's original production line was ladies' hair accessories; over the company's lifetime they have also produced other plastic materials including heart-lung pumps.
In 1931, Foster Grant purchased the first plastics injection molding machine to be imported from Europe, however the machine arrived in non-working condition. Grant and a team of experts worked for several years to make the machine functional and reliable.
In the 1920s, Hollywood actresses (featured on celluloid film) started wearing shorter hair styles. These became popular causing a collapse in the market for combs, and threatening Foster Grant. However, the development of injection molding technology made it possible to produce mass market celluloid sunglasses. Sales rapidly increased with Hollywood stars featuring in advertising campaigns, and the company became a major player in the sunglasses industry.
Foster Grant's 1960s and 1970s sunglasses ad campaign "Who's that behind those Foster Grants?", included celebrities Peter Sellers, Louis Jourdan, Carroll Baker, Claudia Cardinale, Elke Sommer, Anita Ekberg, Vittorio Gassman, Anthony Quinn, Mia Farrow, Robert Goulet, Julie Christie, Woody Allen, OJ Simpson, Raquel Welch, Terence Stamp, Clayton Moore, and Vanessa Redgrave.
Beginning in January 2009, Raquel Welch was the star of a national television advertising campaign for the Foster Grant Reading Glasses collection. FGX International spent over $12 million on television advertising in 2009. The ads were created by Ferrara & Co. of Princeton, New Jersey and produced by television director Bob Giraldi.
- FGX International expansion approved, Gerry Goldstein, Valley Breeze & Observer, 2 January 2013]
- Gross, Daniel A. (2015). "Plastic Town". Distillations Magazine. 1 (3): 26–33. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Foster Grant Collection, Syracuse University
- Foster Grant • History (archived 2003)