Oakley, Inc. is an American company headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, which is an autonomous subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica. The company designs, develops and manufactures sports performance equipment and lifestyle pieces including sunglasses, safety glasses, eyeglasses, sports visors, ski/snowboard goggles, watches, apparel, backpacks, shoes, optical frames, and other accessories. Most items are designed in house at their head office, but some countries hold exclusive designs relevant to their market. Oakley currently holds more than 600 patents for eyewear, materials, and performance gear.[4][5]

Oakley, Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1975; 49 years ago (1975)
FounderJim Jannard
Key people
Jim Jannard: Chairman[1]
SubsidiariesESS (Eye Safety Systems)[2]
Oliver Peoples[3]

History edit

Oakley was started by Jim Jannard in 1975 in his garage with an initial investment of $300. The name "Oakley" came from Jim's English Setter, "Oakley Anne". Jannard began by selling what he called 'The Oakley Grip' out of the back of his car at motocross events. His motorcycle grips were unlike other grips available at the time. The material is still used to make the earsocks on Oakley glasses, and many of the nose pieces and now the bands of their watches. Oakley went on to produce number plates, gloves, grips, elbow guards, chin guards, and goggles for the BMX and motocross communities.[6]

In 1980, Jannard released a pair of goggles called the O-Frame. With the 'Oakley' logo present on the strap, the brand garnered increasing recognition and prominence throughout the sports industry.[7] In 1983, Oakley began selling ski goggles.[8]

The first Oakley sunglasses, Factory Pilot Eyeshades, were sport-oriented, resembling goggles and were released in 1984. These were followed in 1985 by the Oakley Frogskin, a casual sunglass style that was made in Japan.[6]

The company went public in 1995, raising $230 million.[9]

In early 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%.[10][11]

In 2001, Oakley bought Iacon, Inc., operator of mall-based sunglasses stores Sunglass Designs, Sporting Eyes, and Occhiali da Sole.[12]

Oakley signed a four-year agreement to manufacture eyewear designed by themselves and Fox Racing in September 2004.[13]

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%.[14]

In 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,[3] and Optical Shop of Aspen, a luxury eyewear retailer with fourteen stores.[15] Later in 2006, Oakley acquired Eye Safety Systems, Inc. (ESS), another major manufacturer of tactical eye protection, for US$110m.[2]

A mall shop Oakley at the SM City Pampanga in the Philippines

On June 21, 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.[16] The deal was completed on November 15, 2007, making Oakley part of a portfolio that includes brands such as Ray-Ban, Persol, and Vogue.[17][18] After the sale, founder James Jannard went on to found Red Digital Cinema. Luxottica's acquisition of Oakley was criticized as a potential violation of antitrust laws. This move also moved Oakley's manufacturing out of the US and its frames and many portions of its sunglasses products began to be produced in China.

During the preparations for the ultimately successful rescue of thirty-three miners trapped for ten weeks in a Chilean mine in October 2010, a journalist covering the story contacted Oakley about donating sunglasses to the rescue effort, aware that the miners would need eye protection after having spent weeks in darkness. Oakley donated 35 pairs of its Radar sports glasses, fitted with specially selected tints.[19]

A pair of Oakley sunglasses

Oakley sponsored members of the US Olympic Team in 2012, and that same year, extended the partnership through 2020.[20][21]

In August 2013, Oakley sold its REVO brand to Sequential Brands for $20m.[22][23][24] In November 2013, Oakley signed a multi-year deal with Scuderia Ferrari.[25]

In September 2015, Oakley shut down the website of its outlet arm Oakley Vault, while continuing its brick and mortar retail presence of the brand. [26][27]

In March 2021, Aston Martin F1 Team announced a partnership with Oakley.[28]

Design edit

Most of Oakley's technological designs, fashion pieces, gear, etc. were developed with extensive athlete input and testing in the field – including extreme conditions. Oakley also maintains US Standard Issue, which provides U.S. military and law enforcement eye protection.[29] Oakley M Frame sunglasses are included as part of the U.S. Army's Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL), and have been assigned a National Stock Number (NSN) for ordering through military supply channels.[30] The company has also built at least one 'golf hovercraft', demonstrated as an all terrain replacement for conventional golf carts. This hovercraft was created for marketing purposes, in partnership with the professional golfer, Bubba Watson.[31] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakley released the MSK3 mask, which featured an innovative design to prevent eyewear fogging.[32][33]

References edit

  1. ^ "Oakley Profile". Investor.oakley.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Oakley Agrees to Acquire Eye Safety Systems, Inc". Globe Newswire. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 29 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Oakley Acquires Oliver Peoples - a Leading Fashion Eyewear Brand NYSE:OO". Globenewswire.com. 8 February 2006. Archived from the original on 22 January 2022. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  4. ^ "Oakley Company Profile". Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  5. ^ "Oakley, Inc". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  6. ^ a b Caldwell, Michael (11 July 2014). The Unknown Billionaires: The life stories of 50 self-made men and women. eBookPartnership.com. pp. 84–89. ISBN 978-0-9784620-8-6.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Oakley History". Oakley.com. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Oakley Inc". Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Leibowitz, Ed (16 March 1997). "LA Times: A Trip to Planet Oakley". LA Times. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  10. ^ "Sticker shock: Why are glasses so expensive?". 60 Minutes. CBS News. October 7, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  11. ^ "History of Oakley, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  12. ^ "Oakley to buy Iacon a sunglasses retail chain". Deseret News. 2001-09-24. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  13. ^ "Fox Racing Signs Sunglasses Deal With Oakley." Bicycle Retailer. September 7, 2004 April, 2012
  14. ^ Summers, Graham (June 27, 2007). "Why the Oakley Buyout Was No Surprise". S&A Digest.
  15. ^ "Oakley buys US luxury chain Optical Shop of Aspen". Optician Online. 2006-03-15. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  16. ^ "Luxottica's Shade-less Deal With Oakley". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  17. ^ "Luxottica acquires rival Oakley in US$2.1 billion deal; creates global eyewear superforce". TheMoodieReport.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  18. ^ Schweikart, Larry; Pierson Doti, Lynne (2009). American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-8144-1412-5.
  19. ^ "Sports Sunglasses Can Aid Chilean Miners' Transition". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  20. ^ "Oakley and Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Reveal "Beyond Reason" Installation". Marketing Weekly News. July 7, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014.
  21. ^ "Oakley and United States Olympic Committee Extend Partnership Beyond London 2012". www.businesswire.com. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  22. ^ Kari Hamanaka. "Oakley Sells REVO Brand for $20M | Orange County Business Journal". Ocbj.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  23. ^ Young, Vicki M. (5 August 2013). "Sequential Buys Revo Brand From Oakley Inc". WWD. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  24. ^ "Sequential Brands Group Announces Acquisition of the REVO Brand". sequentialbrandsgroup.com. Sequential Brands Group. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  25. ^ Cushnan, David (2013-11-18). "Oakley team up with Ferrari for 'multi-year' period". SportsPro. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  26. ^ "Oakley Vault online to close..." Oakley Forum. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  27. ^ "Oakley Vault closed for good?". Oakley Forum. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  28. ^ "Oakley and Aston Martin F1 Team sign a new partnership deal". Paddock Magazine. March 25, 2021.
  29. ^ "Oakley Standard Issue (SI) - The Ultimate Guide". Oakley Reviews, Guides, and Tips. 2020-10-20. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  30. ^ Transforming the defense industrial base a roadmap. DIANE Publishing. 2003. pp. 27–30. ISBN 978-1-4289-8277-2.
  31. ^ Manfred, Tony. "Bubba Watson's One-Of-A-Kind Hovercraft Golf Cart Cost $20,000". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  32. ^ "Oakley MSK3 Is The Nicest Mask I've Ever Seen - Review". Oakley Reviews, Guides, and Tips. 2021-01-19. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  33. ^ "Oakley MSK3 - Black - AOO0036AC__000001 | Oakley US Store". Oakley.com. Retrieved 2021-04-07.

External links edit