Oakley Throws A Birthday Bash – Turns 40

Jim Jannard started Oakley in 1975 by making a motorcycle handlebar grip and went on to invent a new category of eyewear for sports. The rest is history. Forty years of history that Oakley celebrated last night in Los Angeles.

We were kinda bummed that none of the paparazzi were interested in the Mountain Bike Action wrecking crew. They were waiting for Shawn White, Lindsey Vonn and Juan Pablo Montoya (who drove Brian Lopes to the party in a drifting Telsa).

The party was held in a film studio with a light show that was over the top. You wouldn’t expect less from Oakley.

The man, the myth, the legend, Jim Jannard.

This is not a spy shot of a 2015 Oakley product. Maybe a 2020 product.

From left, Andy Hampsten, the only American to ever win the Giro d’ Italia who now leads Cinghiale cycling tours, Mike “Too Tall” Bell, former motocross star and now Oakley employee, Johnny “O’Show” O’Mara, another motocross legend and Mr. Greg LeMond, the only American to win the Tour de France.

Party time.

Oakley’s current CEO, Colin Baden, told a story about a product introduction years ago when he and the design crew were still carving away on a prototype in the backseat of the car on the way to the product announcement. And, they pulled it off. We were hoping for the same, but no new product was popped on the audience. There were hints of future products with interactive lenses and glasses that would custom fit every user, but checking all the cars in the parking lot, we couldn’t find any designers working on prototypes. Guess that will be another party.



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