oakley hq

Madman & Badman – the essence of Oakley

Nothing sums up the essence of Oakley more so than a seemingly off-the-wall design, and to the uninitiated this might seem like pure fashion frivolity, but you’d be wrong my friend, very wrong.

O fans you’ve heard all this before, but to those fairly new to the brand here’s how things began…

oakley mad science

How Oakley came to life…

Oakley founder Jim Jannard dropped out of pharmacy school in 1975 and started selling motorcycle parts out the back of his Honda Civic. Being technically-minded he offered feedback to the manufacturer on how to improve the parts being sold, but when his suggestions weren’t acted upon he took matters into his own hands. Initially he created custom-shaped grips for handle bars and those quickly caught on; that initial success led on to motorcycle goggle design, which in turn led on to ski goggles and sunglasses.

Initially he created custom-shaped grips for handle bars and those quickly caught on; that initial success led on to motorcycle goggle design, which in turn led on to ski goggles and sunglasses.

The real tipping point for the Oakley brand (affectionately named after Jim’s pet dog) came when American cyclist Greg LeMond adopted his sunglasses and raced in them, placing 2nd in the 1985 Tour de France. Overnight the Oakley brand had landed in the eyes of the general public and the media wanted to know more.



Always innovating

From those early beginnings Oakley has always been a brand dedicated to product development not fashion trends. Emphasis lays with the technological advances they can make, not what’s hot this season; this is why you may look at some designs they launch and think ‘who is going to wear that?’, but super fans, ‘O collectors’, and those who simply admire the high spec tech packed into each fresh design, can’t get enough of these revolutionary products.


From the Oakley ‘over the top’, x-metal range and now the revamped Madman and Badman styles, these daring and different designs are highly sought-after, considered collectors items, and at the top of the performance optics game. To date Oakley has over 600 design patents and there’s no sign that their drive to break boundaries in the sports and eyewear market will slow up any time soon.



“I’m consumed with the concept of Oakley, which to me means giving your most radical effort to making something better. When that thinking comes to sunglasses, sometimes the result will be a pair so outlandish that most people won’t immediately be comfortable with them. To me, that’s OK.” – Jim Janner


Mad science

Oakley’s infamous ‘concept center’ in California where they coined the phrase ‘mad science’ is where every new design comes to life. It’s rumoured that they are so exacting and the design process for new styles so rigorous that the prototype count for one new model once topped out at 1000.

So when you buy Oakley sunglasses you aren’t just buying a frame and some lenses, you’re buying innovation, architecture, sculpture and groundbreaking technology, all consolidated by the Oakley vision which dares to be different.


Madman and Badman

The new Madman three point fit design is so full of features it’s hard to know where to start. The Prizm™ lenses are quite possibly Oakley’s best definition, high contrast and light diffusing lenses yet; for the full rundown on Prizm™ check this out. The Unobtainium™ components (yeah we know, it sounds like Wolverine should have a pair!) react to increased water concentration to grip better the wetter they get, ideal for sports or if you just like getting hot and sweaty, we won’t judge.


If you’re not keen on the steampunk-esque mad inventor vibe that the Madman style evokes then the Badman, with its more classic lens shape, features all the same technological advances but in a more conservative looking package.


Shop the Madman and Badman range click here