Behind The Carrera Brand
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The Carrera brand is known for their sporty eyewear and stylish sunglasses. Although they have a reputation for designing eyewear that is fun and performance enhancing, not all of their products are colorful, like the retro aviators. Carrera is has a history of delivering practical products to their customers based on their years of experience in eyewear technology. Wilhelm Anger, the founder of Carrera, was inspired by motorsports, and the company got their start in sports goggles.
Wilhelm Anger, who liked to live life on the edge, founded Carrera in 1956. He named the company after the Mexican road race called La Carrera Pan-American. This was where many of the best racers in the world went to experience high speed on roadways through the mountains in Mexico’s central region. In 1955, it was canceled for safety regions; however, it was brought back in 1988.
Wilhelm Anger invented and patented a lightweight plastic called Optyl in his search for a new and improved material—this plastic weighed 20% less than acetate. Optyl has other benefits to wearers too, including an improved fit since it adapts to your face and fewer allergic reactions than previous materials. Wilhelm Anger actually changed the name of the company for a short time—Optyl International—because of the importance of the invention. The company specialized in motorcycle goggles and ski helmets during this time.
The company went back to its original name in 1974, which is also the year that interchangeable lenses for ski goggles were engineered by the company. In the late 970s, Carrera made big steps in the industry when they launched their new line of sports sunglasses. These were not only popular with athletes, but they also began to become big in fashion. Carrera partnered with Ferdinand Alexander in 1979 to develop the Carrera Porsche Design Collection. This collection featured both the interchangeable lenses and folding technologies.
As the company’s product became more mainstream, the product line began to diversify, and they even started carrying eyeglasses. Because of their sports sponsorships (Formula One racing, 1988 Winter Olympics, etc.) in the 1980s and the growing popularity of their products, Carrera was available in stores all over the world.
Carrera began focusing on cycling in the 1990s. They had a variety of helmets and glasses that were meant to be worn together. They were acquired by the Safilo Group in 1996, moving them away from their Austrian roots. Carrera is still a popular name in the world of sports, with products specially designed for cycling, skiing, and motocross.
After celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2006, Carrera began designing eyewear for everyday people, taking their eyewear from the slopes to the street. They now offer retro designs and heritage products such as their Safari and Champion lines.
Check out our Carrera collection here.