Oakley was founded in 1975 by Jim Jannard out of the back of his Honda Civic. In 1975 he designed a rubber grip for offroad motor cross handlebars, along with his other cycle parts.
"I'd have suggestions, and the response was typically, 'Shut up and go sell,'" says Jannard. "So I executed my own ideas."
He took the company public in 1995 and sold it to Luxottica for $2.1 billion despite there being bad blood between Oakley and Luxottica that stemmed from an incident in 2001, where Oakley sued Luxottica for selling unauthorized versions of its glasses at Sunglass Hut. The suit was settled two years later for an undisclosed sum.
He lives in Seattle and recently opened up a resort on a Fijian Island.
Currently resides - San Juan Islands, Washington
Jim Jannard was born on June 8, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, USA as James Henry Jannard. Later, Jim grew up in Alhambra, California.
Jim graduated from Alhambra High school. He later went to University of Southern California to study pharmacy but later he dropped out from the college as he had great interest in motorcycles.
He is a producer, known for Crossing the Line (2008) and Tattoo (2011) and Loom (2012).
His net worth is $4.1 billion according to Forbes, May 2017.
He's known to be quite private.
Little is known about how he spends his money, but he owns a $7 million home on Newport Coast, and in 1997 he paid $22 million for an island off Puget Sound, once known as "Safari Island" for bigâ€“game hunters. He has stopped all hunting and has worked to save the rare Ryuku sika deer found on the island. Additionally, Kimberly Brown Seely of Town and Country noted in the magazine's July 2001 issue that Jannard may have "quietly bought up" several adjacent multiâ€“millionâ€“dollar coastal properties on Crane Island's western shoreâ€”part of Washington State's San Juan Islands. Jannard's floatplane, bearing the same skullâ€“andâ€“crossbones flag, has been seen in waters nearby.
During one of his rare public appearances outside the company, he gave a store opening speech wearing a gas mask and talking through a megaphone.
In January 1998, a black and white skullâ€“andâ€“crossbones flag appeared atop Oakley's company fortress on the hill. The company had paid $2000 to obtain county zoning approval for the banner but made no public statement as to its significance. Greg Hardesty of the Orange County Business Journal speculated two likely explanations: one involved a planet Mars line of sunglassesâ€”the magazine advertisements that contained a skull and crossbones on an image of Earth; the other related to an acrimonious relationship with fierce archâ€“rival Nike, which opened up a subsidiary directly across the street from Oakley. Ongoing litigation between Jannard and former Nike friend, Phil Knight, continued well into 2001, mostly over alleged patent infringements. In any event, the ominous flag was noticed by neighbors, one remarking that it fit the company's "weird image." (encyclopaedia.com)
J.J.'s Oakley has well over 440 patents.
"Oakley Anne (English Setter and company mascot) was purchased from Sally Howe of Clariho Kennels in New Jersey as an 8 week old puppy in 1974." (Jim Jannard)
Chronology (as per J.J.)
1949: Born in Los Angeles, CA.
1975: Sold motorcycle parts from the trunk of his car.
1975: Oakley formed, named after Jannard's dog.
1980: Oakley first marketed goggles.
1983: Oakley expanded its products to sunglasses, called "Eye Shades."
1995: Oakley went public.
1999: Jannard returned to Oakley as CEO after stock plummeted.
1999: Oakley branched out into watches and wearing apparel.
Romeo & Juliet were named not after Shakespeare's play, but rather Romeo Y Julieta cigars (J.J.)
The story on the #453 on the Oakley tank was not anything specific relating to Oakley. The tanks actual serial number when sold was #453. There were three tanks that were shipped from overseas to a company in Nevada. The tanks were decommissioned and # 452, 453, 454 were made available for public purchase. Oakley bought #453, and over time, the tank number wore off. They repainted it and it became more visible. So basically it was the tanks original serial number. (Ed. note - grammar edited) @Dyeraudio
Two materials were combined with Kevlar to create the Shoe One? There was one for the outsole and a different one for the shoe's upper. Unobtainium was combined with Kevlar for the outsole, while O Matter was combined for the upper (@Twenty Fifty)
"Vulcanized rubber was discarded for a unique synthetic, a composite of KevlarÂ® and Oakley UnobtainiumÂ® that parallels the traction technology of racing tires. A breathable lattice of high-tenacity O MatterÂ® was interwoven with KevlarÂ® for the shoe upper, and breakthroughs such as three-point triangulated sole geometry and independent torsion response were added to enhance performance."
Origin of the eyeshades? Skiing
Jannard worked on the design for more than a year before Oakley's Terminator-look shields, first called Factory Pilots and later Eyeshades, debuted in 1985.
Back in the early 80's you always skied on sunny days (snow days as well) with sunglasses. Vuarnet, Ray Ban Carrera, Suncloud were some of the brands of dominance. Lenses were glass and they fell off your head easily. Nonetheless, unless you were serious about performance that is what you wore. Oakley had entered the snow goggle biz roughly around 1983. The goggle was an O Frame with a dual lens and venting. It was realized that skiers didn't like goggle, but they liked sunglasses so why not cross over.
Hence the Eyeshade was born.
1. Looked like an O Frame goggle
2. Brow foam (like a goggle) to reduce airflow, but enough to keep the lens from fogging.
3. Interchangeable "hook" ear stems to better keep them on your head.
4. And first of its kind a single "Plutonite" lens in a cylindrical geometry.
5. Like a goggle, interchangeable lenses. (Scott Bowyers)