The History of Oakley

This past year, I got the chance to go down to the Oakley headquarters in California to check out the re-issue of the infamous B-1B grip that Oakley was working on. While I was down there, I took the opportunity to put together a video giving a little history and background to the brand. Oakley is a company that does a billion dollars a year in sales, has stores all over the world, and has created some of the most iconic eyewear of my generation… and I’m pretty sure not many people know that Oakley started out by making BMX grips.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Bell, a former AMA Supercross champion and employee of Oakley who started in 1985, to tell the story of how Oakley went from a small grip company to one of the biggest eyewear brands in the world.

Thanks to Brian Takumi, Mike Bell, Dylan Radloff, and Mark Scurto for making this happen.

filmed by Harrison Boyce
edited by

29 responses to “The History of Oakley”

  1. Joe Rich says:

    This was really insightful, and just plain awesome ! What a history ! Thanks so much Harrison for putting this together so well, and giving us all a peek. Cheers

  2. matt says:

    Excellent work. I am psyched people take the time to look into things.

  3. Ben Paul says:

    Growing up in a motorcycle dealership and around a motorcross team I’ve always loved Oakley. Their products, marketing, and athletes have always been so sick! Loved this, well done as always.

  4. walt says:

    fantastic!

  5. that is interesting to know. ive been around oakley for 15 years and didnt know they started from grips!

  6. WRGMAG.com says:

    Excellent Interview. Love how well it was shot and Bell’s answers.

    http://www.wrgmag.com/a-history-of-oakley-video/

  7. Ron B says:

    Great job Harrison, thanks for doing this one!

  8. Chris B says:

    Holy Shit Boyce!!!

    This is awesome!

    Make sure you enter this into the vimeo awards this fall for best documentary.

  9. dayday says:

    excellent stuff. totally remember the goggles on the helmets and not on the faces. total factory look. always loved their logo too, reminded me of the og haro logo. bmx, word.

  10. Lucas says:

    that was amazing! gotta get a pair of the reissued grips

  11. I still have a pair of O-Wings on a bike in my parents’ basement. I’ll always have a soft spot for Oakley. Especially since they make glasses that fit my enormous head.

  12. Andy says:

    Great work as always dudes!

  13. shoe-g says:

    Super awesome video. Very informative.
    Thanks for putting up a super good content and shear to us.
    You rule!

  14. Andrew says:

    Super dope interview…shot super well

  15. tate says:

    awesome, i never saw this coming

  16. Roger smith says:

    About a year ago I started a group on the Mpora site – aptly named- Oakley! Please start re-issuing Old Skool BMX Grips, goggles & Face masks!!!
    I never dreamed that finally my wish would come true and look forward to getting hold of the re-issue of the B-1B. Great film (as always).

  17. I was going to make a joke about anxiously waiting for a history of Zeronine. Then I did a quick search just to find out that they still exist, just not remotely BMX related. I wonder how many once BMX companies just went in a completely different direction.

  18. Harrison Boyce says:

    Thanks so much for all the positive feedback guys! It really means a lot and I stoked everyone is into the video, I had a blast making it!

  19. Roger smith says:

    How about doing a video on the history of Hutch!!!! Especially as someone has finally brought them back to life, hint hint.

  20. Bryan says:

    That was well done! Good work Harrison

  21. Landon A says:

    I’ve gotta say, the symbolic reenactment shot with the grips being ripped off sealed the win. Genious!

    Great job Harrison

  22. colton ponto says:

    So well done, deepens my love for Oakley.

  23. Dunk says:

    Is it just me or is the video not playing for anyone else? Really want to see this!!

  24. Colin Field says:

    nice work Harrison, that was amazing…

  25. Lee Tucker says:

    Great piece!!! Jim is now progressing in new ways with the RED Camera.He’s creating quite the revolution in the film industry.

  26. dorian says:

    this was really great and inspiring,i think you should do more videos like this about haro and gt and vans and things like that that helped build bmx and def grip into the total awesome perfectly exectuted sport it is today.

  27. dorian says:

    and im watching it for a second time since its so astonishing!

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