Shattering the boundaries of sport performance has always been at the core of OAKLEY’S product design. Born from 45 years of disruptive innovation, the brand launches Kato, its newest groundbreaking sunglass. Countless hours of research and testing combined with Oakley’s advanced design optics resulted in the creation of this unique piece of eyewear.

Projecting the brand’s most radical aesthetic yet, Kato features an innovative frameless lens crafted with an extended wrap and built-in retention to mimic the structural properties of a typical frame. More sophisticated than a shield, Kato is intended to fit close to facial contours creating a mask-like feel. Paired with Oakley’s superb optics and clarity of vision and the brand’s Prizm lenses for color enhancement and contrast, Kato provides the wearer with the confidence to perform their best and channel their inner superpower. At the development stage of the product, Oakley equipped a select group of elite athletes including Patrick Mahomes, Mark Cavendish and Francisco Lindor (pictured) with a prototype of Kato enabling them to test the frame’s durability and performance attributes. Feedback from the athletes contributed to its final design, which includes an adjustable rake system and multiple nosepads allowing a customized seamless fit. Lightweight yet strong O Matter temples with Unobtainium earsocks deliver comfort with no-slip grip. To achieve this new level of innovation, Oakley overhauled its fabrication process from molds to optical axis machines to lens adhesives, abandoning conventional approaches to manufacturing.

In revealing Kato to the world, Oakley created anticipation among its global community culminating in the ultimate reveal with a first-of-its-kind collective augmented reality experience. Team Oakley athletes received a mysterious package with time-sensitive instructions guiding them through an AR-enabled immersive journey unlocking the revolutionary eyewear in a hybrid experience merging physical, digital and social technology.

“We wake up every morning obsessed with the goal of igniting human possibility,” says Caio Amato, Oakley global brand director. “Our pursuit for the new and unimagined has taken on many forms throughout the brand’s history, and the latest is Oakley Kato—a redefinition of aesthetics to usher in a new age of optics for the sports industry. Today represents more than just the release of a new product, it is a moment to remind ourselves that anything is possible, that superheroes are not just found in comic books, but in real life, and we can all aspire to be better than we ever imagined.”

From its Eyeshade frame in 1984 to the Over The Top style that debuted in Sydney in 2000 and the Jawbreaker in 2015, Oakley leads a legacy built on disruptive design. Kato is the next step on this journey as it gears to push boundaries of form, fit and function. We can’t wait to see how Oakley will disrupt next.

–Christine Yeh