Modesty Shih

Written by Modesty Shih

Published: 29 Sep 2023

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


James Jannard is an enigmatic figure in the business world, known for his entrepreneurial spirit and groundbreaking innovations. As the founder of Red Digital Cinema, Oakley Inc., and other successful ventures, Jannard has left an indelible mark on multiple industries. But beyond his business acumen, there are numerous extraordinary facts about James Jannard that make him an intriguing figure. From his secretive nature to his passion for extreme sports, Jannard is a man of many facets. In this article, we will uncover 17 extraordinary facts about James Jannard that shed light on his remarkable journey and the impact he has made in the world of business and beyond.

Key Takeaways:

  • James Jannard, the founder of Oakley and RED Digital Cinema, revolutionized the eyewear and film industries with innovative technologies, high-performance products, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.
  • Jannard’s visionary spirit and philanthropic endeavors continue to inspire creativity and push boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the world of eyewear and filmmaking.
Table of Contents

The Founding of Oakley

James Jannard, a true entrepreneur, founded Oakley in With a small initial investment, he started the company in his garage in Southern California, eventually revolutionizing the eyewear industry with innovative designs.

High-Performance Eyewear

One of the exceptional achievements of James Jannard and Oakley is their introduction of high-performance eyewear. Oakley became synonymous with top-quality sunglasses, offering exceptional technologies such as polarization, impact resistance, and optimized clarity.

The Unobtainium Grip

In the quest for top-notch sport eyewear, James Jannard invented the unobtainium grip, a material known for its increased grip with perspiration. This breakthrough provided athletes with enhanced performance and confidence during intense activities.

Oakley and the Olympics

Oakley became the official eyewear brand of the United States Olympic team in This collaboration solidified the brand’s reputation for excellence and became a symbol of athletic achievement and dedication worldwide.

The HDO Technology

James Jannard and his team developed High Definition Optics (HDO) technology, which ensured razor-sharp vision and clarity for Oakley eyewear wearers. This innovation elevated the company’s status as a leader in precision optics.

The Iconic Oakley X Metal

Under James Jannard’s leadership, Oakley introduced the iconic X Metal line of sunglasses. These frames, known for their exceptional strength and durability, were crafted from lightweight titanium alloys, setting new standards in eyewear construction.

The Thump MP3 Sunglasses

James Jannard never ceased to amaze the industry with his visionary products. One notable creation was the Oakley Thump sunglasses, which integrated an MP3 player into the frame, allowing music lovers to enjoy tunes on the go.

Oakley and the Film Industry

Oakley sunglasses quickly caught the attention of the film industry, becoming a favorite choice for many on-screen characters. The brand’s iconic eyewear has made appearances in popular films like Mission: Impossible II and Blade II.

The Mars Rover Connection

Oakley’s expertise in eyewear technology even found its way into space. The company collaborated with NASA, providing specialized lenses for the Mars Rover to protect its cameras from harmful rays as it explored the Red Planet.

Unwavering Focus on Innovation

Throughout his career, James Jannard maintained a strong focus on innovation. Oakley was renowned for constantly pushing boundaries, introducing new materials, styles, and technologies to enhance the performance and aesthetics of their eyewear.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Beyond his entrepreneurial ventures, James Jannard believed in giving back. He established the Jannard Family Foundation, which supports various charitable causes and organizations, making a positive impact on communities around the world.

The Sale of Oakley

In 2007, James Jannard oversaw the sale of Oakley to Luxottica Group, a leading eyewear conglomerate. Despite the sale, Jannard’s legacy and innovative spirit continue to influence the brand and the eyewear industry as a whole.

The Birth of RED Digital Cinema

Building upon his success with Oakley, James Jannard founded RED Digital Cinema in The company quickly gained recognition in the film industry for its high-performance digital cameras, revolutionizing the way movies are made.

Pushing the Boundaries of Cinematography

RED cameras, under James Jannard’s vision, became known for their ability to capture stunning, high-resolution images. Filmmakers around the world embraced RED cameras for their remarkable capabilities, allowing them to push the boundaries of cinematography.

Game-Changing Innovations

Jannard’s relentless pursuit of innovation continued at RED Digital Cinema, where he introduced game-changing technologies such as the RED ONE camera, which offered unprecedented image quality and flexibility for filmmakers.

Supporting Filmmakers

RED Digital Cinema not only provided cutting-edge equipment but also created a supportive community for filmmakers. James Jannard aimed to empower artists with the tools they needed to bring their creative visions to life.

Inspiring Creativity

Through his various ventures, James Jannard has left an indelible mark on both the eyewear and film industries. His relentless pursuit of innovation and passion for pushing boundaries continues to inspire creative individuals around the world.


James Jannard is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary individuals in recent history. From his groundbreaking innovations in the eyewear industry to his philanthropic endeavors, Jannard has left an indelible mark on the world. His relentless pursuit of excellence and his ability to think outside the box have propelled him to great success.

Whether it’s his creation of Oakley, the development of the Red Digital Cinema Camera, or his passion for changing lives through his charitable organization, Jannard’s impact is truly remarkable. His entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with his unwavering determination, serves as an inspiration to aspiring innovators and dreamers everywhere.

As we reflect on the extraordinary facts about James Jannard, one thing becomes clear: he is a true visionary and a force to be reckoned with. His contributions have revolutionized industries and continue to shape the world we live in today.


Q: What are some of James Jannard’s notable achievements?

A: James Jannard is known for his founding of Oakley, a renowned eyewear company, and the development of the Red Digital Cinema Camera, a groundbreaking digital camera used in the film industry.

Q: How has James Jannard contributed to the eyewear industry?

A: Jannard’s creation of Oakley introduced innovative technologies and designs to the eyewear market, including the invention of the first true sports performance sunglasses.

Q: What is the Red Digital Cinema Camera, and why is it significant?

A: The Red Digital Cinema Camera is a high-quality digital camera used by filmmakers around the world. Its advanced features and image quality have revolutionized the way movies are made.

Q: What philanthropic efforts has James Jannard been involved in?

A: Jannard has been actively involved in philanthropy through his charitable organization, which focuses on helping those in need and making a positive impact on society.

Q: How has James Jannard inspired others?

A: Jannard’s fearless approach to entrepreneurship, his willingness to push boundaries, and his dedication to making a difference serve as inspiration for individuals aspiring to make an impact in their respective fields.

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