Discover the World Through Maui Jim Sunglasses

Discover the World Through Maui Jim Sunglasses


Built from the “Aloha Spirit”, Maui Jim revolutionised the sunglass industry with its patented PolarisedPlus® lenses. Their sunglasses won’t change the world, but they will definitely change the way you see it — vivid colours, improved clarity and crisp details without the harmful UV rays and glares. 

Let’s take a look at the brand’s history and philosophy, top designs for men and women, and iconic collaborations like the one with Manchester United .

Brand History

The sunglasses brand was started in 1980 by a fisherman named Jim Richards, who was also known as “Maui Jim”. He started out by selling sunglasses to locals as well as on the pool decks of resorts in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, with the main market for the latter being travellers who had lost or forgotten their own pair. The original line only had seven styles, and was only available exclusively in Ka’anapali at the Hyatt and Sheraton hotels. 

The brand grew by word-of-mouth alone, and a boat captain named Walter Hester purchased a pair for himself. Seeing the potential of the brand, he bought the brand in 1991 and named the company Hester Enterprises, Inc. Hester not only established distribution on the mainland but also built the brand to what we know it as today. While studying the market, he saw a need for sunglasses to combat intense glare and harmful UV rays while also enhancing the brilliant colours of the island. With that, comes a revolutionary technology called PolarisedPlus®. 

Maui Jim Polarised Plus

In 1994, RLI Vision became the sole mainland distributor for the small business and was renamed as Maui Jim Sunglasses. Soon after in 1996, Maui Jim Sunglasses bought RLI Vision from its parent company, Illinois-based RLI Corp, and renamed the combined entity as Maui Jim Inc — RLI Corp was a major shareholder still, and the company moved its headquarters to Peoria, Illinois. 

The company expanded to Europe in 2004, opening a distribution centre and headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany. Two years later, the company opened its first prescription lab back in its home headquarters in Peoria. 

By 2018, the company had more than 500 employees as well as a prescription lab in its European headquarters.

In 2022, Maui Jim was acquired by Kering Eyewear, which belongs to the global luxury group Kerring. Kering Eyewear has an impressive portfolio of designing and distributing eyewear for luxury brands like Lindberg, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Montblanc, Cartier, Dunhill, Brioni and Pomellato. 

A Kering spokesperson stated that, “all Maui Jim functions will remain in-house and the company will continue to operate business as usual. There are no operational changes in the foreseeable future. The Maui Jim labs will be kept intact and possibly further expanded in the medium term.”

Now, Maui Jim frames are designed and tested in-house in Peoria, and made in Italy and Japan, with approximately 16 distribution centres all over the globe. Started out as only seven styles, Maui Jim now boasts over 275 styles of sunglasses and spectacles, all polarised and 100% UVA and UVB protected.

Maui Jim Mike Dalton

Maui Jim president and COO Mike Dalton stated, “Over the years, we have continued to invest in our technology so that Maui Jim is now synonymous with superior lens technology, yet we deliver styles that are traditional and can be worn anywhere, by anyone. Our goal remains the same to this day; to deliver the world’s best views, full of colour, clarity, and detail.”

The Aloha Spirit

The backbone of the brand is the “Aloha Spirit”, which is more than just a salutation — it signifies mutual affection and warmth. This greatly applies to the working environment, from the top of the chain with the CEO and down to every single employee. The employees are not micromanaged — as long as the tasks are done, they are allowed to perform their duties as they see fit. 

The “Aloha Spirit” also extends to its relaxed dress code in the office. Unlike the usual business suits and smart casual attire, the Maui Jim offices are full of flip-flops and shorts. A senior graphic designer in one of their offices stated, “We may not all be in Maui, but we respect the ‘Hawaiian time’ mentality as much as possible.”


What makes Maui Jim stand out from the rest of the sunglasses industry is its revolutionary technology for the lens, offering the best polarised and protected lens in the industry known as the patented PolarizedPlus2® lens. All lenses of Maui Jim have the CLEARSHELL® scratch-resistant coating, premium front and backside anti-reflective coating, advanced hydrophobic/oleophobic coatings and 100% UV protection.

Customers of the brand stay loyal to Maui Jim because it outperforms other brands in harsh, intense environments. But if a pair does fail, the brand will fix it free of charge — every pair of Maui Jim sunglasses and optical glasses comes with a two-year warranty. 

PolarizedPlus2® lens

The most significant part of the brand is its lenses, particularly the patented PolarizedPlus2® lens. This type of lens has been designed and engineered to combat the intensity of sun glares and UV rays while still retaining the vivid colours in detail. It is made by infusing the lenses with a patented blend of three rare elements to enhance red, green and blue light waves, increasing and balancing the saturation of colours.

There are four colours of PolarizedPlus2® lens: Neutral Grey and HCL® Bronze, Maui Rose® and Multi HT ™. The Neutral Grey offers the highest available light reduction for the richest colours and sharpest contract. It is best for bright, direct sunlight. The “High Contrast Lens” offers a warm tint that is great for every day, varied conditions. Maui Rose® has a subtle rose tint with the highest available contrast for fast-moving sports. Maui HT ™ is best for low light and gold, offering a “high transmission” lens that wouldn’t be too dark. 

Maui Jim Polarised lens

On top of the properties the lens provides, Maui Jim offers various materials of these PolarizedPlus2® based on your needs. For this type of lens, it comes in five different materials: SuperThin Glass, MauiBrilliant™, MauiPure®, MauiPure® LT and Maui Evolution®.

Maui Jim SuperThin

The SuperThinGlass is, as the name suggests, made out of super thin glass. This material offers the absolute crispest optics available. It is 32% thinner and lighter than your standard glass, and has the best scratch resistance out of all the materials offered by the brand. 

The MauiBrilliant™ is considered to be the most advanced lens material of the brand. It is almost as clear as glass but only a third of the weight. 

Maui Jim MauiPure

MauiPure® is similar to the MauiBrilliant™ lens, but offers almost as crisp visuals as the SuperThinGlass, with a lightweight frame. It is the most popular lens material of the brand and has excellent scratch and shatter resistance. 

Maui Jim MauiPure LT

The MauiPure® LT is lighter and 35% thinner than the standard MauiPure® lens. It has almost as crisp visuals as the SuperThinGlass.

Maui Jim MauiEvolution

The most unique option out of them all is the Maui Evolution® lenses, which use polycarbonate. Unlike other polycarbonate lenses, Maui Jim’s one offers refined clarity. It has the best properties of the SuperThin Glass with added high index, lightweight and scratch and impact resistance. 

Optical Lens Technology

Even though Maui Jim is known for its sunglasses, the brand offers exceptional optical glasses as well. The technology used for optical lenses includes: Maui Blue Light Protect™, Maui Jim High Contrast lens and superior coatings and protection. 


The Maui Blue Light Protect™ offers all-day protection from the harmful effects of blue light including digital eye strain, blurred vision, disrupted sleep and headaches. This blue light filter is built into the lenses for added durability while offering the utmost clarity with no yellow or blue tint. Maui Jim’s blue light filter reduces 78% of High Energy Visible (HEV) light at 420nm, and blocks 100% of UV rays. This adds more protection against retinal damage caused by the use of digital devices and artificial lighting. 

Maui Jim Optical Lens

The properties of the Maui Jim High Contrast lens include reducing yellow light where red and green photoreceptors overlap, which reduces glare. As we age, the crystalline lens of our eyes progressively becomes more yellow, which naturally increases glare and reduces the range of tines and contrast our eyes can perceive. The Maui Jim High Contrast lens is a solution to that issue. 


When Kering acquired Maui Jim, they stated that the brand “is also strong in what we call Rx-able lenses, sunglass lenses which are prescription. They have two state-of-the-art laboratories, one in the U.S. and one in Europe and we believe this will be very significant potential.”

At Maui Jim, it is called the MauiPassport™, which are prescription sunglasses that correct your vision while not obscuring the brilliant colours of the world through the lenses. It offers distortion-free clarity across the entire lens. As all prescription sunglasses use the patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology, the lens offers brilliant colours without the glare and UV rays.

Maui Jim Prescription Sunglasses

Top Maui Jim Designs for Men

Maui Jim hoopika

Out of the hundreds of Maui Jim sunglasses, some are highly rated more than the others. The classic Maui Jim Ho’okipa is without a doubt a staple in any loyal fan’s collection, but the Maui Jim Ohai is another rimless frame that is just a level above the classic. The Ohai frame is made of the MauiFlex metal composition, making it more suitable for the active lifestyle like golfing, sailing and hiking. The lens is made out of the most advanced lens material, MauiBrilliant.

Maui Jim Ohai

Another reminiscent of a classic pair, the Red Sands,  is the Maui Jim Huelo. This is pretty similar to the Red Sands, and it borrows its frame size, shape and comfortable adjustable nose pads. The difference lies in the design of the temple pads and the height of the lens, which is made of MauiPure material.

Maui Jim Huelo

The Maui Jim Cruzem is another popular option, more suited for guys who are looking to chill on the beach, soak up some sun or play some water sports. The frame is made out of lightweight Nylon with its rubberised nose pads, and the lens is Maui’s SuperThin Glass lenses. Customers can even get them on a prescription.

Maui Jim Cruzem

For even more intense water sports, the most popular frame for that would be the Maui Jim Southern Cross. They are designed to perform out on the boat, pier, kayak or anywhere else out at sea. The triple-injected nylon frame is both lightweight and durable, with anti-corrosive hinges and rubber temples and nose pads. The lenses also have water-safe coatings, making this design the perfect pair for your water activities.

Maui Jim Southern Cross

Top Maui Jim Designs for Women

The ladies favour other designs of Maui Jim. An all-time bestselling design is the Maui Jim Baby Beach. The brand brings the best technology of lenses to a classic aviator frame. It is made of a corrosion-resistant titanium frame, and the shallower lens makes it great for smaller faces.

Maui Jim Baby Beach

Maui Jim Nalani is a popular elegant frame by the brand, combining ultra-chic and fashion-forward properties. The timeless design features a butterfly-shaped frame made of acetate with MauiBrilliant lenses. It is the perfect design that can be worn for any occasion, day to night. 

Maui Jim Nalani

The Maui Jim Sugar Beach combines teardrop-shaped lenses with sport-sunglass functionality. This frame is a rimless design, made out of nylon and tall 8-base lenses. The lenses are made of the MauiBrilliant material, which is the most advanced lens material of the brand. This frame is great for both casual days and sports activities.

Maui Jim Sugar Beach

Maui Jim x Manchester United Collaboration

Maui Jim is proud of its collaborations with various celebrities, artists and companies. One of the most iconic collaborations of the brand is with the English soccer club Manchester United which was announced in 2019. At the launch of the multi-year partnership, a co-branded eyewear collection was released. 

Man U x Maui Jim

The brand’s VP of Global Marketing, Jay Black, stated: “We are thrilled to bring the spirit of two passionate brands together to create a collection to reflect the spirit of the Manchester United fans that also allows them to see the world with more colour, clarity and detail. Manchester United is a best-in-class club and we hope that the new collection will allow everyone to wear the same styles with patented polarised technology that offers protection and style with amazing colour enhancement. Whether you are enjoying the beaches of Lahaina or watching a match in Manchester, the view is better with Maui Jim."

Man U x Maui Jim

The launch collection included four original frames, with the club’s devil on the right temple and the faint “MAN UTD” on the left lens. Frame shapes include the flat-front, modified aviator frames, which are the uniform for Manchester United players and coaches. The Dual Mirror lenses for the collection come in two colour choices: gold to silver applied to the HCL Bronze base lens colour, or black-to-silver applied to the Neutral Grey base lens colour.

MAN U x Maui Jim

This collection also introduces the original HAWAII LAVA™ red mirror lens treatment. The colour is applied to the surface of the HCL Bronze lenses while still retaining the properties of the patented PolarizedPlus2® lenses.

Celebrities Wearing Maui Jim

Maui Jim sunglasses have been spotted on countless celebrities, athletes and artists including Barack Obama, Olympic medallist Michael Phelps, Reese Witherspoon and even designer Tom Ford. Here are some pictures of icons wearing Maui Jim:

Barack Obama

Barack Obama in Maui Jim

George Clooney

George Clooney in Maui Jim

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston in Maui Jim

Hugh Hefner 

Hugh Hefner in Maui Jim

Jude Law

Jude Law in Maui Jim

Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar in Maui Jim

Morena Baccarin in CBS’s “The Mentalist”

Morena in Maui Jim

Sabine Lisicki, German tennis pro

Sabine in Maui Jim

Reese Witherspoon in Baby Beach

Reese Witherspoon in Maui Jim

Saif Ali Khan in “Race 2”

Saif Ali Khan in Maui Jim

Elena Dementieva, tennis star

Elena in Maui Jim

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy in Maui Jim

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie in Maui Jim

Belinda Bencic, Swiss tennis player

Belinda Bencic in Maui Jim

Captain Sandy Yawn

Sandy Yawn in Maui Jim


Maui Jim’s success and constant expansion are well-deserved. Its patented lenses provide the protection our eyes need while the frames take on shapes that make fashion statements. This sunglasses brand has proven that function doesn’t have to be sacrificed for the sake of fashion — there can be both.

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