Who Makes Your Glasses?
- Posted on: Jun 8 2020
THE WEEKLY VIEW
Mountain View Eye Center’s Weekly Blog
Who Makes Your Glasses?
There is a rumor about glasses that has been spreading for several years: All glasses are made by a single manufacturer called Luxottica. This Italian company may be the biggest in the game, but they are far from the only player. In this blog, we’ll address this misconception about the eyewear manufacturing industry and introduce you to some of our favorite brands.
Luxottica manufactures Ray-Ban, Oakley, Coach and many other well known brands. The company became a household name when a 60 Minutes expose released in 2012 revealed it to be the largest manufacturer of eyewear in the world. A 2012 Forbes article falsely claimed that Luxottica owns 80% of the eyewear market. While Luxottica is a behemoth of manufacturing, their actual market share is closer to 14%, as reported by the market research firm Euromonitor International. In 2018, Luxottica merged with French lens manufacturer Essilor to become EssilorLuxottica, bringing their total market share to 27%. This is still a very large part of the industry, and many feel that this has given them an unfair advantage over smaller companies. While Mountain View Optical does carry some Luxottica products, we carry a great selection of frames made by smaller, independent companies. These smaller brands are different for several reasons:
- You are paying for the quality, not the brand name.
- They rely on unique and original styles to sell their product, not big brand names.
- Your purchase supports a small company, not a multi-million dollar corporation.
- You are supporting diversity in the market.
Fortunately, you have a lot of choices when shopping for eyewear. If you prefer a big brand name like Ray-Ban or Coach, they have some great styles to choose from. But if you are interested in a truly unique pair of glasses from an independent manufacturer, there are hundreds of options available. Check out a few of our favorite brands:
State Optical Co.
State eyewear is made in Chicago, Illinois. One of a small handful of eyewear manufacturers based in the US, they consider themselves the world’s first truly American brand of luxury eyewear. Their frames are handcrafted from premium acetate with great attention to detail. Each frame takes over 75 steps and hundreds of hours to complete.
View styles at https://stateopticalco.com/styles/.
Best for: Chunky bold plastics, unique shapes, vintage inspired looks.
True to their name, Etnia Barcelona frames are made in Spain. Their designers blend art with function to create bold, unique, and truly European styles in a variety of colors and shapes. Most of their plastic frames are manufactured from natural acetate made from cotton, and size options range from petite to large.
View styles at www.etniabarcelona.com.
Best for: Bold shapes, variety of sizes, unique color combinations, fun patterns.
Vanni has been manufacturing eyewear in Turin, Italy for 25 years. Their designers focus on attention to detail and the power of color. The options range from classic to trendy, and they have a great selection of both metal and plastic styles.
View styles at: http://www.mydesigngallery.com/catalog/vanni
Best for: Classic shapes, thinner plastics, good color options, fun patterns.
Blackfin Eyewear has been manufactured in Italy since 1971. They specialize in Titanium frames which are lightweight and extremely durable. These frames are especially unique because of their use of color. In the past it has been challenging to find metal frames with good color options, but Blackfin has filled this niche with bold, brightly colored frames for men and women.
View styles at: https://www.blackfin.eu/optical
Best for: Titanium frames, lots of color, wearers who prefer nosepads.
Silhouette has been manufacturing eyewear in Austria since 1964. This iconic brand is best known for their rimless styles, the lightest of which weighs just 1.8 grams. According to their blog, each Silhouette frame takes 264 steps to create and goes through over 100 quality checks. It’s easy to see why Silhouette has made a name for themselves with their rimless eyewear.
View styles at: https://www.silhouette.com/us/us/optical-eyewear
Best for: Titanium frames, rimless eyewear, lightweight.
Made in Italy, WOOW frames are a great option for anyone who struggles to find small frames. These petite styles are often fun and colorful, proving that good things do come in small packages.
View styles at: https://www.wooweyewear.com/
Best for: Small faces, bright colors, unique patterns.
At Mountain View Optical, our goal is to provide you with the best glasses possible. We hand select each frame we sell, and we strive to bring you a diverse selection of fashionable, functional eyewear. These brands are just a small example of the premium styles we carry. With hundreds of frames on hand, we know we have the right glasses for you! Please stop in to see our full collection of brand name and independent eyewear.
Call or text to make an appointment with one of our board certified opticians:
Written by: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC