Freeform Lenses: The Difference Is Clear

Measuring a frame wrap angle around a face for custom progressive lenses.

Measuring a frame wrap angle around a face for custom progressive lenses.

The difference between a freeform (also called digital) and a standard lens is essentially the same as the difference between off-the-rack and tailored clothing.  Both start with a product made for the “average person”.  But there is no such thing as an average person.  So, the item must be adjusted to fit precisely.  For an important occasion, like a wedding, we have our clothing adjusted for the optimal fit.  This is exactly what freeform lenses do for your eyes.  The big difference is that you may wear that fancy tailored outfit only once, while you’ll wear your glasses every day.

Lens Distance — It Varies 

If you think about your eye moving behind the lens of your eyeglasses, you’ll realize that the lens is farthest from your eye along the edges and is closest in the middle, where the lens is directly in front of your eye.  That variation in distance is unique to each person, depending on the size of your eyes, the shape of your face and how the frame sits on you.  The tilt of the frame and its shape also alter the distance between your eye and the lens at different points.  A generic lens blank cannot accommodate these variations.  This means that you are likely to experience distortion as your eye moves within the frame unless the lens is customized to account for these unique variables.

Progressive lenses present an additional challenge because the lens also has to change in power from the top portion (where you look straight ahead for distance) to the bottom edge of the lens, where the power is higher for your reading prescription.  For the most comfortable and sharp vision correction, you need a smooth transition with the cleanest curves and the least amount of peripheral distortion.

Customizing Options — Not All Are Equal

There are a variety of ways to achieve a tailored lens fit. Some, of course, are better than others.  They all created of chunky lens blank, but on different equipment.   Here’s a quick look:

  • Conventional/Traditional (K, J Options for VSP Customers): After your optician tries the frame on you and takes the measurements, the customized changes are ground onto the front of the lens and the lens is then polished.  This is the least expensive option, but it has significant shortcomings.  The grinding and polishing processes cause friction, which heats up the lens, causing it to warp slightly and creating distortion.  This process is the least accurate, so it creates the greatest area of “swim” in your peripheral vision, which causes some people to experience dizziness.  In addition, placing the customized adjustment on the front of the lens puts the correction farther away from your eye, so your eyes have to work harder to bring the world into focus.
Making your conventional lens

Making your conventional lens

  • Digital (F option for VSP): This process utilizes a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tool – the same high tech instrument used for creating precision parts for the aviation industry.  Your unique measurements are fed into the the computer that controls the machine tool, so the adjustments are very precise, creating a smooth, comfortable curve.  The adjustments are made to both the front and back of the lens and there is no vibration, which can lead to distortion.  Because the process is so precise, very little polishing is needed.  The lenses stay at room temperature and do not warp.  We recommend this option for progressives and for single vision lenses with high prescription or high astigmatism.
inside-of-sufacing-lens-digitallyjpg

Digitally made lenses on CNC machine.

  • Total Customization (O, N Options for VSP): This option, which only costs an additional $10 for VSP customers, involves additional measurements, including the tilt of the frame you have selected, how it wraps around your face and the distance from your eye (cornea) to the back of the lens. The goal is to create multiple optical centers so they can “follow” your eye movements. (Think honeycomb pattern). It will give you stability switching  between different frames and comfort of reading (by eliminating an image displacement). This option gives you very precise, accurate visual correction, even in your periphery.
Polishing for freeform lenses

Polishing of freeform lenses

 

 

Titanium: The Super Metal

BLACKFIN Frame: Front- PURE TITANIUM (90%-to-100% titanium) Temples-BETA TITANIUM. An alloy, beta titanium is usually composed of 75% titanium combined with 22% vanadium (for hardness) and 3% aluminum (for lightness).

BLACKFIN Frame:
Front- PURE TITANIUM (90%-to-100% titanium)
Temples-BETA TITANIUM. An alloy, beta titanium is usually composed of 75% titanium combined with 22% vanadium (for hardness) and 3% aluminum (for lightness).

Titanium is named for the Titans – the race of giant gods that preceded the famous Greek gods of Mount Olympus –a name reflecting this metal’s super-hero strength.   Ready to be impressed?  Titanium’s melting point is 3020 degrees Fahrenheit and its boiling point is 5949 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whoa!  That’s one strong metal!

Because of this strength, its resistance to corrosion and because it is inert – meaning it doesn’t react with other substances – titanium is used for everything from spacecraft and missile parts to hip joints and dental implants.  You can see why it’s an awesome material for eyeglass frames.

Staying in Shape

Titanium is way stronger than steel, but it’s almost half as light.  This means that, unlike other metal frames, titanium frames don’t get bent out of shape (pun intended).  They stay comfortable and you don’t have to keep running to the optical office for adjustments (though we are always happy to see you!).  Honestly, you can even fall asleep and roll over on top of them and they probably won’t need adjusting.  That’s pretty impressive!

Avoiding the Yuck Factor

Metal frames made of other materials are subject to corrosion.  Friction as the temples move with your face, combined with perspiration, can provoke a reaction with the copper or nickel in a metal alloy frame, causing a green salt to leach out.  This can literally leave a green line on either side of your face.  Ewww!

Titanium frames, however, do not corrode, so you never have to worry about looking like you have a tattoo gone bad on your face.

Also, titanium is hypoallergenic and contains no nickel, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or irritation.

2-color titanium frame

2-color titanium frame

Fashion and Function

Modern techniques have brought a new range of beautiful colors to the world of titanium frames.  The superior strength of this metal also means that it can be formed into shapes with crisp, clean edges and sleek lines.  We think you’ll love the lightweight feel and superior design.   They cost a little more than metal alloys, but the comfort and durability are well worth it.

Titanium frame by WOOW (France) with matte gray finish

Titanium frame by WOOW (France) with matte gray finish

Introducing Etnia Barcelona Vintage Collection: An homage to the counterculture

etniaEtnia Barcelona Vintage Collection is a tribute to independent culture. The Vintage collection is composed of 15 sun and prescription models that incorporate metal and original acetates from the seventies (recovered from the Mazzucchelli factories), into which they inject their own signature: colour. Etnia’s Barcelona’s Vintage collection blends classic style with the spirit of the brand, always with exquisite attention to every detail.

The collection is made up of 15 colours inspired by the history of eyeglasses for the base of the frame. Dark colours like brown, glass or honey are combined to imitate tortoise shells. Colours known internationally as “havanas”, “tortoise” or “carey”. These dark colours are combined with acetates and metals that the Etnia Barcelona design team has created for the insides of the frames, giving us a glimpse of dozens of ethnic patterns in textures like stripes, herringbones and horns.

Vintage acetates meets ethnic acetates.

Etnia Barcelona wanted to combine a classic look with the spirit of the brand. The Vintage collection displays their ethnic identity on the inside of the frame. This collection was designed to create a vital connection with the person wearing the glasses. This connection is based on the acetates that Etnia Barcelona has designed to dress up the inner surface of the temples. A dozen ethnic colours were designed based on herringbones, stripes and horn textures. The lamination created by Etnia Barcelona makes it possible to glimpse the interior colour of the frame on the temple tips.

bloc of acetate

Ethnic patterns

montauk-derd

Unisex panthos frame. The Etnia Barcelona Vintage collection is characterised by its recovered acetates, shapes and colour combinations that recall our past. Coloured pins and daring textures on the tips make the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top quality vintage lenses.

etnia lenses

High-definition, photochromatic, flat, polarised and anti-reflective lenses make up the range of this Vintage collection.

The Vintage collection uses mineral lenses also created in the seventies, always by Barberini. By selecting more than 17 types of lenses that fit the vintage aesthetic while at the same time providing maximum eye protection thanks to their special properties.

Details.

Etnia designing work.

The Etnia Barcelona Vintage collection is full of details. The metal core of the frames was designed with Art Nouveau motifs by the brand’s design team. This metal temple rod can be glimpsed inside the acetate and is the core that structures the frame and connects with the hinge that joins the front to the temple. This decoration of the metal rods was engraved with a laser to achieve high precision in the lines of the motif.

Vintage-inspired shapes reworked.

Dematteis living in Brera

Dematteis living in Brera

We have reworked forms based on vintage trends and styles to create a collection that fuses the brand’s spirit with old-school style.

The Vintage collection is inspired by cultural and intellectual movements, and everything that ventures off the well-worn path to create a culture of independence.

And so, when it came time to name the models in this collection, we looked for places impregnated with culture and creativity. It’s an homage to these neighbourhoods and their inhabitants.

Each model takes its name from a historic neighborhood in a major world city, known for the cultural movements that started there and defined each of them.

Redefining “Made in America”

IEM-Independent Eyewear Manufacturing

Entrance to State Optical eyewear manufacturing facilities, Chicago area, Illinois, USA

Since everyone is welcome to visit State Optical’s facilities to see eyewear manufacturing, we decided to visit the factory, located in suburb of Chicago, in July 2016. It was an incredible experience. We love the building’s picturesque location and its modern interior design, which includes an upcoming interior basketball court.

Skilled workers,or craftsmen wear t-shirts with the logo IEM—Independent Eyewear Manufacturing. Craftsmen in training, however, don’t have the right to wear the shirt. They have to earn it. Jason and Marc do the training and it takes about six months for a typical craftsman to come up to full speed. Why? Because over 50% of State’s acetate frame production is done by hand and it takes an average of 70 different steps to make a basic acetate frame.

Jason and Onega

Jason Stanley of IEM and Onega Astaltsova at State Optical eyewear manufacturing, USA Jason Stanley was a judge for America’s finest optical store contest in 2016, holding by professional eyewear publication. Onega was a judge for the same contest in 2015.

IEM uses a total of 60 pieces of equipment and 42 of them are brand new. Of all of these, the team is the most proud of the state-of-the-art factory Computer Numerically Controlled, or CNC machine, which cuts the front of the frames. It is one of the most high tech eyewear manufacturing pieces of equipment in the world. Only two such machines exist and both are at IEM facilities. One of them has been named “MASON” after Marc and Jason. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment.

Watch the video, there Scott shares the dream about making things in America:

 

Read full story on State Optical in our May 2016 blog.

CHOOSING GLASSES FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE by Garrett Leight California Optical

How to choose glasses for face shape

How to Choose Glasses for Your Face Shape

Finding the best glasses for your face shape can be tricky given all the options trending. Every week, it’s as if a new pair of it-frames appear: oversized and eclectic, or minimal and sleek. In this sea of options, how do you find the glasses that best suit your style but also fit your face shape in all the right ways? Here’s our take.

FIGURING OUT FACE SHAPE

STEP 1
Find a mirror and take stock of yourself. Hope you like what you see.

STEP 2
Compare the length of your face to its width. If your face is about as wide as it is long, you probably have a round or square face shape. If your face is much longer, look to heart shaped or oval.

STEP 3
Look at your forehead, cheekbones and jawline in relation to each other. If your forehead and jawline are about the same width, be square. If your cheekbones are the widest part of your face, go round. If you have a long face that tapers gently, think oval. But if your chin ends in a point, love your heart shaped face.

PERFECTING FRAME FIT

Now that you’ve identified a face shape, it’s time to find a frame. One way to narrow down choices is by looking at fit. Here are some tips – keep in mind that ultimately you’re just feeling out what’s comfortable.

FRAME WIDTH
Take a page from Garrett’s Fit Session with GQ and look for frames that contrast with your facial features. As you find frames you really dig — say, round frames for square faces or top-heavy frames for heart shaped faces with angular jawlines — get a feel for what frame width works for you. Your frames should fit on the outside of your cheekbones; not wider than your face so that it feels loose, but not so narrow that it feels really tight. An average lens width is 46-49mm. A petite, tailored fit will be 45mm and under, and an oversized or larger fit is usually 50+ mm.

A key part of fit is where your eye sits in the frame. It should sit in the middle of the lens horizontally, and in the middle or slightly above the middle vertically. Avoid having your eye sit too high in the lens or too close to the bridge. If your eye sits really high, the frame looks droopy and just plain bad.

FRAME TEMPLES
Standard lengths run from 143—150mm. Temples are malleable and can be adjusted by opticians to rest comfortably on your ears, and help keep your frames from slipping.

NOSE BRIDGES
As for nose bridges, frames typically have bridges between 19—23mm. Pay attention to how different bridges sit on your nose. For example, saddle bridges fit a variety of nose bridges, but adjustable nose pads allow for an even more adjustable fit — especially if you have a low nose bridge. Again, if you need help finding the best option, it’s best to chat with on of our opticians in store or on the phone.

ADDING THAT PERSONAL TOUCH

Choosing eyewear isn’t only about technicalities, though they’ll help with a comfortable fit. Balance and contrast apply to frame aesthetics too: try a thick, bold frame in a lighter shade, or a brighter tortoise on dark skin. Mix it up with a matte finish for a more subtle look, or play with the variety of crystal colors out there.

As your personal style evolves and you get a sense of which frames fit you best, get ready to build out an eyewear collection! Go steady with your everyday staples: versatile G15 lenses, polarized frames for the commute, rich brown neutrals that match nearly everything. Then find your statement frames for your statement looks: the progressive, razor thin Van Buren with flat lenses, or the luxurious feel of metal and acetate combos like Wilson Sun Shield.

Never forget the importance of personal style. You should find a look that you feel comfortable owning. If you listen to what other people think you’ll always get conflicting answers about what looks cool. Just be yourself, trust your gut, and wear what you like. That combined with a great fit will always look the best. Now that’s something you can know without consulting an expert.

“Mr.Leight” : new capsule collection by father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.  Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett's company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.
Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett’s company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

The father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight will launch a new capsule collection.

Here is an article by Mellissa Magsaysay for Los Angeles Times on June 18′ 2016:

On a May afternoon at eyewear design guru Larry Leight’s Santa Monica home, Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and his son, Garrett, founder of Garrett Leight California Optical, took a break from actual work to consider how they each created successful eyewear labels that have captured the cool, in-the-know crowd of their respective generations.

“I didn’t really realize what he did for a living until I went to work for him,” says Garrett, 32. “I saw that not only did he design eyewear, but he really led that team, that environment and that company – and that’s when I was like, ‘Wow, now I really know what he does.’”

Aside from similarities such as profession, stature and surname, father and son finish each other’s thoughts and have a similar magnetism for attracting a cult-like following of loyal fans and talented employees. Together, they have joined forces to create a capsule collection of luxury eyewear called Mr. Leight.

Eyewear wasn’t always the clear choice for Garrett as a profession.

In 2006, however, the younger Leight (the family name is pronounced “light”), who was focused on tennis and studied journalism, went to work at Oliver Peoples at the suggestion of his father to gain work experience. Garrett eventually left Oliver Peoples, and went into business for himself.

“I think he was absorbing and gathering all these things that formulated his desire to do something different,” says Larry, 65. “He felt that there was a better way to do things that inspired him to see different areas of the business that he felt he could do differently or better.”

In November 2009, Garrett opened A. Kinney Court on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a lifestyle concept store in Venice with opticians, eyewear, footwear, apparel, books and music.

Garrett soon became inspired to create his own collection and created his namesake business in 2011.

“I felt most comfortable in doing what my dad was doing,” says Garrett. “Being an entrepreneur wasn’t really a word that I understood before that time, but I think I just wanted to be a leader and wanted to build my own culture and environment. It was also being around great people that inspire you. That’s what I loved about Oliver Peoples.”

Today, Garrett Leight California Optical eyewear is available through about 800 wholesale accounts worldwide as well as four stand-alone GLCO stores. The eyewear has framed the famous faces of January Jones, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendall Jenner and spawned collaborations with Clare Vivier, Want Les Essentiels and Mark McNairy.

“You have to kind of pinch yourself,” says Larry about Garrett’s success. “The similar thing between us is, ‘How the hell did he come along and grab that young cult of today?’”

Harding GLCO

Harding GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

In 2006, Larry sold Oliver Peoples to Oakley, and the following year, Italian eyewear brand Luxottica acquired California-based Oakley. Larry retained his creative role until his departure at the end of 2015.

Larry says he spent months after leaving Oliver Peoples trying to decided what he’d do next. “I realized that even if I didn’t know Garrett, his is the company I want to work for,” he says.

Inspired by his son’s business and brand, the veteran eyewear designer and accessory brand icon was brought on earlier this year as a design consultant at GLCO and to collaborate on the Mr. Leight collection.

“Mr. Leight is a name I’ve had in my pocket for a while,” says Garrett. “And I always dreamed that maybe we’d have the opportunity to do something together and that name would obviously make sense.”

While in the design phase, the Mr. Leight collection will have frames made in Japan with a starting cost of $700, and, going forward, the eyewear will skirt traditional fashion cycles.

“It’s more limited, exclusive and still simple and beautiful,” says Larry about the concept for Mr. Leight, which is set to bow in Spring 2017. “It’s more technical, and there are more moving parts to some of the frames – but not gimmicky.”

In his new role, Larry lends his decades of design experience to Garrett and his team, and he defers to Garrett’s strength for sales and marketing for building a strong brand.

Sunglasses by Father Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)
Using their design and production prowess, the Leights’ team also has their sights set on making Mr. Leight a design house with the idea of collaborating with select like-minded brands to consult with and create eyewear for those brands.

“For sure we have that same entrepreneurial spirit,” the father says of the son. “We’re taking this exciting journey [with Mr. Leight], and it’s different, fresh and desirable.”

An exciting collaborative journey that, because it bears the name they both share, has the potential to pay a humorous dividend next time someone addresses Garrett as “Mr. Leight.” He could respond that he’s Garrett – Mr. Leight is his dad, and their brand.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Garrett and Larry Leight

 

Garrett Leight California Optical collection is available at Providence Optical. Watch our exclusive interview with Garrett in Munich.

C-Zone collection close up: wood lamination on metal

Wood-on-steel frames, first introduced by Lucas de Staël, made their debut in the world of luxury eyewear some time ago, but more recently – two-and-a-half years ago to be exact – Dutch company C-ZONE decided to make the same look available to those with a more modest budget.

The new line was such a hit that C-Zone has since expanded its range of eyeglass models with wood lamination inlays.  In fact, the company is set to release a new model with a curved wooden lamination at the Vision Expo West in September.

C-Zone owner Rob Maas in action

C-Zone owner Rob Maas in action

Given the success of these mid-priced eyeglass frames ($227 at Providence Optical), we decided to publish an interview with C-Zone owner and designer Rob Maas to tell us about the concept behind this popular trend.

Why wood-on-metal frames?

“C-ZONE is a collection of metal frames. We use it as our base material, but we always combined it with other materials like acetate and silicone. A few years ago, we saw that there was a growing interest in glasses made out of wood.

But we also heard about 2 negative aspects of wooden frames. First of all, they are rather expensive. Not everybody can afford it. But also, it was not possible to adjust a wooden frame to a face.

We came with a concept that is more affordable and still has that feel of a wooden frame: wood lamination inlay on a metal frame. From its introduction, it’s been hugely popular.”

But what is wood lamination exactly?

“I guess that everybody’s familiar with wood lamination as a material on the floor in one’s home. This is sort of the same. It is chopped off wood, pressed and plasticized. The wood has become a plastic sheet of dead wood so to speak. This also enables the optician to bend the metal/wood combination to adjust it to the face of a patient. And people do not have to worry; you can put the frames in the ultra-sonic cleaners.

We work with three types of wood: oak (brown sheet), birch (grey sheet) and mahogany (reddish sheet).

Metal and wood…doesn’t that make a frame rather heavy?

“Not in our case. For the metal part, we use a bit of thinner stainless steel than we normally use. Normally, this thickness is too weak to be a regular pair of glasses, but in combination with the wood lamination, the frame become strong enough. But in fact, it is so light-weight the material is often mistaken for titanium.”

C-Zone

Model G 2190 in birch/mahogany on steel by C-ZONE

So, the concept is still popular after 2.5 years?

“Absolutely. But we do develop. Like for model G2190 we came up with 2 types of wood lamination in one frame. And at Vision Expo West, we will come up with frame H2202. For the first time, we are now able to curve the wood lamination on the front end. This gives a total different look.”

The C-ZONE collection is famous for its colors, but in that sense wood is not very C-ZONE like, is it?

“But we still have the metal part to spice up the frame. We combine the wood with contrasting colours like a lipstick red, a midnight blue or a shiny silver. Exactly, these became the bestsellers. But for the more traditional customers, we also offer them in a chocolate brown and stylish black. You can’t go wrong with this one. That’s why I still enjoy wearing my G2190 in color 10.”

C-zone

Model G 2190 in oak/mahogany on steel by C-ZONE

If you think wood-on-metal is genius, how about denim-on-steel?  C-Zone has a whole separate line of eyewear based on this concept.  Both collections are ready for you to explore here at Providence Optical.

Model H2199 with red denim on steel

 

Highway Overpass Meets Contemporary Necklace: A New Line of Eyewear Is Born

Ludwig

Contemporary Jewelry:  Sleek, modern, textured, bold, eye-catching, innovative, whimsical.

Road Architecture:  Strong, functional, textured, utilitarian, monochromatic, plain, sometimes ugly.

What do the two have in common?  Look closely.  It’s all about texture.  And  Jacqueline Lung found an incredibly innovative way to bring these two media together.

The Steinar frame is made of steel and real concrete, yet it's light enough to wear.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Lung’s Steinar frame is made of real concrete, yet it’s light enough to wear. Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor.  Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor. Photo by Patrick Han.

It all started in Lung’s freshman year at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), when she fell in love with metalworking, particularly fine details, which add texture to smooth metallic surfaces.  Lung initially worked on jewelry and tableware designs.  And then something strange and wonderful happened:  She discovered eyewear as the nexus of jewelry and function – an accessory that serves a necessity and also conveys the personality of the wearer.  Lung explains:

I believe that … eyewear acts as a symbol of a persona … The relationship between eyewear and its wearer is symbiotic. On one hand the wearer desires the personality of the materials embodied in the eyewear, and on the other hand, the personality of the materials calls for activation by the wearer.

For her RISD Degree Project, Lung took a bold step.  She decided to incorporate boring industrial materials — such as steel, concrete and even duct tape — into her eyewear designs to elevate their status and challenge eyeglass wearers to think about these materials in a new way.  In her handmade line of eyewear, Industrial Spectacles, Lung brings out the hidden beauty in these materials.  Says Lung:

Gunta, 2016. Polycabonate, duct tape

Shiny, ugly duct tape transforms into a soft, velvety, grey textile. Concrete presents itself as delicate graphic elements, rather than as massive spacious structures in which we reside. Parts of screws that are normally hidden below the surface are displayed, remaining functional while destabilizing the expectation of how they could be used. The hidden character of these materials are given agency as they rise to the surface and become accessible in the format of eyewear.

Each frame in Lung’s new collection bears a name that reflects its featured material.

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

– Archytas: named after Archytas of Tarentum, an ancient Greek mathematician who is often credited as the inventor of screws

– Steinar: a Scandinavian name that combines “stone” and “warrior, referencing concrete and  its origins

– Ludwig: named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, paying homage to his extensive use of I beams in architecture as both structural and decorative elements

Akira blends steel and  duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Akira blends steel and duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture. Photo by Patrick Han.

– Akira: named after Akira Yoshizawa, a Japanese origami master, reflecting the foldable structure created by steel and duct tape in this piece

– Gunta: named after Gunta Stölzl, who was a Bauhaus weaving master, in reference to the duct tape weave structure.

Lung’s Archytas spectacles with mirror sun lenses are available at RISD Works store and  at www.jacquelinelung.com
Dare to see yourself – and these materials – differently!

Archytas

Archytas, 2016. Steel

OpticMag, June 2016 Jackie Lung

Special feature in “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine” (OPTICmag), Moscow, Russia JUNE 2016 Публикация в журнале “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine”, июнь 2016

You Asked for It, We Have It: Luxury Eyewear Made in America

State Optical.It sounds like a classic tale of the American dream and yet it’s contemporary.  Jason Stanley and Marc Franchi (who are cousins, by the way) bought a tiny optical business called Frieze Frames in Ventura, California back in 2009.  Their dream was to create a line of luxury eyewear not only headquartered or designed in America, but actually manufactured in the USA.  Everyone told them why it wouldn’t work – the high cost of labor, the lack of people skilled in the trade, you name it.  But, like true heroes, they didn’t just give up.  By visiting eyewear factories in France, Italy and China, they gained expertise in the manufacturing process and indeed brought it to America, albeit on a small scale.

Then, in 2013, Stanley and Franchi’s superior American product caught the attention of the big eyewear firm Europa International, which had tried, unsuccessfully, to woo overseas partners to open up manufacturing lines in the US because American consumers were asking for eyewear made in America.  The Frieze Frames’ owners’ passion and dedication was just what Europa was looking for and a partnership was born:  State Optical Company. Please watch this video:

 http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-state-optical-frame-makers-bsi-20160311-story.html#

State EyewearTogether, the new partners enlisted the aid of experienced frame designer Blake Kuwahara, who created 12 ophthalmic and six sunglass frames for the STATE’s “Made in America” collection, which made its official debut last September.  Kuwahara’s vision was brought to life in a beautiful new state-of-the art facility outside Chicago where specially trained American workers undertake at least 35 steps to produce each frame (and up to 70 steps for ultra-luxury models).  Over 50% of the production is done by hand in a painstaking process that requires a full two weeks.  These frames are not molded, but rather are cut from blocks of material, then the details are cut into the frame and the pieces are hand polished.  The texture and balance of the frame, along with superior machined metal components, gives a luxury aesthetic and tactile experience.

State Eyewear

21 drilled holes to represent Illinois, which was the 21st State to enter the Union.

These classic, sleek and yet elegant acetate frames bear a logo with special meaning.  At the end of each temple, you’ll find a pyramid of 21 points that are drilled into the frame and then filled with a contrasting color epoxy.  Why 21?  Because Illinois, home of the new US factory, is the 21st state.

Planning a summer vacation to the Midwest?  STATE Optical welcomes visitors to its Chicago-area plant.  That’s right; you don’t have to be a business owner or an eye doctor.  All are welcome to witness the beginning of what STATE hopes will be a new wave of products manufactured in America.

State Factory in Chicago

We’re proud to offer STATE Optical’s high quality, luxury eyewear line.  Come see for yourself what Made in America really means.

State Optical chalkboard on Westminster St, Providence

State Optical chalkboard on Westminster St, Providence