Where you can you find a craftsman for a tailor-made pair of custom couture eyeglasses or sunglasses that are precisely designed for your face? Our intrepid correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has tracked down the artisans who specialize in custom eyewear, and she’s sharing her list of the best brands in the world right now for chic bespoke luxury eyeglasses and sunglasses tailored for your eyes only.
haute couture eyeglasses are a thing
But for the wealthy captains of industry and discerning creatives, they can also apply to eyeglasses. Despite the success of digitally native e-commerce brands like Warby Parker and Zenni, there’s another concurrent trend on the rise in the world of eyeglasses that’s as time-consuming and personal as the latter are quick and convenient.[white_box]
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Bespoke eyewear takes into the account the wearer’s precise facial structure, features and measurements- even traits like eyelash length and distance between the pupils. Some companies even offer over a hundred different bridge fittings.
But that’s only the starting point, actually. Creating couture eyewear is an old world craft that takes into consideration lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. The intimate and intricate process can take several weeks up to to half a year.
Sound bonkers? Not when you consider that, on average, most people spend only 7 minutes to decide on something that will become a permanent fixture on their face for several years. We’ve spent longer standing in front of the mirror trying to look at our behinds in a new pair of jeans.
So where should you look if you’re considering custom tailor-made spectacles? We’ve rounded up the top makers in this niche market that produce one-of-a-kind frames for your one-of-a-kind face.
After all, seeing is believing.[white_box]
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the best bespoke eyeglass brands in the world
1. Maison Bonnet
Luxury French eyewear company Maison Bonnet boasts four generations of artisans. Their haute couture approach has seduced an international jet-set clientele since the 1950’s. Think names like Yves Saint Laurent, Aristotle Onassis and François Mitterrand.
We learned about Maison Bonnet from one of our wealthy and stylish finance friends, who splits his time between Paris and New York. He raved about the luxury house and his new bespoke spectacles. Which of course made us want to know a lot more.
The process of crafting custom eyewear at Maison Bonnet is modern and anachronistic at the same time. It begins with 12 face measurements, an eye exam by a certified optometrist, two to nine months of detailed fabrication (depending on the material used) and no less than 6 ½ to 30 hours of handwork in the atelier.
As a result, each commission is unique and results in an ergodynamic frame that enhances the appearance of each client. Prices starts at €1,300. But the bragging rights are priceless.
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2. Tom Davies
Tom Davies is the British founder and designer of his eponymous eyewear company. He’s widely known for designing eyeglasses for high-profile celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
The bespoke service starts at his in-store clinics in London, where the client’s ocular health is examined with the latest state-of-the-art devices. Frames are designed according to the client’s tastes and lifestyle and later, adjusted until perfect.
All of the glasses are handcrafted in London and take 4-6 weeks on average to complete. Custom frames start around £600, but can go upward to £10,000 depending on the materials chosen.[white_box]
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3. E. B. Meyrowitz
Grounded in tradition, London-based E.B Meyrowitz has furnished the finest bespoke eyepieces for over 140 years.
With as many as twenty three separate measurements noted, and every detail of a patron’s lifestyle and needs carefully considered, designs are drawn up and sent to the workshop.
Materials offered include acetate, buffalo horn, tortoiseshell, exotic skin or precious metals. Expert craftsmen work on the frames for the next 10-12 weeks to produce an exquisite piece of eyewear. The company also has a shop in New York City. Bespoke spectacles start around £1,200.
4. Wesley Knight
The eyeglass purveyor Wesley Knight upholds the European bespoke tradition. But the firm designs and creates each frame from scratch with hand tools in Brooklyn.
Knight prides himself on translating an individual’s personality, style and facial features into one-of-a-kind eyewear.
He typically prefers to craft spectacles from water buffalo horn – sustainably sourced from India – as it is lighter than plastic and naturally wicks oil away from the skin. Knight only produces about 50 frames per year. Prices start at $2,300.[white_box]
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5. Topology Eyewear
What to do if you can’t jet to London, Paris or NYC for the perfect spectacles? Topology Eyewear aims to provide the custom luxury eyeglass experience via its app.
Using just your iPhone camera, the Topology app creates a millimeter-accurate virtual 3D model of your face. After analyzing more than 2,000 measurements of your unique features, it creates custom glasses that fit perfectly. Frames are made from Italian acetate or stainless steel in a wide variety of colors.
The tailor-made frames are sculpted from scratch in the company’s San Francisco headquarters. Prices start at $549.
and finally, there are not bespoke, but they’re utterly chic
While you’re waiting for those custom frames, you might consider a genuinely stylish back-up pair. And for that, there is no hotter brand right now than Gentle Monster.
Their US retail flagship stores in New York City and LA resemble avant garde art galleries. Which turn out to be the perfect setting for their artful and elegant frames. The fashion-forward brand has collaborated with Fendi and Alexander Wang, always pushing the boundaries of eyewear design. And the prices? A relatively reasonable $200-300 per pair.
where to find chic bespoke luxury eyeglasses and sunglasses
That’s it – five sources for tailor-made custom eyewear. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, we can’t think of a more deserving feature fit for haute couture.
join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.
Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.