The emergence of design-led eyewear brands over recent years has turned medical necessity into a fashion statement.
We’ve picked our favourite luxury brands that will encourage you to ditch those contact lenses and help you find a pair to suit any style.
For the Design Purist…
Norwegian eyewear brand Karmoie is both style- and social-conscious, donating a pair of corrective glasses to a person in need for every pair of frames sold.
Inspired by vintage styles, the classic frames are given a contemporary Scandinavian twist by designers and founders Kirsten and Lars. Made from eco-friendly acetate, each style is available in a variety of colourways, including beautiful tortoiseshell patterns and wood-effect detailing.
Visit Karmoie’s design studio and prototyping workshop found at Ses Optikk Frogner opticians in Oslo to learn more about how the designs are developed.
For the Vintage Lover…
Founded in 1969, Cutler and Gross was one of the first brands to turn bespoke eyewear into a fashion accessory. This signature creativity remains today and makes them a favourite of artists, designers and architects.
Branding is deliberately discreet, with weight placed on craftsmanship over obvious logos. Each pair is handmade using processes that have been in place since their debut.
Styles stay true to the brand’s legacy – think large frames and cat-eye styles – while you can also shop from a carefully curated vintage range both online and in its London boutique.
For the Individualist…
Launched just five years ago, London-based Cubitts has already made a big splash on the eyewear scene. Each pair of glasses is crafted in a traditional way and takes six weeks to produce.
It’s this handmade approach that enables the brand to also create made-to-order frames alongside the ready-to-wear range. Using the bespoke service you can create a design that is the perfect fit for your style, face shape and size.
Once a design has been created, Cubitts will make prototypes to for you to try, before settling on a final style and material – options include acetate, sustainably-sourced buffalo horn or even 24k gold plating.
For the Futurist…
Mykita is rooted in a radical approach to design that focuses on material and industrial innovation. The result is ultra-lightweight frames and slender silhouettes that have won the Berlin-based brand a variety of coveted awards.
Undeniably cool, Mykita frames have been worn by fashion-forward celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz. While the brand also boasts collaborations with the likes of Damir Doma and Maison Margiela.
Look out for the Mykita Mylon collection, made using a 3D printing process that transforms a super-fine polyamide powder into a solid object. This ground-breaking process is virtually zero-waste, while enabling the finished frames to be adjustable, light weight and extremely durable.
For the Style Extrovert…
Known for its striking designs, Anne Et Valentin is an ideal choice for the fashionista who wants to stand out from the crowd. Designs are characterised by graphic shapes and playful colourways, adding a statement accessory to your wardrobe.
Choose from rich jewel-tones and dusky pastels in both translucent and opaque acetate finishes. Most designs feature at least two or three shades, although opt for a single-toned frame for a more discreet look.
Visit one of the five stores (found in Paris, Toulouse and New York) for a personal consultation that will help you choose the best style for you from its extensive range.