Independent Eyes: Four Standout Frames


As the eyewear category continues to grow, brands sometimes go back generations with unique frame shapes, high-quality materials, cutting-edge technologies, small-batch craftsmanship and intriguing collaborations. Here, WWD takes a look at four standouts in the field:

Alhem

Ahlem was launched in 2014 by Ahlem Manai-Platt, who grew up between Paris and Tunisia and called Los Angeles home for nine years before returning to Paris in 2023. According to the brand, each pair of glasses tells a story of artisanal expertise. Throughout production, glasses travel to three specialized ateliers and into the hands of nine artisans, each with a particular craft passed down through generations. 

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Ahlem x Gauchere 2809 frames

For spring 2024, Ahlem and Gauchere designer Marie-Christine Statz channeled their mutual obsession with progressive minimalism into a range of sunglasses that are strong, chic and elegantly subversive. They are named 2809 after the day the frames walked the runway in Paris, Sept. 28, 2023.

Mykita

Founded in 2003 by Moritz Krueger, Mykita is based in Berlin. All of its eyewear is handcrafted by its team of artisans in its Berlin workshop, the Mykita Haus. Part of its DNA is focus on brand-developed materials. In 2022, Mykita switched its entire acetate supply to Acetate Renew, the first brand to use the bio-based material 100 percent. In 2023, the brand revealed that all of its signature stainless steel frames are at least 90 percent recycled steel from its original supplier, taking an important step toward full-circle sustainability.

MYKITA BERNHARD WILLHELM SUN SATORI MD22 EBONY BROWN TANGERINE SOLID Shield CEDAR BROWN SOLID DOUBLE Shield 10078085 p 2

The Mykita x Bernhard Willhelm Satori

The Satori is one of Mykita’s signature styles, introduced in September 2021 as part of a longstanding collaboration with the German fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm with Mykita. It was prominently featured in 2023 as part of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” tour and imagery.

Garrett Leight

Part of a second generation optical-family, Leight opened up his first shop in his hometown of Venice Beach, Calif., in 2009 to solve a simple problem: There were no opticians in the neighborhood. His shop saw immediate success thanks to customer service, high-quality products and an engaging environment. He launched Garrett Leight California Optical in 2010. Today he has a global network of opticians and retailers that carry the brand and has collaborated with a wide range of artists, designers and brands including Rimowa, Ulla Johnson, Mitchell & Ness, Heineken, Clare V and more.

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The Garrett Leight Dottie

The Dottie is an updated cat-eye taking inspiration from L.A.’s New Wave pop-punk scene. Designed with a thick acetate, larger fit and offered in new, ultra-glam colorways, the Dottie is all about attitude, Leight said.

Jacques Marie Mage

Founded in 2014, Jacques Marie Mage draws upon references from across continents, cultures and generations, creating limited-edition eyewear handcrafted in Japan and Italy. It combines traditional craftsmanship with leading-edge production techniques to create eyewear that is produced with the finest materials, including cellulose acetate and responsibly sourced Veg Tan leathers — tanned naturally with tree bark, leaves and roots — and is philanthropically aligned, partnering with Wildlife Conservation organizations Yellowstone Forever, Living With Wolves, Wolves of the Rockies and Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

The Jacques Marie Mage Vito

The Vito is a sculpted ’90s-inspired micro-glasses with a midsize fit, featuring subtle facets and expressive wirecore details. According to the brand, they are ideal for a cohort made up of bohemians and beatniks, idealists and innovators, makers and mavens in need of some glamorous rebellion.



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