The Best American Eyewear Brands
Choosing the best American eyewear brands is not an easy task. But the FAVR platform is here to help – with a special focus on independent brands. Because we feature only the most premium eyewear labels from across the world. Additionally, some of the most influential brands and designers call the United States their home. Actually, they have done so for many, many years. This is especially true for independent labels that still lead the way in terms of fashion and design.
What makes American eyewear brands so special? First of all, it’s a tradition for innovation and advanced design. This tradition in the optical business goes back decades, even centuries. Furthermore, American eyewear designers have often been the first to create styles that have become iconic. For example, the history of aviator frames goes back to the United States in the 1930s.
Second, US eyewear labels have a penchant for using the most premium materials. The list of influential American-designed eyewear frames is especially strong in acetate, prominently by brands from California. American brands also explore wood and titanium frames. And they always innovate advanced materials in the sports and performance segment.
And third, American eyewear brands are influential because of their close connection to Hollywood film studios. Consequently, American eyewear trends have become global fashion sensations. The long list of eyewear featured in blockbuster movies includes “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961. Throughout the movie, Audrey Hepburn can be seen wearing a pair of oversized sunglasses in cat eye style. Or how about the classic aviator glasses made famous by Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Finally, notorious pirate actor Johnny Depp has brought classic panto style glasses back in fashion for gentlemen in the 2000s.
Eyewear from the USA – find it, try it on
With so many good reasons, here’s our selection of the Best American Eyewear Brands. Of course, you can use our virtual stylist called “Match My Style” to get individual style advice. Plus, you can see the frames by using our Virtual Try-On tool. Just try it out!
Before we dive deep into the best American eyewear brands, we want to make sure you understand the FAVR platform. Basically, it puts all the best glasses and sunglasses at your fingertips. You can click here to find our selection of optical frames. Next, have a look at our extensive sunglasses line-up.
Are you finding what you’re looking for? Please know that you can always narrow down your search by using filters. For instance, you can target your search by brand (e.g. “Barton Perreira”), a style (e.g. “Panto“) or colorway (e.g. “gold”). By applying these filters, you can get closer to finding exactly the eyewear you want. And please rest assured: the FAVR platform specializes in showing only the best eyewear from across the world. Including the United States. Therefore, you can never go wrong.
Here’s the best part: You can see directly how a specific frame fits on your face. How? By using our Virtual Try-On tool, a real FAVR special! Finally, here are the best American eyewear brands.
Born in the USA! The best American eyewear brands
AHLEM – Designed in America, inspired by Paris
Upcoming eyewear brand AHLEM is the brainchild of Paris native Ahlem Manai-Platt. The designer likes to add exquisite details to classic shapes, for instance geometrically shaped nose bridges. She is known especially for her refined finishes and stylish gold frames. Quality also presents a priority for AHLEM: The brand manufactures all sunglass and optical styles by hand in Oyonnax, France. The brand only uses vintage Mazzucchelli acetate and high-quality metals. Additionally, sustainability and ethical standards play an important role.
With its inspiring and beautiful eyewear, the young label is on the right track: The fan base already includes the likes of Beyoncé, Kate Moss, Selena Gomez, and Kendall Jenner. Plus, AHLEM continues to grow quickly, so find it at your local optician. Definitely one of the American eyewear brands to keep an eye on right now.
The name says it all: BARTON PERREIRA started in 2007. The founders are eyewear industry icons Bill Barton and Patty Perreira. Since then, their aesthetic sensibilities and penchant for quality have garnered fans across the globe. The secret? California luxury, precise craftsmanship, and high-end materials blend together in innovative designs.
Based in Los Angeles, the brand is forever rooted in quintessential California lifestyle. BARTON PERREIRA’s optical and sunglass shapes present riffs on proven classics. Always with a sense of refinement and attention to detail. Frequent collaborations with artists keep things fresh. Meanwhile, the focus on excellence remains unchanged. Without a doubt one of the most stylish and sophisticated American eyewear brands.
Bevel – Eyewear style on another level
BEVEL represents living proof that eyewear does not need to chase trends to be successful. The independent label began in 1999. The founders are Richard Mewha and Rick Nelson. Beforehand, the two had become friends while working at the Optical Shop of Aspen (OSA). So it made sense to join together and create a new optical brand. The goal: Making eyewear an essential part of personal style. Like fashion and cosmetics.
Over the years, BEVEL has built a global following with a classic and minimalist aesthetic. Plus, truly high-quality materials with Japanese production. The brand’s stylish optical collections focus on acetate and titanium. Shapes range from flattering pantos, to bold square shapes to gorgeous cat eyes. All true to the brand philosophy: If everyone wore BEVEL frames, the world would definitely be a better-looking place in more ways than one.
Blake Kuhwahara – Artful but wearable eyewear styles
BLAKE KUHWAHARA launched his eponymous range of sunglasses and optical frames in Fall 2014. The designer started his own American eyewear brand to realize his own vision of optical design. The brand’s signature style consists of an inner silhouette encased in an unexpectedly fresh outer shape. Behind the scenes, this look requires elaborate manufacturing techniques and manual processes.
Eyewear from BLAKE KUHWAHARA surprises and amazes with a sculpted, three-dimensional look. It lends new life to the most classic shapes. Meanwhile, it makes a bold statement. The designer has been recognized with numerous awards. Standouts include “Best of Category in Consumer Products” from I.D. magazine and “Silmo d’Or – Prix Special Journalists de Mode” in France. By the way, Kuhwahara has a doctorate of optometry from UC Berkeley. So you know you’re in good hands.
Chrome Hearts – Against the grain
Attitude meets uncompromising commitment to style. CHROME HEARTS began in 1988. That’s when motorcycle enthusiast Richard Stark and his wife Laurie Lynn Stark founded the brand. The American lifestyle brand is widely known for its jewelry. It blends uniquely treated sterling silver and a chunky gothic look. As a result, the brand has already clinched the CFDA Accessory Designer of the Year Award.
CHROME HEARTS also infuse this unique DNA into eyewear: Bold front sections meet finely ornamented metal components. The resulting look is eye catching and against the grain. Looking closer reveals delicate details such as engravings and refined material combinations. For all those living life at full speed, these are your glasses.
Dita – Leaders in style and innovation
Founded in 1995, DITA has set out to challenge conventions in the eyewear industry. The DITA brand rests on three principles: Design that finds beauty in purpose. Craftsmanship that celebrates the unseen. Culture that transcends convention. As a true leader in optical innovation, the brand serves stylish sunglasses and prescription models. Both for men and women. Always ready to surprise and push the envelope with details and premium accents.
Over the years, the American eyewear brand has made a name for itself through countless innovative achievements. Standouts include ultra-thin acetate frames in the DITA-FEATHERLIGHT collection. Also the unique stainless-steel metal core lamination technique called DITA-LAMINATE. Plus, the boundary-pushing DITA-SERIES collection. Watch closely as DITA continues to offer a vision for the future as memorable as its past.
GLCO – Essential California Cool
Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO) was founded in Venice Beach in 2010. The designer behind the brand, Garrett Leight, hails from a family with strong eyewear history. His own namesake brand specializes in iconic eyewear inspired by the California lifestyle. All GLCO frames are designed at the brand’s studio in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.
GLCO uses only the most exclusive, highest quality materials. These materials come from the best suppliers in the industry. The resulting collections combine perfect craftsmanship with timeless aesthetics. Highlights include gorgeous optical pantos, as well as luxe sunglasses for men and women. Each design bears the VC/CA 90291 stamp as a reminder of GLCO’s Venice roots.
L.a. Eyeworks – Revolutionary eyewear style
Meet one of the most influential American eyewear brands of all time: L.A. EYEWORKS has come a long way from beginnings in Los Angeles to a global phenomenon. The brand was started in a single store by Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. It happened in the year 1979, when the eyewear industry was ready for a revolution. Back then, the two designers brought a new edge with designs that are equally bold and daring.
Since then, L.A. EYEWORKS has shaken up the optical business by designing acetate and metal frames for discerning customers. The style remains recognizable and uncompromising. Another constant in brand DNA is the photo campaign captured by photographer Greg Gorman. Since 1981, more than 200 celebrities have appeared under the motto: A face is like a work of art. It deserves a great frame. What’s next for L.A. EYEWORKS? Even after more than 40 years in the business, the mission remains the same: to encourage people to stop looking and to start seeing.
It’s all about the finer things in life for Leisure Society. And of course, that includes eyewear. Designer Shane Baum started the brand with a clear vision: crafting the world’s finest eyewear one could possibly find. This credo leads to a focus on equally chic and timeless designs. These frames are brought to life using state of the art technology combined with handmade construction techniques.
Like very few American eyewear brands, LEISURE SOCIETY emphasizes luxe materials. The optical collection includes titanium frames, 12, 18, & 24k gold plating, diamonds, and buffalo horn. Meanwhile, the sunglasses feature quality lenses. Features include polarizing CR-39 lenses available with Anti-reflective UGR12, Diamond Cast, and hydrophobic coating. Join the LEISURE SOCIETY – every hour is a happy hour.
Founded in 1990 in New York City, MODO is at home across the world. As one of the most cosmopolitan eyewear brands, it operates offices in three cities: NYC, Stockholm and Milan. As a result, MODO sunglasses and optical frames reflect the zeitgeist of these places. Plus, the brand’s design DNA is a symbiosis between form and function.
For the past three decades, MODO has forged a minimalist style that is recognizable. A style that garners an international fan base, including many celebrities. The fact that MODO eyewear is so well-known is special for another reason: None of the glasses feature a visible logo! Instead, MODO relies on innovative materials and technically advanced production. All with good karma, because the brand supports charities such as ‘buy a frame, help a child see’.
Moscot: Unparalleled craftsmanship with NYC sensibility
New York City. The Big Apple. Also known as the home of American eyewear brand MOSCOT. Over 100 years ago, the brand started in a single optical shop in downtown. The founder was optician Hyman Moscot, who earlier sold eyewear from a pushcart on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Today, MOSCOT still commands unique eyewear expertise and unparalleled craftsmanship. These are the foundation to create its timeless eyewear.
The brand is now in its 5th generation under the direction of design director Zack Moscot. Recognized as a global fashion brand, MOSCOT cultivates an archive of heritage styles. These are constantly updated and refined to meet the spirit of the times. One thing remains unchanged: Excellent craftsmanship is still the calling card of every single frame that carries the name MOSCOT. Designed and prototyped in New York City, all MOSCOT eyewear is is handmade from the best materials.
Ovvo – Virtually indestructible eyewear
Ever accidentally sit on a pair of glasses? That’s no longer a problem with OVVO eyewear. The new American eyewear brand wants to create the most durable, lightweight frames on earth. At first, the team could not find the right metal material. So OVVO developed its own: Each frame consists of a composite of titanium and military grade surgical steel. The metal blend contains 70% steel and 30% titanium. This hypoallergenic metal offers remarkable durability, lightness, flex memory, and heat resistance.
For an extra edge, OVVO implements Diamond-Like Carbon nanotechnology (DLC). All metal frames contain a layer of DLC coating for extra robustness. Also built with strength in mind, the patented screwless hinges feature a simple design. It makes them reliable and durable. The hinges can withstand 90 pounds of pulling force through 205 years of usage. Despite all that tech, OVVO frames offer ultra-light weight at a mere 0.6 of an ounce. Nevertheless, the optical and sunglass frames make strong stylistic statements in various shapes and colors.
Raen – Cool sunglasses with a surf and skate influence
Inspired by the classics. Handmade for today. This is the philosophy behind California-based eyewear brand RAEN. With a strong connection to nature and California board sports culture, RAEN set out to do things their own way. The brand relies on premium materials to create carefully crafted eyewear. At the same time, RAEN sunglasses are attainable, on trend and fashion driven.
Every pair of RAEN frames are designed in the brand’s California design studio. Then made to the team’s exact original vision. All of the company’s acetate is a unique and custom combination. Every frame undergoes hand-guided cutting, followed by hand-polishing to finish. And the lenses? Manufactured by Carl Zeiss Vision, completing the process that makes every single frame RAEN. If you like luxurious metals, distinctive acetates, and vibrant lenses, RAEN has your perfect summer glasses.
Robert Marc NYC – Big City style and spirit
Very few American eyewear brands represented the spirit of New York like ROBERT MARC NYC. The brand started in 1981 in a small optical shop on Columbus Avenue. After supporting customers with eyewear expertise for almost two decades, it was time for the next step. ROBERT MARC NYC set out as a full-fledged optical brand in 1999. The brand philosophy: To design and discover New York’s most wanted eyewear.
Since then, the label’s optical and sunglass styles have been influenced by New York City and classic French savoir-faire. ROBERT MARC NYC frames are known worldwide for their signature blend of style and fit. The team takes pride in every detail of RMNYC frames. Overall, the goal is to harmonize premium materials and unique color combinations to create timeless eyewear. The true mark of ROBERT MARC NYC frames is the hinge. Inspired by historical design and construction, the hinge blends function and fashion in every single frame.
SALT. represents quintessential California style in the eyewear business. Their aesthetic is inspired by art, nature, design, architecture and cinema. Plus, classic eyewear shapes that are brought into current collections with an eye for refinement. This also means an emphasis on exclusive materials such as quality acetate and Japanese titanium. Collaborations with brands, artists and designers help keeping things fresh and moving forward.
SALT. optical frames flatter male and female faces. Shapes include timeless pantos, elegant round frames and square lenses with a twist. In sunglasses, SALT. plays with stylistic accents such as keyhole bridges in playful shapes including pretty cat eyes. The common denominator is always quality: every pair of SALT. glasses undergoes a 130-step process to meet the highest demands. And did we mention they look incredibly cool?
Sama – Exclusive luxury fashion eyewear
No other American eyewear brand represents luxury like SAMA. The brainchild of designer Sheila Vanc has been setting trends over the last twenty years. The luxury label first introduced 100% pure titanium to the optical industry. Even today, SAMA Eyewear uses only the finest materials. These include Japanese zyl acetate, titanium, precious metals, precious and semi-precious gems, Swarovski crystals, and nickel-free plating. The lenses are equally premium. And to achieve the highest level of quality, the brand finishes each pair in Japan.
If that sounds impressive, just have a look at SAMA’s list of fans: Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Mickey Rourke, Gary Oldman, Colin Farrell, Greg Kinnear, Sir Elton John, Cher, Steven Tyler, and the Royal Family of Monaco. What’s more, SAMA eyewear is featured in blockbusters including Iron Man 2, The Book of Eli, Miami Vice, Mission: Impossible: III, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Ready to join this legacy? Find SAMA at your local optician on FAVR.
Selima Optique – Uniquely New York, at home in the world
Based in New York City, designer Selima Salaun channels a multitude of influences into eyewear. SELIMA OPTIQUE creates a fusion of Salaun’s French sensibility and the creativity that’s uniquely New York. The designer also commands a unique professional background: Selima is an opticienne-lunetiere. This means both a licensed optician and an optometrist. She studied and honed her craft in Paris.
On the business side, SELIMA OPTIQUE operates eight boutiques in Paris, New York and LA. She releases her edgy, innovative spectacles and sun wear under the SELIMA OPTIQUE brand. These designs enjoy a loyal following. Selima has designed custom frames for VIPs such as Bono, Liv Tyler and Madonna. The secret? A unique eye for color and elegant shapes crafted from luxurious acetate and metal components. Plus, a special, multi-cultural perspective that’s uniquely NYC, but at home all across the world.
The best American eyewear brands – and more to explore
Of course, the United States is not the only country pushing the boundaries of eyewear design and fashion. The world of eyewear offers rich local expertise. Several countries have stood out over the years via their selection of premium and unique eyewear labels. This list includes Germany, where optical craftsmanship and small-batch manufacturing continue to matter. Among other things, German eyewear labels have pioneered eyewear designs crafted from horn and wood. Meanwhile, Japanese brands are famous for delicate titanium frames.
We’re always ready to help you find the best glasses from across the globe. Here are some articles showcasing eyewear from different parts of the globe:
Also find the best eyewear by material on FAVR
Don’t care so much about countries of origin? Then may we suggest searching for your new dream eyewear by material category? That way, you can find out if you are more of an acetate or titanium person. Just have a look! Consequently, here’s our selection of eyewear across a number of different materials: