The vast majority of glasses sold in the United States is made overseas, mostly in China. Two years ago, eyewear veterans Scott Shapiro, Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley decided to launch State Optical Co., a luxury brand that make handcrafted glasses from start to finish in a factory in Chicago, with a strong emphasis on quality. It is one of only a handful of American-made eyewear brands.
Until now, the company has sold all of its glasses through a network of high-end opticians around the country unlike, say, Warby Parker, which sells prescription lenses online in addition to some retail locations. “Glasses are a medical device,” Shapiro tells Fast Company. “We feel that it is important for our glasses to be fitted by an experienced eyewear professional.”
However, starting today, State is making its sunglasses available for purchase through its website. It hopes this will increase awareness of its brand of the brand, while ensuring that prescriptions lenses are properly fitted by opticians.