1. American Optical
American Optical was started by William Beecher in 1826, making it one of the oldest eyewear brands in the world. The company began working on the earliest form of sunglasses in 1876, producing regular eyeglasses with lens tinted in many different colors.
American Optical is also famous for carrying the sunglasses worn by Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11.
The American eyewear brand is known for its line-up of durable sunglasses capable of lasting many years. Buying a pair of sunglasses from American Optical is a great offer. And the best part is that the products don’t come with outrageous prices. You get a top quality product for a fair price, which can’t be said for a lot of eyewear brands out there.
2. ic! berlin
ic! brille became ic! berlin in late 1997. Starting in a small apartment with a shop front in Max-Beer-Straße in Berlin-Mitte, ic! berlin quickly expanded into the neighbouring apartments before moving to the nearby Backfabrik in 2005. The shop in Max-Beer-Straße remains to this day.
While Haffmans and Gottschling focused on design and production, Anderl would take control of finance, organisation and distribution. Riding his bike all over Berlin, Anderl would visit potential clients and show product samples which he kept in extra pockets he had sewn into his coat. This strategy was repeated at ic! berlin’s first appearances at the Optika optical fair Cologne in 1997 and the following year at Mido in Milan: unable to secure a stand, Anderl would walk around the exhibition centre with a trench coat full of ic! berlin samples, much like those used by counterfeit watch sellers.
After creating a great deal of buzz in Milan, ic! berlin was gifted a small stand and showed officially for the first time at Silmo Paris, where it won the prestigious Silmo D’Or. This was the first of three wins at Silmo (1998, 2008, 2011). Since then ic! berlin has been a regular fixture at, and won top honours from, the world’s top optical trade and design fairs.
In 2003 the trio split, with Anderl remaining at ic! berlin as the sole Managing Director.
Under Anderl, ic! berlin has expanded into fashion, launching a line of jeans and collaborating with other designers and fashion labels such as [Kix], [Bathing Ape], [Luisa Hecking] and [Superfine]. Anderl continues to forge a strong relationship with the art world, frequently collaborating with photographers such as [Mathias Bothor] and [Lyle Owerko]. In 2013 renowned German artist and entertainer [Friedrich Lichtenstein] took up residency at ic! berlin an [ornamental hermit].
Today ic! berlin has over 180 employees worldwide with subsidiaries in Berlin, New York and Tokyo. The head office has recently moved from their Backfabrik location near Alexanderplatz, to a bigger location in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district of Berlin. Design, production, dispatch, sales, marketing and service all continue to happen under the one roof.
ic! berlin glasses get sold in more than 60 countries worldwide.
Ray-Ban is an American brand of sunglasses and eyeglassess created in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lombb. The brand is known for their Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Groupp, for a reported US$640 million. Ray-Ban is a popular brand among sunglasses enthusiasts and casuals. The Wayfarer, Clubmaster, and Aviator sunglasses are the most popular products offered by the company. Some sunglasses enthusiasts might argue that the quality of Ray-Ban suffered a drop-off after it was sold to Luxottica. But make no mistake, Ray-Ban is still among the best sunglasses brands in the world.
In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky Specifically, Macready was concerned about how pilots’ goggles would fog up, greatly reducing visibility at high altitude.The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. They also added impact-resistant lenses in 1938.The sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator. According to the BBC, the glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.
Ray-Ban’s most popular sunglasses are the Wayfarer and Aviator models.
4. Maui Jim
Maui Jim is a Peoria, Illinois-based manufacturer of sunglasses. The company was founded in Lahaina, Hawaii in 1980.
As of 2015, the company was the third largest producer of sunglasses in the world.
Maui Jim is one the most highly regarded manufacturer of sunglasses in the world. It’s a private company founded by Jim Richards in Hawaii in 1980. The brand stayed in the state of Hawaii for eight years before being introduced in the mainland US in 1988.
Maui Jim offers both non-prescription and prescription sports and fashion sunglasses, which are often marketed with a water-related theme, a nod to the company’s roots in Hawaii. Maui Jim sunglasses come with undeniable quality and durability, making them a popular choice among people who love to travel or hit the beach. As of 2016, the company sold 125 different styles of polarized sunglasses in over 100 countries. In addition to their non-prescription sports and fashion sunglasses, Maui Jim also produces prescription lenses for their designs including progressive lenses.
The company’s glasses incorporate a patented polarization technology called PolarizedPlus2. The company sponsors college basketball’s Maui Invitational Tournament, called the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The company also sponsors professional marathoner Meb Keflezighi and golfer Ernie Els, who are brand ambassadors.
Persol is known for producing durable and stylish sunglasses. Unless you regularly subject them to extreme punishment, Persol sunglasses are known to last several years. The company has a wide selection of sunglasses, with the iconic Steve McQueen Persol 714 being the most popular in the lineup.
Persol sunglasses are on the expensive side, though not as much as some of the other brands mentioned above. Expect to spend at least $100 when shopping for a pair. The most high-end products in the catalog usually go for $200-300. Not exactly the most affordable price point for most regular folks. But you do get what you pay for with Persol, our top choice for the best sunglasses brands in the world.Currently all “Plastic” Persol spectacles are made in italy using cellulose acetate, a hypoallergenic meterial derived from cotton. the lenses for the sunglasses manufactured by persol use a crystal lens to fillter harmful light from the wearer’s eye.
6. Warby Parker
Warby Parker, is an American online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses, based in New York City.Warby Parker primarily sells products through its website, but also features retail locations in the U.S. and Canada.The brand is notable for its selection of affordable and stylish sunglasses. People looking for sunglasses which offer excellent value for their price should definitely include Warby Parker on their list of brands to check out. Warby Parker is also known for its “buy one, give one” business model. Basically, every time someone buys a pair, the company pays to have another one created and then donates it to a non-profit organization.
Warby Parker designs their product in-house, and sell directly to consumers through their website, stores, and interactive showrooms. Most importantly, they order their own materials such as acetate from Italy and then manufacture frames at the same Chinese factories as their high-end competitors, like Luxottica. This manufacturing process enables Warby Parker to keep costs low, at less than $100 for lensed glasses, prices go as low as $95. The brand offers a line of eyewear at $95, $145, and the highest at $195 per pair. Warby Parker’s pricing strategy drives consumers to purchase more than one pair. On average the Warby Parker consumer completes more than one order per year and buys an average of 1.5 units per order; this brand loyalty resonates highest with buyers between the ages of 25-34.In addition to eyeglasses and sunglasses, Warby Parker sells monocles, which are available with prescription lenses.
7. Oliver Peoples
Oliver Peoples is an American luxury eyewear brand established in 1987,and owned by Luxottica. The brand is sold in Oliver Peoples boutiques, online, and at fashion boutiques and department stores throughout the world. Oliver Peoples eyewear is designed in Los Angeles and manufactured in Italy and Japan.
The company opened its first boutique in West Hollywood, California and appeared on the cover of German Vogue in 1987.The design house is also the official licensee of Paul Smith Spectacles. The brand has been featured in numerous fashion magazines, including GQ, Vogu, Elle, L’Uomo Vogue, Esquire and Vanity Fair.
Characterized by subtle detailing, retro aesthetics and high-quality materials, their frames are popular with celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Larry David.In 2006, Oakley acquired Oliver Peoples for $46.7 million. In 2007 Oakley and its assets were purchased by eyewear industry giant Luxottica.
Oliver Peoples is the first of three brands owned by Luxottica on this list. You can probably already guess the other two. Oliver Peoples is an American eyewear brand. It was founded in 1987 and is currently headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
The brand was bought by Oakley in 2006 and later became a part of Luxottica when the Italian eyewear giant bought Oakley in 2007. Oliver Peoples sunglasses are known for their detailing and distinct frames. All the products come with outstanding quality, courtesy of the materials used by the company. The sunglasses are expensive, though, with some models easily sailing past $400.
MYKITA is an eyewear manufacturer based in Berlin, Germany known internationally for its hand-assembled prescription frames and sunglasses.Mykita is an award-winning German eyewear manufacturer. Currently operating from Berlin, Mykita is known for producing hand-assembled sunglasses.
In 2004 MYKITA launched its first metal-frame collection, Collection No1. The frames are made from stainless steel and feature a patented hingeless design with no screws or welded joints.Collection No2, launched soon afterwards, comprises acetate frames and includes both prescription models and sunglasses. The Lite, Decades and Luxe lines were then also added to the product range. The Lite collection comprises the company’s lightest models, which have an ultra-thin frame comprising just three parts. The Decades collection is based on spectacles forms from various eras of the 20th century. Luxe has an emphasis on naturally sourced materials.
In 2010 MYKITA introduced MYLON, a new material based on polyamide and a first in the eyewear industry. The selective laser sintering (SLS) technique is used to make frames individually and without form-related restrictions. The entire production process is zero-waste, with any unused powder being recycled for subsequent use. According to the manufacturer, MYLON provides a wide range of design options thanks to its lightness; in addition, the material’s thermal adaptability means the frames are fully adjustable. The first MYLON collection was premiered at the Silmo eyewear fair in September 2011.
To celebrate their 8th anniversary, the company published the MYKITA 8 Book, including works of famous artists and photographers: Bernhard Willhelm, Mark Borthwick, Agathe Snow, Billy and Hells, Sarah Illenberger, Lina Ekstrand, Bengtsson, Mikio Hasui, Signe Kjaer and Kristin Loschert.
The “cheapest” sunglasses in the catalog are around $300. But you do get what you pay for. Mykita sunglasses are renowned for their top-notch quality. If you can afford a pair, expect it to last for several years.
9. Randolph Engineering
Randolph Engineering produces shooting eyewear, sunglasses, and prescription eyewear. Their products come in a variety of lens and frame styles, the most popular being the traditional aviator style. Each pair of sunglasses is made nearly entirely by hand in a detailed 200 step process. An average of 53,000 pairs of glasses are produced per month. All manufacturing processes take place at the company’s 22,000-square-foot facility in the United States.
Randolph Engineering also produces their own high-strength solder flux, and every pair of their glasses comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee for every solder joint. Navy pilots and Army helicopter pilots both wear Randolph’s matte chrome 52mm Aviators. In 2011, Randolph Engineering also began production of the Michael Bastian Signature Series. Today products are sold in over 400 retailers globally and compete with brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
Headquartered in Randolph, Massachusetts, Randolph Engineering is an American eyewear manufacturer first established in 1972. The company is best known for being associated with the US government, having produced thousands of sunglasses for the US Army, the US Navy, and the US Air Force over the years.Randolph Engineering is known for creating some of the toughest and most durable sunglasses in the world. People often joke that Randolph Engineering sunglasses are indestructible. You don’t really need lots assurances or guarantees when it comes to the quality Randolph Engineering sunglasses.
The fact that the US government has been loyal to the brand is the only guarantee you need. Of course, the sunglasses offered by the company don’t come cheap. Top quality products always come with hefty prices tags.
Moscot is a five-generation, American luxury eyewear brand, headquartered in New York City, specializing in optical frames and sunglasses. It was founded in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in 1915 by Hyman Moscot, which makes it one of the oldest local businesses in New York City, as well as the 21st oldest eyewear company in the world still operating today.
Moscot is known for producing a selection of sunglasses with bold and classic designs. The company produces high-quality sunglasses with equally high prices. Interested buyers will need to dig deep into their pockets to buy a pair of Moscot sunglasses. Moscot is also known for having a number of celebrity customers, including Johnny Depp, Paul Rudd, Jeff Goldblum, James Franco, and Helena Bonham Carter.
The frames, eyeglasses and sunglasses together, are categorized under the Moscot Originals and Moscot Spirit Collections. Materials vary from acetate to metal and beta-titanium.
In the spring of 2008, the brand teamed up with fashion designer Chris Bens for a limited edition run of four special colors for its classic frame, the “Nebb”; only 200 were available, each numbered for supposed authenticity. The company has since engaged in eyewear collaborations with Simon Miller, Myles Miller, Kennedy, Tariq Trotter and Johan Lindeberg for BLK DNM.