People have been using glass lenses of some type or another to improve their vision for more than seven centuries. As eyeglasses have evolved from early handheld devices to the familiar framed styles you see today, the materials, craftsmanship, and variation in design have evolved, as well. At Optik Birmingham in Birmingham, Michigan, Joe Ales, OD has created a carefully curated selection of vintage and contemporary designer eyewear for the discerning eye. To learn more, call or schedule an appointment online today.
They say hindsight is 20/20. We say it’s authentic, never worn vintage eyewear. In fact, Hindsight is the name of our collection of original vintage eyewear… one of the largest in the country. These aren’t reissues or used… they’re never-worn frames sourced from eyewear factories and retired optometrists around the world.
Many of the frames, spanning the early 1900s through to the 80s, were handmade in Europe and feature some pretty outstanding details, colors and shapes, like glamorous Gucci’s from the 70s and 80s, sublime Pucci’s from the 60s, and classic Ray Ban’s from the 50s. Also on hand are Persol’s from the 60s, and some of Pierre Cardin’s first designs from the early 70s. The 70s get representation too, from the likes of Desil, Bolle and Playboy, while the more-is-more 80s get a nod from those hard-to-miss Cazal’s.
We’re purposeful in all that we do. Especially when it comes to sourcing frames. Dr. Ales travels the world attending eyewear shows and visiting manufacturers to find eyewear that means something. That is, the brands we carry tell a story. Their founders and designers share our vision for what a frame should be. There’s artistry to the design. And pride of craftsmanship. Each collection at OPTIK carries a singular aesthetic. You’ll get used to all the compliments.
Amber D. Harrison
OPTIK collaborates with fine jeweler Amber D. Harrison to create customized sterling silver adornments for existing frames.
Designed in Budapest, Hungary, Vinylize crafts original frames from actual vinyl records as the final laminating material.
Italian made with wood laminate, W-Eye frames are feather light, comfortable and adjustable.
Los Angeles-based Dita® frames are classically styled with considered touches. Some frames have up to 41 handcrafted components.
Kazuo Kawasaki, an award-winning industrial designer, has approached his signature collection with an artist’s creativity and a mathematician’s precision. His three-point, tension-mounted frames, made without screws, are durable and lightweight. He’s setting a new standard for rimless frame design.
Many of these frames can be made into sunglasses. We also carry sunglasses from specialty lines Maui Jim, Persol, Rudy Project, Vuarnet and Ray-Ban.
Vintage and Designer Eyewear Q&A
What is the Hindsight Collection like?
When you need a new pair of glasses, who says they have to be … new? Dr. Ales is always on the lookout for standout vintage eyewear whenever he travels around the United States or across Europe. As a result, Optik has an extensive collection of mint condition, one-of-a-kind vintage frames to suit virtually any style or mood.
The ever-evolving Hindsight Collection at Optik includes over 1,000 original vintage one-off frames to peruse and choose from. You’ll find eyewear of all shapes and sizes, including slender cat eye frames, perfectly proportioned P3 frames, old-school round frames, and drill-mounted rimless frames.
The Hindsight Collection includes unique frames constructed from a variety of materials, ranging from zyl (ophthalmic plastic) to aluminum and even gold. It spans the 1920s through the 1990s and features iconic designer brands like:
It also features vintage eyewear from Ray-Ban®, American Optical (AO® Eyewear), Tura, Vuarnet®, and Cazal.
Which contemporary eyewear collections are available?
Optik Birmingham carries an extensive collection of selected modern designers, including exclusive contemporary luxury frame lines. Highlights include:
Amber D. Harrison
Optik Birmingham collaborates with fine jeweler Amber D. Harrison to create customized sterling silver adornments for existing frames. She can apply a one-of-a-kind sterling silver adornment to virtually any eyeglass frame.
Based out of Budapest, Hungary, Vinylize Eyewear makes original, totally edgy, completely wearable eyeglass frames that use actual vinyl record material as the final laminating material.
If you like the idea of wooden eyewear, this is the line for you. Italian made with wood laminate, W-Eye eyeglass frames are light, comfortable, and adjustable.
Los Angeles-based Dita® eyeglass frames are best described as “classic with an edge.” They’re exquisitely designed, too; some frames have up to 41 custom handcrafted parts.
Kazuo Kawasaki, an award-winning industrial designer, has approached his signature collection with an artist’s creativity and a mathematician’s precision. His screwless, three-point, tension-mounted frames are durable, lightweight, and set a new standard for rimless frame design.
What kinds of sunglasses are available?
Optik Birmingham also carries an extensive collection of sunglasses, including vintage finds and contemporary shades from every designer frame line featured in the shop. Further, Dr. Ales is pleased to offer a wide range of sunglasses from specialist designers, including:
- Maui Jim®
- Rudy Project
To find out more about the unique collections at Optik Birmingham, call today or schedule an appointment online any time.