Vintage Design Houses

Some eyewear manufacturers have a rich heritage to uphold as part of their very DNA. More than ever, these design houses are taking advantage of the retro and vintage trend as an opportunity to emphasize their heritage.

Gouverneur Audigier

Gouverneur Audigier, founded in 1878, has the oldest active eyewear workshop in France. That speaks volumes about the vintage quality of this eyewear manufacturer, which combines time-honored manufacturing methods with modern techniques. We have a lot to learn from the experience of our elders… including this unique style! Rounded glasses which lend the wearer an ancient wisdom. Some models are even manufactured on vintage machines! Vintage through and through.

 Creation of glasses by hand© Gouverneur Audigier


The famous french house Roussilhe has been manufacturing its frames for more than 40 years© Roussilhe

In this beautiful region of Jura, historically famous for its Eyewear design Houses, Roussilhe workshops have blossomed. Combining tradition of French hand-made craftmanship to the best technologies, the firm has been manufacturing its frames in Oyonnax for almost 40 years. Roussilhe is proud to display the « Origine France garantie » (French origin warranted) label on its products since 2012, and uses only high quality material, such as stainless steel or Mazzucchelli acetate. Willing to fit with every personality, the brand presents highly diversified collections. With Les Millésimes, its new retro-vintage line, she invites you to discover iconic models, named after the most emblematic French actors and actresses !


 Front of the famous Moscot optical shop in New York© Moscot

Moscot is a company steeped in over a century of history. The family’s glasses started out rattling around in carts in early twentieth-century Manhattan, and have now become a symbol of retro eyewear. Elegant and self-assured, in typical American fashion, Moscot vintage glasses will give you an undeniably old-school look. The unique arch under the bridge, now a hallmark of the brand, comes directly from the family archives. Far from being a burden, however, Lemtosh’s weighty history is a source of pride for those who choose to carry these glasses on their nose.


 Handmade acetate glasses by Lunor© Lunor

Gernot Lindner is a collector of artworks, just like us! Lindner, who created the Lunor brand, has showcased his originality by updating what would usually be considered “antiques”. This vintage essence is encapsulated in all of the eyewear manufacturer’s collections, which are a must for anyone wanting to rock a classic style. The slightly rounded frames will lift your look, just like these grandfather glasses which glint with flashes of ingenuity and intelligence. Steve Jobs would have agreed; he always swore by the German brand!


“There isn’t modernity without knowledge and creativity without tradition”: this is the true spirit of Californian brand Tavat. The key of its success ? The perfect marriage between the last American innovations for technology, and of Italian craftsmanship for know-how. Born in the hills of Pasadena, the models are created by skilled optical craftsmen in the foothills of the Dolomites, in Northern Italy. Each frame undergoes more than 100 handmade steps. To give birth to these unique vintage glasses, Tavat has found its inspiration in the United-States industrial past. One daily-life object has centered their attention: the food can ! Just like for their signature creation Soupcan, and most recently for Spamcan, the metallic, finely grooved deep circles are as many clever details. Modern glasses, though full of sweet memories…

Retro glasses created by the designer Tavat© Tavat – SPAMCan Collection

Maison Bonnet

Maison Bonnet specializes in an ancient material: tortoiseshell. Tradition is key for this family business, who have been crafting eyewear for four generations. The last artisans in Europe to work this precious material, the Bonnets manufacture their designs by hand using the same ancestral techniques that have won their workshop its impressive reputation since the 1930s, when Aviator glasses took off. Maison Bonnet works from shell stocks made before 1973. The material itself is vintage, meaning that each frame is original, and steeped in history. Bespoke spectacles, a tradition which goes back almost a century… What could be more authentically vintage than that? If you are looking for prestige, a solid foundation, and collections with a vintage design, look no further than Bonnet creations!

Claire Goldsmith

Some legacies are beyond refute: Claire Goldsmith glasses are part of a family of well-deserved renown. The British designer took advantage of the influence she inherited from her great-grandfather, Oliver Goldsmith, reviving the models that made the brand famous in the 1960s from the archives. Always the go-to for wildly bold, colorful retro glasses, the brand has developed the “Heritage” range, which has more in common with vintage than just the last few letters.

 Taking a measurement of Claire Goldsmith eyeglasses© Claire Goldsmith

Rayon Spécial

Rayon Spécial, created by the young designer Yohan Dahan, offers a whole range of glasses from the 1930s to the 1960s, which Dahan has personally restored or reinvented. Luxury glasses coated in yellow or white gold hark back to famous names from the twentieth century, such as Marylin Monroe and Yves Saint-Laurent. Classy and sporty, glamorous and bold, the designer’s frames will delight both male and female vintage eyewear enthusiasts. Genuine craftsmanship, which makes faded lights shine brightly once more.

Luca Gnecchi Ruscone

To hear Luca Gnecchi Ruscone talk about his brand L.G.R., you would think you’re going on an adventure. As a matter of fact, he had the idea for the design house while traveling in Africa, when he made a great discovery: He found a box filled with frames from the colonial era in a drawer, “displaying a charm you no longer see today”. The stash, which belonged to his grandfather, has inspired a great deal of L.G.R collections, which are manufactured using traditional methods. Infused with a breath of warm sub-Saharan air, these Italian glasses reinvent original, traditional, and timelessly elegant shapes. The spirit of adventure and vintage heritage go hand in hand in this Italian design house.

 Hand made glasses by L.G.R© Luca Gnecchi Ruscone

Featured image: WOOW – Super Sonic frame

Discover more about vintage and retro eyeglasses history and the brands and opticians that brought them back!