EXTRAORDINARY IMAGES DELIVERING THE MESSAGE AS TO WHAT AND WHOM IT TAKES TO CREATE AMERICAN-MADE EYEWEAR THAT IS TRULY ARTFUL IN PURPOSE AND PRODUCT –JAMES J. SPINA

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I refuse to back down from the premise that a great frame is a work of art in the same way a great watch or a great automobile notches up that revered spot as product equally awesome, practical, functional and… fun. I worship at that alter dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright and his take on a dwelling and Bill Mitchell left to his best stylistic devices in the design evolution of the Corvette.


Wright didn’t invent the house, and Mitchell is a long way down the line when it comes to motor-vating the first foursome of wheels. So there’s no claim here Blake Kuwahara suddenly thought up the ingenious idea of somehow suspending a pair of lenses in front of a person’s eyes but stand aside if you feel you have a better contender than State Optical eyewear as a supreme example of artistically and stylishly and enduringly wonderful eyeglasses.

And in order to bring that concept from fanciful thought to fruition you need a spot of creation, a source of prideful cooperation and a manner of precise and delicate detailing to make that frame happen. State Optical does just that in a factory conceived via the concurrence of two dreamers (Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley) from the West Coast and equally fearless opti-pioneers (Scott Shapiro and Jerry Wolowicz) from Chicago.

The bona fide factory was literally built in the spacious gut of an industrial park complex in suburban Chicagoland to suit every honored step of creating eyewear justified in its MADE IN USA badge of honor. And that factory is populated by a small army of dedicated workers I’d dub artists any and every day (and night) of the week.

These people… the dreamers, the pioneers, the crafters… all of them share the vision of the designer delivering State eyewear that is truly State of the Art. ■