5 Eyewear Brands You Should Look Out For (but you probably haven’t heard of)

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If you’re searching for a new look, there’s one thing you should always consider; are you looking for innovative, unique style? or are you looking for a name? Because usually the two don’t go hand-in hand.


The Illusion of Choice

Did you know that Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Bvlgari, Chanel, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Ralph Lauren, Dolce&Gabbana and many more eyewear brands are all made by the same company? If you don’t believe me, read this. In many cases they are made in the same factory. This is a multi-billion $ company which manufactures glasses for the mass-market.

If you want the best quality and styles that are made for individuals like you, you need to look for niche eyewear brands. Here are some of the best:





Beausoleil is an icon within the eyewear world. He’s been designing frames since the 80’s, and had an interest in sculpture before turning his eye to spectacle design. His frames are usually not too crazy, but still stylish and contemporary.


Our most popular Beausoleil range is the wood effect collection, which is made from high-quality acetate but finished by hand to look and feel like genuine wood. They are quirky but not too outlandish.


-Johnny Depp wearing a Beausoleil frame



There is a lot of variety within the Beausoleil line, but each and every frame is made with expertise in France and designed by someone who is incredibly passionate about what they do.




The 2nd of the French brands on this shortlist, JF Rey (founded by Jean-Francois Rey) is the edgier, quirkier side to Beausoleil’s more classic style. You can read a great article about the founder himself here. I adore JF Rey frames… in fact I wear one myself.



The JF Rey collection is constantly filled with colour, outlandish shapes and beautiful touches. If you want glasses or sunglasses which make a statement, you can’t beat JF Rey. In my opinion they are currently the most creative eyewear brand in the world.

Here’s some photos we took of the up-coming styles at Silmo (the Paris eyewear show):











One of the fastest growing eyewear brands in Europe, MODO has taken off largely down to two of its collections: ‘Paper Thin Titanium’ and ‘Eco’.


‘Paper-Thin Titanium’ is an extremely on-trend collection which features, bold, vibrant colours, ultra-fine design and combinations between Titanium and other materials like TR-90 (ultra-light – looks amazing in matte finish) and acetate. They just got it spot-on with this range and you should consider MODO Paper-Thin Titanium if you’re looking for cutting-edge, refined and sophisticated style.




‘Eco’ meanwhile takes itself a bit less seriously:



In Eco, you’ll find tonnes of colour, lovely matte finishes and wearable but cool shapes. There’s not much more to say than that except they are made from recycled materials (hence the name) and for every one you buy, MODO plant a tree!






Just look at that frame. That tells you everything you need to know about our 3rd French brand on this list, Face a’ Face Paris. From the hand-made acetate-metal combination which sees gold carving its’ way through the front, to the ‘shoe’ end tips, these are just a beautiful, elegant brand that blows away the named brands you thought were cool.


We recently met with the founder of the company, Pascal, at Silmo (the Paris eyewear show)… check out this video:




Here’s some background info on Pascal taken from the Face a’ Face website:


In 1995 FACE A FACE is created by Pascal Jaulent and Nadine Roth as a French eyewear design company, based on modernity and creativity without compromise. FACE A FACE is fabulous and French, high end, rich in colour and expression.

The founder Pascal Jaulent has a passion for human and social issues and for ethnology and his dream was to become an urban planner. His studies at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (Paris Management School) led him to first join the financial departments of large companies (Nestlé, Dior ) before his desire to work for a smaller company was fulfilled as General Manager of Lunettes Lafont Paris.



For men, Pascal has created a range called ‘Alium’, made with aluminium fronts. I think this range is super cool.









You could argue I’ve saved the best until last… indeed, Coco Song describes itself as ‘The Most Beautiful Frames in the World’. Which is a lot to live up to.

But, by incorporating natural materials such as flowers, feathers, wood and silk, they have come up with glasses that could be considered masterpieces of eyewear design. Here are some examples:

Each Coco Song frame is made by hand and takes months to produce. And each comes out slightly differently, due to the nature of the natural materials. If you want something a bit more extravagant from your glasses, these could be the best choice.


So that’s the 5 eyewear brands you should look out for in my opinion, purely from a style perspective. Soon I’ll do a blog about the brands that are at the cutting-edge from an engineering perspective; that is to say, the most comfortable and durable glasses out there. But that’s for another day.

One thing you’ll notice is that none of the brands mentioned have names emblazoned all over the arms. That’s because they don’t, and wouldn’t want to, sell anything because of the name. And ostentation isn’t cool. People choose them because they are stylish, and because they look amazing.

So next time you’re trying on glasses, think about what you’re paying for, the style or just the name.


For more advice on choosing the perfect glasses, check out my book. Or tweet me @specfactory

More To Explore

Read Our Reviews

The Spectacle Factory is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 20 review(s).


The Spectacle Factory was recommended to me by a friend and my experience from my initial eye test to taking delivery of my new glasses was first class throughout. The attention I received from James during my eye examination was both extremely thorough and professional. He worked patiently and diligently to fine tune my prescription. Robert's involvement in choosing my new frames and lenses was brilliant. At no time did I feel under pressure into making quick decisions regarding the choices made available to me. His expert knowledge and enthusiasm was very reassuring at all times. Having experienced several years of eye discomfort, I am now overjoyed with the difference that the team at The Spectacle Factory have made to my vision. Many Thanks.

- Mr Michael Mortimer


I brought my daughters in recently for their first eye tests and I was so impressed with how patient and thorough all the staff were with us. Trying to get a four year old to sit still enough for the scans was very difficult but Ben tried his best and didn’t seem to let it phase him. Claire was wonderful during the eye test itself, employing my 6 year old to be her assistant and making it fun for them both. Not being a glasses wearer myself, I was quite overwhelmed when I was told my 6 year old needed glasses, but Robert helped me to understand what her prescription meant and made sure that her beautiful new glasses fit her just right! Thank you so much to everyone at SF!

- Emma Venn


Picked my Reykjavik Eyes glasses up Thursday . Robert and his team are outstanding . I am a nervous customer due to bad experiences when I was young . They made the whole experience special and made me at ease throughout both visits . Robert is brilliant regarding frames to suit you no pressure just brilliant support and help . I would wholeheartedly recommend The Spectacle Factory to everyone. Thanks a million everyone.

- Alison Wood


Five stars without any hesitation. I immediately felt at ease and the atmosphere was very welcoming. The service was prompt and efficient. I felt the examination was very thorough and any questions I had were clearly answered. When it came to choosing my frames and what my prescription involved the options available to me were fully outlined. I didn’t feel under any pressure and I felt in charge of the transaction. From entering to leaving it was a lovely experience. I was a little hesitant in the current situation, but my fears were soon allayed as every precaution was taken to minimise the risks. Superior to any high street optician. Excellent all round! EH

- Elizabeth Horsfield


Living some 300 miles from The Spectacle Factory visiting was not an option for me, however, after checking all the reviews I decided not only to buy my J.F. Rey frames (seen on an online video by Robert) but also have my Zeiss smart life progressive lenses made by them. I had no worries. After taking advice from Robert the measurements required for the lenses were done locally at a nominal cost. I am now the proud owner of a pair of handmade 'wow' glasses and a very happy new customer. Use them with confidence. The customer service is truely outstanding.

- Alan Astin


Well they you pay for what you get. It’s definitely true of The Spectacle Factory. There customer service is the best I have experienced anywhere. I was not rushed with any decision and I was made to feel like I was there most important customer. What I paid was an eye watering amount but I got smartlife ziess lenses and frames that are very comfortable. I now also have very clear vision when reading. I thought it was not clear due to lighting in modern offices and homes. Wrong it was bad lenses and persecution not being quite right. Thank you for sorting it all out at the first attempt.

- Heath Christy


ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT I have been using the Spectacle Factory for a long time, but the latest visit was the best BY FAR..... I desperately needed an eye test, and was fitted in quickly. James, the optician, was excellent , as usual. 4 members of staff were outstanding in the service I received. Robert, Ben and Emma were absolutely perfect.....and Ruth, the manager was excellent, as she always is. The best visit by far...I cannot rate this place higher !!!

- K Rhys


Welcomed by and dealt with Robert during the whole process of choosing through to final fitting. Great service, great range of glasses, really helpful and informative. I would highly recommend

- Jenny T


After reading all the positive reviews I decided that a 40 minute drive would be worth it to try and get a new prescription and frames- I wear my glasses all day so need to get this right. I was so impressed with everyone’s desire to be helpful and make sure I was happy at every part of my visit. I wasn’t the quickest at choosing new frames but never felt rushed by Robert. He listened and gave helpful advice as we worked through choosing the frames and lenses I needed. They have a huge range of frames which meant I ended up with a pair I was really happy with. I actually chose a pair of prescription sunglasses as well, which I have been meaning to do for years. I loved the combination of cutting edge technology and personalised service. It’s so nice to see a team that places such a priority on customer satisfaction - they certainly deserve 5 stars.

- S McReynolds


Fantastic service! I attended the spectacle factory over a year ago for an eye test. They were amazing, and so patient with me! My Polaroid frame broke recently, so in desperate need called the spectacle factory to order a replacement frame. They were so efficient and helpful. Also my frames were covered under warranty and I didn’t have to pay a penny. AMAZING. Couldn’t recommend them anymore!

- Rebecca F


Friendly service, thanks to Robert who took the time and care to ensure that I was happy with my new glasses. I would definitely recommend.

- Paul Wellman


Visited the Spectacle Factory a couple of weeks ago for the first time. James did my eye test and was very thorough and informative. Chose a pair of glasses afterwards with the help of another member of staff. Great customer service. I have always gone to high street opticians before and never sure what glasses suit me. I was allowed to take my time and offered helpful advice. Love my new glasses which I picked up with the week. I will be returning to the Spectacle factory in the future. Far superior in terms of quality and customer service compared to other opticians I have been too.

- J B


My wife and I both have great glasses (and sunglasses) from The Spectacle Factory. Right from our very first visit we have been very impressed with the highest level of care and attention to detail, both with eye tests and the choice of lenses and frames. They seem to have a flair for helping you to choose the right glasses. Once your order is ready, nothing is too much trouble to ensure that the fit and the suitability of your glasses is perfect for your needs and that you are completely happy. Their ongoing service is second to none. We can highly recommend The Spectacle Factory..

- Geoff Gosling


Came in today for help with some frames, repaired no questions asked, there and then on the spot Brilliant service

- Alex


All the staff are so helpful and switched on to all your requirements I would recommend them all day what a good experience

- Roy gardiner


The Spectacle Factory offer me the kind of customer service and ability to customise my choice of spectacles that just is simply not available on the High Street. From Initial contact, to delivery of the finished product, you are treated like a loyal friend. Nothing is too much trouble. Unbiased advise, on choosing the correct spectacles for your particular application. A vast range of frames from the very cheapest to the latest designer frames. I choose the Spectacle Factory, because they can provide me with, customised glasses, to align with my particular needs and requirements. Most high street opticians have a 'one size fits all' attitude. The Spectacle Factory does not subscribe to this theory and treats every client as an individual. Their eye sight is very comprehensive and is 50% longer than the industry standard. If you value your eyesight, and want the very best care, this is the place to visit.

- Paul van de Rooy


Rob and the team were excellent help with the professionalism and advise . I will become a faithful member of the spectacle factory!! Thanks again team

- Dan Amin



- James


Excellent advice with a fantastic product range,

- Thomas Sayer


Highly recommend The Spectacle Factory - excellent service will definitely be using again.

- Hattie

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