Why are Sunglasses and Prescription Frames so Expensive?

Why are Sunglasses and Prescription Frames so Expensive?

Why are Sunglasses and Prescription Frames so Damn Expensive?

The answer:

Virtually all major sunglass brands and retailers are owned by a single company: Luxottica. And no one is doing anything to prevent this near-monopolistic, $100-billion industry titan from shamelessly abusing its market power. If you wear designer glasses, there’s a very good chance you’re wearing Luxottica frames.

Luxottica is Everywhere

Its owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.

Italy’s Luxottica also runs EyeMed Vision Care, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical.

And Luxottica is even bigger after merging last fall with France’s Essilor, the world’s leading maker of prescription eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. Do you have Transitions lenses in your frames? You’re an Essilor customer. The combined entity is called EssilorLuxottica.

CBS News did a pretty in-depth piece that does a great job exposing this practice.

Do I have alternatives to Luxottica?

An awesome Redditor u/bamgrinus created a pretty comprehensive list of independent sunglass and RX eyewear manufacturers. The full list is available here. I reproduced my top 11 favorites below: It's my blog, so WUDN goes right at the top. 🙂

WUDN Handcrafted Wood Sunglasses

Boise, Idaho based supplier with online ordering available worldwide. Every pair plants one tree.

Dita

Based out of LA, with limited retail locations worldwide and online ordering within the US.

Barton Perreira

Online ordering available to US/Europe, with retail locations worldwide.

Proof

Our neighbors based in Boise, ID with some retail and online ordering.

Garrett Leight

Based in California, available through several online resellers with international shipping available.

Kirk and Kirk

London based maker, with thick, colorful frames. Also allows customization of animal medallions that appear at the temple on certain models. Online ordering worldwide.

LA Eyeworks

Based in LA, specializing in bold, colorful frames with adventurous patterns. Offers direct online sales in the US only.

Mykita

Premium brand from Germany focusing on minimalist designs. Direct online ordering available in the US and Europe.

Zenni Optical

US-based online-only, specializing in inexpensive frames/prescription combos, international shipping available.

American Optical

independent maker of aviator-style sunglasses

A Selection of Wooden Sunglasses from an Independent Maker

Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN

Real Bamboo Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN

$ 49.00
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Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra Wood Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN

Real Ebony Browline Style RetroShade Sunglasses by WUDN

$ 39.00
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Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN

Real Zebra All Wood Jacks by WUDN

$ 59.00
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Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN
Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN, Sunglasses - WUDN

Real Ebony Wood Wanderer Style Sunglasses by WUDN

$ 39.00
View details

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