The "Tripp" style. Photo courtesy of State Optical Co.

State Optical Co., an American luxury eyewear company, said today that it partnered with Creatures of the Wind, a women’s ready-to-wear brand, to design a limited-edition luxury sunglass collection. The new collection will debut at Creatures of the Wind’s spring 2018 runway show during New York Fashion Week.

Both State Optical Co. and Creatures of the Wind are Chicago-born brands committed to influencing the growth of the U.S. luxury-manufacturing base. This collection is the first-ever “Made in America” luxury sunglass collaboration, the companies said.

Chris Peters and Shane Gabier, cofounders of Creatures of the Wind, said they “immediately recognized parallels in [State Optical’s] practices and perspectives on making and manufacturing. [State’s] attention to craftsmanship and detail is unrivaled and we are so excited with the capsule that we’ve developed together.”

Akin to its company name — which is derived from Johnny Mathis’ “Wild Is the Wind” — Peters and Gabier summoned their shared passions for rock ‘n’ roll music to design each new style according to different genres, ranging from psychedelic to punk rock and other “experimental” additions. The duo said it was also inspired by sunglasses’ longstanding heritage of effortlessly blending “elegance” and “rebellion.”

Named after various streets in Chicago that influenced Gabier’s and Peters’ designs, its limited-edition Tripp, Monitor, Neenah and Leland styles will each bear State’s trademark 21-dot pyramid hand-drilled into the left temple tip, symbolizing Chicago as the 21st state, and Creatures of the Wind’s “C” etched into the right temple tip. Each pair will be individually numbered to mark “exclusivity and authenticity,” according to State Optical.

The “Tripp” style with State Optical’s 21 dot pyramid and Creatures of the Wind’s “C” trademark. Photo courtesy of State Optical Co. 

Every State Optical frame undergoes a 75-step manufacturing process and more than half of the steps are done by hand, the company said. One frame takes approximately two weeks to manufacture in its Chicago factory. Today, the facility employs over 50 craftsmen and houses over 60 pieces of equipment. The firm has staked claims as the first-ever luxury acetate eyewear brand to manufacture in the U.S.

Scott Shapiro, a cofounder and chief executive officer of State Optical Co., said Creatures of the Wind “consistently captures edgy interpretations of classic and whimsical women’s fashion. Collaborating with their team has allowed us to continue to shine a light on the craftsmanship and design work being done in the U.S.”

Our decision to collaborate with Creatures of the Wind was holistic based on their passion for and commitment to Made in America, our shared connection to Chicago and the brand’s design aesthetic,” Shapiro said. “We consider them to be a like-minded brand, which was important criteria for our first collaboration. Chris and Shane have never been ones to conform design-wise and our company mission has always been to celebrate independent thinkers and dreamers or as we like to call them, New Originals. Year on year, the Creatures collections are innovative and vibrant. We wanted this to be conveyed through the eyewear collection and together we think we were successful at creating a collection that captures both State and Creatures of the Wind’s spirit.”

The State Optical and Creatures of the Wind collection will be available for purchase in spring 2018 online and in select eyewear boutiques and retailers worldwide.

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