CUTLER & GROSS
Founded in 1969, British luxury eyewear brand Cutler and Gross combines the finest Italian craftsmanship with irrefutably cool style. Since its establishment in fashion’s halcyon days, the brand’s signature creativity has been applied to sunglasses and optical frames with their trademark numbered designs and absence of an ostentatious logo.
The brand has boutiques in the UK, North America and Canada. Cutler and Gross frames are also distributed to selected department and concept stores, along with optical stores in major cities across Europe, North and South America, and Asia.
TALENTS AND COLLABORATIONS
The bold, individual style of Cutler and Gross has attracted some of the most prestigious names in the industry for collaborations — from design houses such as Erdem, Comme Des Garçons and Maison Martin Margiela, to creative icons including Victoria Beckham, Roksanda Ilincic and Bella Freud, as well as limited edition launches such as Jay-Z for Barney’s New York.
Considered bastions of iconic eyewear, opticals and sunglasses designed by the brand have been worn by some of the most recognizable faces of the last four decades. Brand fans include the legendary David Hockney, Grace Jones, Sir Elton John and Madonna, as well as influential artists and style leaders from Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu toKate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.
Having initially created frames by hand above the Knightsbridge shop, today Cutler and Gross produces all its glasses in a dedicated facility in Cadore, Italy, where highly skilled craftsmen take pride in preserving and developing the artisanal tradition in eyewear manufacturing. Only the highest quality of Italian acetate, lenses, rivets and accessories are used to make the company’s frames.
The importance of the artisanal creation of each pair of glasses is the essence of the brand. Each frame takes four to six weeks to produce and undergoes 42 tailored steps. The intricate process includes design, cutting, barrelling, bending, hinge insertion, polishing and quality control. Cutler and Gross craftsmen complete every step by hand.
The charm of the artisanal tradition and the passion and dedication of the craftsmen is found in every pair of Cutler and Gross frames, creating a unique and timeless product.
Once designs are chosen, shapes are sketched, converted to computer drawings and cut into frame frontals and temples on a CNC machine, using the finest grade of Italian acetate. The rough cut shapes are tumbled in a wood barrel for five days with resin chips and organic oil. This process smoothes and prepares the surface of the frames for hand polishing.
After the wood chip and oil polishing, the frames are individually hand polished, using two different polishing wheels made of cotton that rotate at speed. This process gives the frame a deep, lustrous finish, similar to that of a fine piece of furniture.
Cutler and Gross prefers to use pinned hinges. These are secured to the frame with exposed pins – the only decoration. For each hinge, holes are hand drilled into the frame and metal pins are then inserted. The excess is hand-trimmed and the newly cut ends are hand-doomed to ensure a secure bond and perfect finish. The iconic gold foil logo is located discreetly on the inside of eachright hand temple. A technician recesses a bed into the acetate upon which the logo is delicately placed. Subsequently, the gold foil is encapsulated in a clear resin to form a lifetime seal. This unique process affords the wearer the security of knowing that the glasses are a genuine Cutler and Gross product.
GRAHAM CUTLER AND TONY GROSS VISIONARIES
Graham Cutler and Tony Gross met at optometry school and created a formidable duo. Back in 1971 they opened their first store in Knightsbridge, London, at a time when optical frames had a purely medical function and lacked in aesthetic appeal. In a bold and innovative move, Gross introduced the idea of eyewear as a fashion accessory, infused with glamour and creative aesthetic. Combined with Cutler’s eye for detail and a ruthless quest for the best design solution, these ground-breaking visionaries produced design-led eyewear with a modern cut, exceptional quality and signature creativity.