8 Black-Owned Sunglasses Brands for the Perfect SummerMay 10, 2022 04:00PM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
Sunglasses are the perfect seasonless accessory. Not only are sunglasses great fashion items that pull any outfit together, but they protect your eyes from unwanted sun damage. In addition to the usual stock of aviators and wayfarers, with their timeless appeal, a couple of additional noteworthy eyewear trends to be aware of right now are the oversized, overtly chic and feminine, and also the futuristic wrap-around styles. “What sunglasses suit me?” is a commonly asked question. When it comes to picking the best new sunglasses trends in 2022, it’s important to consider both your face shape and complexion to help you pick the most flattering sunglasses.
There are hundreds of eyewear brands out there but not many Black-owned eyewear brands. Keep reading for all the sunglasses style inspiration from eight amazing Black-owned eyewear brands you need to kick off your summer 2022 shopping.
Godnii (GOD In I, GOD & I, GOD in eye) is a Black-owned eyewear brand from Detroit, founded by Ali Omar and Keri Roberts in 2014. Aiming to pay homage to the tangible zeal and creative culture of Detroit, Godnii works to elevate its innovative spirit. Godnii creates its products on 3 core principles: functionality, limited variety, and superior materials. Rooted in Detroit craftsman and fashion culture, each frame is carefully handcrafted and takes 8 days to complete. “Our frames are made in small batches from premium, sustainable and plant-based materials. As with many grassroots cultural movements, eyewear has been notoriously difficult to define,” said Omar and Roberts on their website.
Founded in 2005 by Paris-born CEO Idriss Nestor, AOX has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent and Black-owned sunglasses brands. He has created a company that creates luxury eyewear at a surprisingly affordable price. The brand is known for its glitzy steadfast commitment to offering a limited selection of universally-flattering, unisex, perfected frame shapes. Since its founding, AOX has grown to be one of the world's leading independent sunglasses brands. Last year, American magazine InStyle and AOX collaborated to give AOX's classic Caruso design a refreshingly retro twist — rose-tinted lenses set in champagne see-through frames.
Founded by Nana Boateng Osei and Nana Kwadwo Osei, Bôhten products build an allure that enables us to challenge the status quo while successfully meeting the industry standard with help from some of the world’s top brand developers, engineers, and artisans. “Our vision is simple: shift cultural paradigms, optimize the eyewear experience and bridge the lineage between our forefathers and the generations of the future,” said the founders on their website. Bôhten incorporates sustainable practices in our operations and products and runs tree planting programs in Ghana and Kenya to help turn the tide against rising deforestation. The brand also works with local communities on eyewear education and accessibility and provides employment opportunities to combat some of the highest youth unemployment levels in the world.
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According to InStyle, Beyonce.com, and Marie Claire, the brand is the best known unknown” eyewear brand for its steadfast commitment to community, comfort & quality. 3rd Eye View sunglasses are lightweight and made of biodegradable materials. The company was established as a helping hand to provide proper eye care, and the name reflects its role as the third eye for a community that is often overlooked. 3rd Eye View also hosts pop-up shops to educate communities about the importance of vision care and the role it plays in literacy, society, and the economy.
Nancey Harris and Tracy Vontélle Green are the founders of Vontélle Eyewear, a luxury eyewear brand that focuses on creating stylish brands with Black women in mind. Their products and accessories are designed and handcrafted to pay homage to their African ancestry with traditional colors and patterns that channel our African, Caribbean, and Latin heritage, with designs made from easily identifiable, recognizable, and appreciated materials such as mud cloth and kente fabric.
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Keke Palmer, Angela Simmons, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg are all loyal clients of Nroda sunglasses. Handmade in New York City, the collections are inspired by founder Samantha Smikle's Caribbean background, created to elevate the style of each wearer. NRODA was officially established in 2012 as Tnemnroda (adornment spelled backward). In 2018, they rebranded under the name NRODA, which is adorn spelled backward. The rebranding represented a newly refined brand image and also an expansion in the product line which intentionally appeals to men as well, making the line officially unisex. "When our customer wears Nroda, I hope that they feel like an amplified version of themselves—incredibly empowered and super confident,” said Smikle.
SWAV Eyewear is a Black-owned inspirational eyewear brand that sells stylish sunglasses and frames to inspire you to never give up on the vision you have for your life. The brand was created by Isiah Fowler, a former member of the US Air Force who decided to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. SWAV stands for Starts With A Vision because that’s their core belief. “For every pair of frames we sell, we put $5 into our Visionary Investment Fund. Twice a year we give that money away to a few people who have a vision,” said Fowler in an interview.
Coco and Breezy Eyewear is an NYC-based eyewear company founded in 2009 by twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson. Cult-favorite, Coco and Breezy are beloved by Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, the late Prince, and Serena Williams. Their early designs were an instant hit in the entertainment and fashion world and can be found in most major publications, such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. “Collaborating with a legend like Prince had a huge impact on our company,” Coco said. He asked for glasses with three lenses, and they sketched multiple ideas to turn his vision into a reality. “My dream was always to design glasses for an iconic artist,” Breezy said. When they are not designing glasses, Coco and Breezy work together as DJs and producers.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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