Our Story

From five decades of optical expertise, a soundtrack of jazz music and a passion for timeless design grew an expansive collection of modern, original eyewear; looking to the future, yet rooted in history.

The origins.

The first Black Eyewear frames

Black Eyewear designer Robert Roope spent 50 years as an optician, serving clients as diverse as Stanley Kubrick before turning his hand to design.

Dissatisfied with a lack of simple black frames on the market, Roope looked to design inspiration from his favourite era of optics, the 1950s, to create his first collection of six iconic black frames.

The rest, they say, is history.

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“ My passion for eyewear design came out of a wish to rescue the bold, simple, iconic eyewear styles of the 50s. They had been replaced in the 80s by wall to wall unisex metal oblong frames in gunmetal and bronze. It was clone Britain, sameness, monotonous, characterless. I launched the Black Eyewear range in 2005 to put 50s designs back on the map. ”

- Robert Roope

Discover the Black Eyewear collection.

Our frames

Today, the collection is testament to his enthusiasm and energy as well as Roope’s passion for the jazz music he loves. Each of his designs is dedicated to different figures from jazz, and each is embedded in a rich social-cultural history of eyewear design and culture. Black Eyewear’s mixing of modern sensibility with an edge, can’t help but enhance the character of anyone who wears them.

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Edda wears Collette glasses in Forest Cloud.
Alice Sunglasses in Matt Marmelade.

Black Eyewear is designed with several principles in mind. For Roope, it’s all about ‘the fit’. Eyewear should beautifully and architecturally frame the structure of the face.

“Timeless style in eyewear is styling that embraces the fundamental structures of the face; it is styling that creates resonance and harmony with our face structure. It can be elusive, but we recognise it when we see it.”

On slow fashion.

Timeless design

Secondly, the timelessness of Black Eyewear’s designs resists the push for the new at any cost.
The philosophy of slow fashion informs Roope’s designs; his designs remain through the seasons, standing the test of time.

Our clients wear the same iconic styles for years.
Your signature frame will always be in stock.

Meet the black eyewear community

Consider a pair of Black Eyewear frames as a staple,
a dear friend to last the ages.