On one of the forums we participate in, the question came up who started the whole luxury eyewear bit. In one of the forums, it was asked who started the Luxury Eyewear Market. Whilst they were naming various companies from the 70’s and 80’s, in actuality, luxury eyewear started back in the stone ages! HaHa, but in the 1500’s anyone who wore glasses or had glasses- well then it was considered a luxury item. Until the advent of the printing press and books became more common, is when eyeglasses became mainstream.
The first real luxury eyewear in our lifetime probably came from Tura. Back in 1949 an optician, Monroe Levoy on Madison Avenue in New York started an eyewear company called Tura. His optical shop was named The House of Levoy, the name Tura came from Futura Mirror. Ever the father of invention, in the 1940s Levoy introduced the “Turanette,” a double tiara design on a lightweight metal frame that held hair in place.
Tura Hair Accessory And Eyewear, dual functionality!
In 2011 Alain Mikli launched his ‘Comb Eyewear’ Not jeweled, but as you can see, the same concept. He is creating this in conjunction with John Paul Gaultier
Back to 1949, the Levoy family ran an ad for their business which said: “Because women who wear glasses realize that there is no such thing as inconspicuous glasses, spectacle frames assume their logical place as a fashion accessory.”
The date on this November 14, 1949, Introducing Color and multiple pairs and eyewear as a fashion accessory. Back then women work hats and gloves.
Tura was one of the first to include Leather as a temple adornment. Eyewear became an important fashion accessory for men. Love the case, it is all part of the presentation.
Tura became known as the top fashion eyewear (and luxury eyewear companies) in the United States. Women and Men were encouraged to have a wardrobe of eyewear to match their clothing. Tura even sold matching jewelry and frame sets for women and matching cufflinks and frame sets for men.
Tura was also one of the first to use aluminum in eyewear. Aluminum was also used by Neostyle (1970’s) and Revue (1980’s)
Tura was known for their jeweled eyewear- women should have a special and fancy pair for evening wear. They also used Sterling Silver. Tura vintage frames today sell for up to $200.
In the 1970′s -1980′s Tura sales reps (all women) working on a Mary Kay type of model were leader in setting up Eyewear Trunk shows in which they matched color scarves to the wearers clothing and accessories. Remember Color Me Beautiful?
Tura had many first’s in the optical industry, they were one of the first to use leather, they had wood eyewear, they were one of the first to offer real diamonds and gemstones in eyewear. (in our lifetime)
In the 1980′s one of the most famous Tura Frames was the double circle
The 1980′s- 1990′s brought about a couple of their best sellers. The Facet Frame and the Tura 311 which came in a million colors.
Tura was one if not the first eyewear companies to advertise in consumer fashion magazines such a Vogue.
The Classic Tura Faceted
In 2009, Tura and Eschenbach Eyewear merged. The Eyewear brands Tura distributes are Bogner, Brendel, Crush, Goldfinch, Humphries, Lulu Guiness, Ted Baker, Marco O’Polo, Tura, Titanflex, Tourneau;