Johann Wolff:
An Independent Eyewear Love Story


The fashion industry is not always a welcoming place for independent designers and manufacturers. Indeed, far more often than not, to survive and thrive in the world of fashion, you need to be big, well-funded, and highly mechanized.

But Johann Wolff was created to buck that trend. With an unyielding passion for quality, creativity, and craftsmanship, the company’s founders, brothers Eric and Lorenzo Vicens, set out to change the way the business of fashion works. 

They did so by carefully cultivating a niche in the market, one which the twin titans of fast fashion on the one hand and high fashion on the other had neglected for far too long. Specifically, they set out to offer a home for those eager to find unique and ultra high quality eyewear at an accessible price point. 

The result, it turns out, was, indeed, a true love story and the marriage of independent design and painstakingly curated retail. Thus, Johann Wolff was born

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This article provides a look behind the scenes at Johann Wolff. It explores the backstory of the romance between JW, its affinity for the past, the customers they love, and the planet they cherish.

Unique Eyewear Uniting the Past and the Future

Johann Wolff’s guiding mission is to draw on the treasures of yesterday to create ever more beautiful tomorrows. And what this means is that JW so proudly pay homage to the past through a number of common threads. The most significant of these guiding principles, perhaps, is the power of tradition to drive pride of craftsmanship, to fire creativity, and to galvanize innovation. 

In other words, JW’s select cadre of design inspirations tap into the past to transform the future. Or, to paraphrase the great Sir Isaac Newton, they see further because they stand on the shoulders of giants.

And so it is that the JW brand brings with it long traditions of elite craftsmanship. Our manufacturers know what it takes to make quality sunglasses and eyeglasses that withstand the test of time. Many, indeed, learned the craft at the knees of their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, extending back for many generations.

That is precisely why Johann Wolff is so proud of our product line and so confident in standing by every spectacle sold. We offer a lifetime warranty on every purchase, that is how committed we are to ensuring that you love your shades and specs as much as we do–and that it’s a love affair that will truly last a lifetime. 

Vintage Designs with A Contemporary Twist

Our design team operates on the premise that the triumphs and teachings of the past can pave the way to a brilliant future. And because of this, the wide variety of designs featured in the JW product catalog share one important distinguishing characteristic. Each pair of sunnies and specs is creatively crafted to harmonize the traditional and the contemporary, the vintage and the modern. 

Take, for example, the Carousel, with its classic shape and vintage inspired silhouette. The frame is an homage to mid-century European design, but the construction is all 21st century innovation, from the custom stainless steel temple cores, pins, and hinges to the high-density (and earth-friendly) cellulose acetate frames to the CR-39 polarized lenses with their anti-reflective coating. 

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And it’s not only in the construction that you find an amped-up modernity in these frames. The color options also add a future-focused flare. In addition to the nostalgic Vintage Tortoiseshell, you also have the opportunity to purchase these frames in refreshing and contemporary colors such as: Army Green, Smoke, Tigerwood, Ivory, and Crystal.

Sustainability Meets Style

To be sure, the JW love story isn’t just about the romance between the company and its affinity for the past. Or solely a tale of love between JW and its customers. It’s also a story of JW’s infatuation with and love for the planet. 

For far too long, the fashion industry has run roughshod over this grandiose  home of ours we call Earth. In the process, it has glutted itself on the earth’s precious water supply. It has belched more pollution into the air and emitted greater amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than almost any other industry on earth. And, particularly in the wake of the fast fashion movement, it has choked our overflowing landfills with unnecessary waste.

But Johann Wolff, its partners, and its customers believe that Mother Earth deserves far better treatment than she has received from the fashion industry. And that’s why everything that JW and her teams of designers, manufacturers, and other partners do is practiced with an eye toward sustainability. 

Consider, for example, the cellulose acetates used in JW frames. These are plastics sources in a highly eco-friendly manner. These acetates are plant-based, renewable, and hypoallergenic. They are also incredibly durable, intended to withstand years of daily wear. Contrast this with the industry standard injection mold processes used to manufacture their plastics. Not only are these processes not environmentally-friendly, but they result in frames that are far less durable. The outcome is more scratched and broken shades clogging the landfills or ending up as plastic waste in our oceans.


And the JW commitment to sustainability doesn’t end there. We truly sweat the small stuff when it comes to our earth-friendly practices because we know that our environment’s survival depends on it–and, ultimately, so does humanity’s. For this reason, we ship every JW product a 100% vegan leather carrying case. Similarly, our packaging is purposely designed to minimize waste while maximizing quality. 

Above all, we take pains to partner only with manufacturers who are ready, willing, and able to blaze new trails in sustainability. Often, this means cutting production volumes to optimize both quality and sustainability in every item they produce. At JW, we understand that our customers and our planet deserve better than mass-produced, poor quality, environmentally harmful eyewear. 

Visit your local Johann Wolff retailer or contact our expert team of stylists and eyewear aficionados today to find the perfect Johann Wolff sunnie or spec for you.