10 Men's Eyewear Brands You Should Know

Independent labels designing quality sunglasses around the world

Any well-dressed man will tell you that sunglasses are a must. Not only can they top off your outfit with a little extra panache, but there are health benefits as well. The sun’s UV rays can wreak some serious damage on your eyes, in particular the cornea and the eye’s surface tissue. It’s not often that you can use our own well-being as a legitimate excuse to do a little shopping, so I say seize the opportunity and invest in a good pair of new shades.

Brands like Ray-Ban and Persol have become synonymous with quality eyewear, and for good reason. Their classic frames and careful construction ensure that each pair of sunglasses they produce is built to last for years provided they’re treated with care. But beyond those big, omnipresent eyewear megabrands, there are quite a few lesser-known makers of sunglasses who promise the same quality and protection, plus a little bit of indie street cred.

So explore these eyewear brands, some small enough that you’ll need to hunt for them, others that have already amassed a devoted following. Just do us all a favor and promise that no matter how much you love them, you’ll avoid pulling a Corey Hart; sunglasses should be purely daytime-only.

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Han Kjobenhavn

Han Kjobenhavn.

Today, Danish brand Han Kjobenhavn has two brick and mortar shops, a full clothing line and a cult following among some of the most in-the-know figures in men's fashion. But, they started in 2008 as an eyewear brand, and their sunglasses are still some of the best on the market today.

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Based in Los Angeles via Paris, designer Ahlem Manai-Platt takes inspiration from both cities for her eponymous eyewear collection. Ahlem sunglasses are all made by hand, with a timeless design that takes into consideration subtle improvements on classic styles.

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Warby Parker

Warby Parker.

Warby Parker's business model has become something of a new industry standard: for every pair of frames purchased, another is donated to someone in need. And if that wasn't enough, their sunglasses start at only $95 and are still made from some of the finest materials available.

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Name a celebrity noted for their style, and they're likely to have been spotted rocking a pair of Illesteva shades. And it doesn't even matter what exactly that style is: the wide range of shapes and styles available has appealed to everyone from Daniel Craig to Elton John.

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Sun Buddies

Sun Buddies.

With a name like Sun Buddies, what's not to love? These sunglasses, from the minds behind the Swedish taste-making boutique Tres Bien Shop, are hand-made and have been co-signed by some of the most trusted names in fashion-forward retail, like Opening Ceremony, Dover Street Market and Need Supply.

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Kaibosh is based in Norway, and their Scandinavian design sensibility shines through in their sunglasses, meaning their frames are minimalist, sleek and style-conscious but still accessible. They're also completely unique, with innovations like temples that flip over to reveal a second color on the other side, essentially giving you two pairs of shades for the price of one.

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Garrett Leight

Garrett Leight.

Quality eyewear runs in designer Garrett Leight's blood; his father founded the famed eyewear brand Oliver Peoples. The GLCO collection, as it's called, offers a range of timeless styles in a wide assortment of colors and shapes, plus the option to fully customize frames to fit your own personal style.

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If you're always on the go, or find that your sunglasses get damaged when you tuck them into your jacket or bag, then look no further than Sunpocket. Each pair folds down for quick and easy storage that protects the frames from getting bent out of shape and takes up very little space in your pocket. Originally launched in the late 1970's, Sunpocket was rebooted in 2011 with more modern colors and shapes.

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Another brand with a philanthropic heart, Aframes donates portions of each sale to support funding for Vitamin A supplementation in developing nations. It's an appropriate connection since Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness. The sunglasses themselves are the kind of classic styles that complement any look.

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Local Supply

Local Supply.

In their own words, Australian brand Local Supply believes that "expensive sunglasses are always the first casualty after a big adventure." Therefore, the founders set out to create everyday eyewear that is functional, stylish, durable and won't cost you a small fortune.