“There is too much of a distance between where the product is made and where it is sold,” says Scott Shapiro, the CEO of Chicago-based State Optical Co. Looking to change the model, he joined forces with Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley in 2014 to build State Optical Co.’s factory from the ground up.
Equipped with 40 new Italian machines, the factory employs 50 workers who craft State Optical Co.’s line of 24 eyeglasses and sunglasses. In the luxury eyewear space, this is a big step forward for a new American brand, and if the first run of products is any indication of quality, the Italians and Japanese have plenty to be worried about.
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