Chicago, IL, July, 2015—American-made luxury eyewear is finally a reality; Europa is proud to introduce STATE Optical Co.

STATE Optical Co. is a collection designed for the doers, for the fiercely independent thinkers, for the tireless innovators that embody the true American spirit. Doers like Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley (formerly of Frieze Frames) who built and head the IEM factory manufacturing STATE here in Chicago. Independent thinkers like the Europa leadership who never gave up on the dream of bringing frame manufacturing back to the US. Innovators like STATE designer Blake Kuwahara, whose designs elevate eyewear to art.

STATE is more than the name of the brand, it speaks to our STATE of mind, advancing the STATE of the industry, and of course, the STATE we’re proud to call home. The 21 dots in the logo refer to Illinois, home to Europa and IEM, the 21st state of the union. STATE Optical Co. is the culmination of Europa’s ultimate passion project, bringing manufacturing home. Beyond bringing jobs back to the US, it affords Europa tighter quality and inventory control that should be expected from premium eyewear. But closest to Europa’s heart, is the connection that it will create on a consumer level and the way it will empower opticians. When you know where your eyewear comes from, when you see the hands that forge it, we create a STATE of kinship that starts with the frame’s design and carries through to the limit-pusher that wears it.

The debut collection, designed by world-renowned designer Blake Kuwahara, is a perfect reflection of the brand: a clean, modern, embodiment of the American spirit. Consisting of 12 ophthalmic and 6 sunwear styles for men and women, all in acetate, STATE launches at Vision Expo West in September.

STATE is produced by IEM (the factory born from the partnership between Europa, Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley of Frieze Frames) in its brand new, state-of-the-art eyewear factory housed in Europa’s new company headquarters located just 20 minutes north of Chicago.

Europa would like to extend an invitation to all in the industry to visit the factory to see, first-hand, the passion and skill that go into producing eyewear. Over 50% of the acetate frame production at the IEM facility is accomplished by hand, with 35 separate steps involved in creating even the simplest of STATE Optical Co.’s initial styles.

Was there an easier way to produce eyewear in the US? Yes. But this is the right way. Come see how we do it.

For more information, or to make a reservation to view the collection at VEW or book a factory tour, please email Carolyn Zazra at