Cutler & Gross
Shoes & Accessories

Cutler & Gross

Optical style and vision with a certain British eccentricity

For 50 years Cutler and Gross has been at the heart of fashionable optics. Guided by its founder Tony Gross’ mantra of ‘style and vision’, it made wearing glasses desirable, through its use of exquisite materials, developing specific features and investing in its own research, development and production. ‘It’s nice if glasses can be sexy and mysterious,’ said Gross. ‘People who need glasses don’t have to feel separated from glamour.’

 

Renowned for contouring every moment of the process around the customer, from the conception of the glasses through to making and fitting them and providing an after-care service, it’s a business that wears its brand subtly. If you’re wearing Cutler and Gross glasses, you’re the only one who knows.

 

Cutler and Gross has always designed products to last a lifetime, so a general shift among consumers towards understanding more about provenance, company philosophies and sustainable working methods is welcome. Owning its own factory allows a degree of control and creativity that would not be possible otherwise, enabling the brand to shape its own destiny. The factory has grown from five people to 40 over the past ten years, and is not only far more productive but delivers a better quality, more sophisticated product.

British style has a certain wit, lightness of touch and refined elegance

Cutler & Gross

These are strong foundations for the future of Cutler and Gross. Since its Knightsbridge flagship store opened exactly 50 years ago, it has only ever had three optometrists: Mr Cutler, Mr Gross and – their personal choice – Salvatore Scinaldi, who has carried the mantle for the past 20 years. Its famous Piers Gough eye examination room is now filled with the latest diagnostic equipment and offers one of the most comprehensive eye examinations in the industry.

 

Essilor, inventor of the varifocal, is the brand’s lens partner – underlining the importance of synergy between the frame’s aesthetics and the prescription. The brand also now carries a license for Paul Smith eyewear and has developed a new L-shaped pin, which is becoming a stylistic hallmark.

 

Talking of style, Cutler and Gross celebrated its style director Marie Wilkinson’s 30th anniversary at the brand with a party at the V&A for 250 guests, including many of her devoted clients. Originally employed for her ‘flair, taste and innate sense of style’, Wilkinson defines British style as having a certain wit, lightness of touch and refined elegance, embodied by the likes of Margaret Howell, David Hockney and Manolo Blahnik – all of whom, naturally, wear Cutler and Gross.

 

Continuing to grow its capacity and international offering organically without diluting its core product is a challenge. However, this is a brand that understands the visual and stylistic needs of its well-heeled clientele, whether that be for reading the labels in Harrods’ food hall, driving to the countryside or choosing sunglasses for the season – wherever ‘the season’ may be.

 

‘If you buy a handcrafted pair of glasses or sunglasses, you want to see the tiny inaccuracies – they give character, make them unique to the wearer,’ says Graham Cutler. ‘The Cutler and Gross customer has always been an individual. Eccentric maybe, but a rare breed, certainly.’

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