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Why Gary Black Founded Black Optical

Why Gary Black Founded Black Optical

February 12, 2020 by

Nadia Dabbakeh Nadia Dabbakeh

Quality materials, thoughtful portion and an interesting story—these are the top three things Gary Black, the founder and president of Black Optical (blackoptical.com), is looking for in a pair of glasses. The idea to open his first boutique in Oklahoma (the Dallas location is conveniently located on the bustling side of Cole Avenue), was born from a part-time college job that turned into a deep love of eyewear. But his entrepreneurship and quick expansion really comes down to one thing: “I live for the human connection I get to experience through the lens of Black Optical,” he explains. It’s those interesting stories and friends he’s made along the way that have made Black a go-to collaborator for the kind of luxe eyewear brands that don’t usually collaborate. This season, stop by the store to check out his new drops with Krewe, a New Orleans-born brand with a cult following, and Jacques Marie Mage, the Los Angeles-based micro-producer of limited- edition eyewear. “My relationships with Stirling Barrett and Jerome Jacques Marie Mage were cultivated over our love of product design, history and people outside of eyewear,” Black shares. “The collaborations became an extension of this mutual admiration.” Inspired by architecture, the rhythm of jazz and historical figures that speak his same design language, Black is releasing five original designs with Krewe ($215 to $335) and new takes on some of their top hits by JMM (from $750)—think a larger version of their square Zephirin style, or the iconic Yves frame, but wrapped in bison leather and fixed with custom sun lenses. After all, a special-edition collab is the best way to get those frames you won’t see on anyone else’s face.













Why Gary Black Founded Black Optical

February 12, 2020 by Nadia Dabbakeh

Quality materials, thoughtful portion and an interesting story—these are the top three things Gary Black, the founder and president of Black Optical (blackoptical.com), is looking for in a pair of glasses. The idea to open his first boutique in Oklahoma (the Dallas location is conveniently located on the bustling side of Cole Avenue), was born from a part-time college job that turned into a deep love of eyewear. But his entrepreneurship and quick expansion really comes down to one thing: “I live for the human connection I get to experience through the lens of Black Optical,” he explains. It’s those interesting stories and friends he’s made along the way that have made Black a go-to collaborator for the kind of luxe eyewear brands that don’t usually collaborate. This season, stop by the store to check out his new drops with Krewe, a New Orleans-born brand with a cult following, and Jacques Marie Mage, the Los Angeles-based micro-producer of limited- edition eyewear. “My relationships with Stirling Barrett and Jerome Jacques Marie Mage were cultivated over our love of product design, history and people outside of eyewear,” Black shares. “The collaborations became an extension of this mutual admiration.” Inspired by architecture, the rhythm of jazz and historical figures that speak his same design language, Black is releasing five original designs with Krewe ($215 to $335) and new takes on some of their top hits by JMM (from $750)—think a larger version of their square Zephirin style, or the iconic Yves frame, but wrapped in bison leather and fixed with custom sun lenses. After all, a special-edition collab is the best way to get those frames you won’t see on anyone else’s face.