Frames Focus: Miracle Matterials

Designers show bold new flex appeal with durable, fashion-forward frames

No, these aren’t your daddy’s frame materials. Today’s fresh crop of high-tech and creative optical designs ushers in a new generation of lightweight, versatile frame elements. Alongside long-favored ingredients like Italian acetate, Japanese zyl and titanium, you’ll now encounter robust, super-flexible materials like memory metals, TR90, carbon fiber, ultem, aluminum and stainless steel in fresh, eye-popping colorations. Welcome to the future! — CLODAGH NORTON

Ray-Ban’s first LiteForce optical frame is rectangular-shaped in typical Ray-Ban style, with slightly rounded angles. The Tech line is made of Lite- Force, a futuristic material offering extreme lightness and resistance.

MSRP: $209.95

(800) 422-2020 |

Model 55.5/1 is a super combo frame with a round front in aluminum, Kilsgaard’s specialty, combined with acetate temples. Colors include gold, bright blue and scarlet. Don’t miss the elegant single-screw solution that fastens both hinges and rim-lock.

MSRP: From $465

(866) 415-8842 |

The Danish company takes a brave approach to titanium frames with acetate temples in their Series 1398-1402 designs. In an unusual technique, a handpainted line follows the edges of the front and across the temples, twisting all the way to the very end-tips of the frame. Front color, lower end-tip and inner side are matching colors — the same goes for the midline and temples. This cool little detail is emphasized by the fact that the temples have a transparent layer surrounding a solid color layer. It’s a difficult process, but one that matches colors and materials perfectly.

MSRP: $119.95

(800) 654 6099 |

A black carbon style with silver titanium hinges, BLAC+11 is produced at Bellinger House, Aarhus, Denmark. This line features styles with 3D-printed fronts in the brand’s own PP22 with carbon fiber temples.

MSRP: $649

(310) 591-5555 |

For their Niilo and Ellinor models, the German designers at Mykita have come up with this super-light construction in stainless steel, inspired by early modern eyewear designs from the 1920s and ’30s. Focus is on the bridge which — as well as being functional — is an explicit formrelated feature in these designs.

MSRP: From $504

(973) 669-0063 |

Stainless steel gets a splash of color in model Marie, an invigorating example of the bright new hues in ic! Berlin’s Electric collection. Eight models have been released, in four on-trend colors: violet, blue, turquoise and magenta.

MSRP: $400

(646) 257-5716 |

The Modo collection this season features silky acetates and slick titanium styles such as 4050 and 4046. In this case, no need to think color: Basic black highlights the sophisticated shape and simplicity of this high-tech choice.

MSRP: $261

(800) 223-7610 |