A Hungarian glasses worn by world stars
The first Tipton and Vinylize frames were hand made in Seattle Washington in the year 2000 by Tipton Eyeworks founder Zachary Tipton. A prototype was handmade from an old Creedence Clearwater Revival album and Zack hit the road to find a way to manufacture frames made from vinyl.
“I had a workshop, I did it myself. A collection of records rested in the corner. I took out a vinyl record and thought three frames would come out of it. It was a dead medium at the time, the CD completely killed it, and the mp3 was nowhere yet. Recycling was not the buzzword it became later. Then, when they were both in fashion, I was already there with my glasses. ”
In 2000, on a summer trip to Hungary, Zack showed his prototype to the directors of an eyeglass factory originally named Granvisus. Founded in 1962, the factory had supplied many socialist countries with fashionable eyewear but was now in what seemed like a hopeless decline. For the next three years, Zack apprenticed at the factory. He learned everything there is to know about making eyewear. Together with the factory’s few remaining employees, he stuck at it until they made a prescription-ready frame surpassing European Union quality standards.
“I felt like we were going to have something big when Elton John’s husband bought the glasses for him as a gift. I thought we are on the right path. It was time to take it seriously and think carefully about what to do next. ”
In 2014, the machines originally used to make the first Tipton frames were put up for sale and were bought by Zack and his brother, Zoltan. Today, every frame is handmade in Budapest. Tipton recycles more than 3 tonnes of dump destined vinyl into eyewear and accessories each year.
Located in the heart of Budapest in a historical building the founders opened a dedicated showroom and optical shop in 2021. It was a huge step in the brand’s history. The Showroom can transform into an entertainment venue and involves Budapest’s one and only Mezcal bar. The industrial space reflects the ethos of the brand: music, recycling, and vision.
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