Cutler and Gross Eyewear

Cutler and Gross Eyewear

When it comes to eyewear brands, the more you look, the more you find. While the biggest brand names seem to dominate popular knowledge, there are slightly less well-known brands that deserve far more recognition from the general frame-wearing population.

We are exploring one of these brands today...Cutler and Gross eyewear. 

If you're unfamiliar with Cutler and Gross eyewear, you're in for a treat. The British eyewear brand has been designing stunning frames since 1969, but they're more than just a glasses brand. Cutler and Gross also have a strong and exciting connection to performing arts...but more on that later. 

Without further ado, let's explore the incredibly stylish and fascinating story of Cutler and Gross eyewear. 

Cutler and Gross history and origins 

Cutler and Gross

Cutler and Gross has a pretty great origin story based on friendship and mutual values. The brand describes themselves as "trailblazers, disruptors and pioneers", a glimpse into their creative and ahead-of-the-game approach to eyewear design.

It all began when Tony Gross and Graham Cutler met at Northampton College in the early 1960s (both studying ophthalmology) and hit it off. In 1971 they opened their first store in Knightsbridge, London (the store as it stands to day shown below) and success found them very quickly indeed. 

Cutler and Gross Knightsbridge store

One of the great things about Cutler and Gross was their approach to unique style, fashion, and truly creative design. They weren't simply two men with optical knowledge who wanted to create a business, they had an artistic spirit at heart. 

However, let's not underplay the incredible quality and dedication to craft! Cutler and Gross glasses are known for being impeccably made and reliable as well as chic. 

When the UK government stopped providing glasses to the public, there was a burst of demand for eyewear. While many frames available were simply practical, Cutler and Gross offered a more discerning, style-focused offering to those who sought it. They offered frames such as tortoiseshell, bold colours, and personality-packed shapes. Cutler and Gross established themselves as the provider of frames for people with a touch of the eccentric, sexiness, charisma, and fun. 

Fast-forward to today and they're still delivering on the promise! The image below demonstrates the impeccable use of colour, shape, and overall design aesthetic of the modern Cutler and Gross offering. 

Cutler and Gross emerald green

Cutler and Gross Today 

Today, the OG Cutler and Gross store at 16 Knightsbridge Green still stands, as well as five other stores in Bath (UK), London Spitalfields (UK), New York (USA), LA (USA), and Toronto (Canada). 

Cutler and Gross is under the style directorship of Marie Wilkinson (pictured below), who has been with the company since 1983. Marie is a wealth of knowledge and memory about Mr. Cutler and Mr. Gross themselves, having worked closely with them for decades. She tells stories of Mr. Gross bringing in a photo each week of an artist wearing their frames and proudly displaying it on the wall. This demonstrates the brand's personal love and appreciation for the arts and artists, as we will discuss later. 

Marie Wilkinson Style Director 

The Cutler and Gross museum

On the top floor of the Knightsbridge Green original store location, Cutler and Gross opened a museum where they showcase vintage frames and pieces of the brand's history. Below is a snapshot of part of the museum's vast collection of vintage frames. If you are ever in London and you're a glasses fanatic (and a vintage one at that!) you should definitely go along for a browse back in time. 

Cutler and Gross Museum

Speaking of vintage items and museums, Cutler and Gross also feature in the famed Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Check out this pair of bright red frames from 1979 that sit in the museum today. 

Victoria and Albert Museum Cutler and Gross

Cutler and Gross eyewear materials and manufacturing

Like many high-end eyewear brands, Cutler and Gross frames are handmade in Italy (in Domegge di Cadore) using premium Italian acetate. Acetate, not to be confused with plastic, is a superior material for eyewear as it is durable, hypo-allergenic, and holds colour beautifully. Acetate is a semi-natural, semi-man made material made from cellulose extracted from wood pulp and other plant materials. It is combined with acetic acid, spun into fibres, hardened into sheets, then cut and shaped. 

The picture below shows pieces of dyed acetate that have been cut. They will then be fused together into a sheet, the combination of colours resulting in tortoiseshell. 

acetate chips for tortoiseshell

What about lenses?

One of the downsides of Cutler and Gross is that they don't offer prescription lenses online. To have your frames filled with your prescription, you must visit one of their stores in person. However, you could buy the frames and take them to your local optometrist to be filled. 

In saying that, Cutler and Gross do offer a comprehensive eye exam at their brick-and-mortar stores. They also offer light repairs, adjustments, and re-fittings so your frames feel comfortable and look great. 

Lovers of Colour

One of the best things about Cutler and Gross is their dedication to colour. These guys adore bold, bright shades as seen in their Colour Studio Exclusives range. 

These frames are limited edition as they are made from specially-dyed acetates that hold colour in a particularly saturated way. Check out the irresistible 9797 Colour Studio Cat-Eye Sunglasses in Solid Light Blue below. 

Cutler and Gross 9797

Bespoke frame service 

If you're truly extra when it comes to glasses, you could take up Cutler and Gross on their offer of a bespoke frame service. This means you can consult with the staff (only in store) to adjust an existing pair of Cutler and Gross frames to the colour of your choice. At this stage, we are not sure if they offer a bespoke service for frame shape, size, and style outside of their artistic collaborations with stage and screen projects. 

Cutler and Gross Collaborations

Cutler and Gross, the fashion connoisseurs they are, have collaborated with some of the most cutting-edge fashion houses over the years. Since 2005 they have collaborated with the rebellious French brand Commes des Garcons. For example, these gingham frames from 2010. 

 Cutler and Gross Commes des Garcons

One of the most stunning collaborations was with luxe fashion brand Erdem for the SS/2010 collection (pictured below). The frames had a rounded shape reminiscent of the 1960s styles, and had the most unique colourways. For example, black lace pattern overlaid onto a nude base, white lace over a clear base, tropical print, and a customised Erdem print called 'Kyoto'. 

 Cutler and Gross with Erdem

One of their biggest collaborations and one that is still available on their site and in stores now, is their collab with Paul Smith. The collection is vast and offers a wide range of optical and sunglass frames (pictured below). 

Paul Smith Cutler and Gross

Celebrities who wear Cutler and Gross eyewear

One of the best ways to tell the popularity and trust of a brand is by the famed celebrities who choose to wear them. After all, why would they settle for less when they can afford and access the best? It's no surprise that Cutler and Gross frames have been seen on some of the coolest and most fashion-forward faces in the industry. 

Dan Levy, the phenomenally talented and chic actor and writer of 'Schitt's Creek' fame is a fan of Cutler and Gross, as seen below. 

Dan Levy Cutler and Gross

Who else is a more iconic, avant garde, fashion maverick than Lady Gaga? Here she is shown in a pair of bold Cutler and Gross sunglasses as she soaks after a performance. You can copy the queen of pop herself as these frames are still available! The 1305 Square sunglasses are available online and in store and come in four shades.  

Cutler and Gross Lady gaga 

Speaking of musical queens, the Bahamian superstar Rihanna has been snapped wearing Cutler and Gross. She wore this soft pink pair (sadly no longer available!) at a film premier. 

Cutler and Gross Rihanna

The award-winning actress and classic British beauty Keira Knightley is also a fan of Cutler and Gross, as seen below in a pair of tinted sunglasses. These are similar to the 1390 Round Glasses in the shade Papa Don't Peach if you want to copy the look. 

Cutler and Gross Keira Knightley

The best Cutler and Gross eyewear for women

Cutler and Gross has a pair for every style preference, complexion, and face shape. They have frames designed for men and women, but they also have a unisex section. When it comes down to it, where what you like! 

It's hard to choose the best frames for women as there are so many, but here are our top picks. 

First up, we have the 1401 Cat-Eye optical glasses from the SS2023 collection (pictured below). We love that these frames have an oversized silhouette and thick frames that sit boldly on the face. The angles and gently winged cat-eye shape will flatter many face shapes, but especially ovals. 

Cutler and Gross 1401 cat-eye frames

Next, we love the GR01 Colour Studio Round Glasses from the Graham Cutler Capsule collection. These offer a slightly thinner edge, perfectly round frames, and a slightly narrower fit on the face than the cat-eye option above. We love the rich purple-blue shade (pictured below). 

Cutler and Gross GR01 blue frames

If it's sunglasses you're after, we have a special soft spot for the 1388 Square Sunglasses in the shade Orchid Crystal (pictured below), a clear, bold purple. These have a very 70s and 80s vibe and would suit bold personalities with a penchant for retro glam. 

Cutler and Gross 1388 Orchid Crystal Sunglasses


For lovers of art, design, colour, and texture, the 1359 D-Frame Sunglasses will be a total thrill. In four incredible shades, these unique frames feature both metal and acetate and have a top-heavy brownline. We love the shade Moondust Blue (pictured below), but they also come in Black, Sticky Toffee, and Crimson. 

Cutler and Gross 1359 Blue


The best Cutler and Gross eyewear for men

Cutler and Gross, being founded by two stylish men, have an excellent range of frames for guys who want to uphold a certain level of style. 

If you're after something simple, classic, and intellectual that won't be too much of a "feature", try the GR03 Square Optical Glasses in a choice of 5 shades. These acetate frames have a reasonably thin edge, high bridge, and have some rounded edges as well as a few very subtle angles. 

Cutler and Gross GR03

 For a metal frame that packs a punch, try the 1266 Plated Optical Aviator Glasses pictured below on Mahershala Ali at the 2019 Oscars where he won the best Supporting Actor award for 'Green Book'. 

Mahershala Ali Cutler and Gross


However, if you're after something that will have heads turning and people asking you where your frames are from, go for a bolder shape and impactful colour. We love the 1385 Square Sunglasses, pictured below in a deep tortoiseshell frame with dark lenses. You can get these frames as sunglasses or optical glasses. 

Cutler and Gross 1385


Cutler and Gross collaborations with Hollywood films 

One of the most fascinating aspects about Cutler and Gross is their close relationship with the arts, especially the film industry. As long-time lovers of the creative arts, Cutler and Gross started a loaning service for TV, film, and theatre. They consult with design creatives for specific projects to discuss the eyewear needs, tailor the frames to the performer, and sometimes even create bespoke pieces. 

When looking into this amazing initiative, the familiar faces, scenes, and frames that popped up garnered gasps! For example, Julia Roberts in the iconic rom-com 'Notting Hill' wore Cutler and Gross sunglasses. Yes, those distinctive black winged frames she wore in the bookstore (pictured below). 

Julia Roberts Notting Hill Cutler and Gross Sunglasses 

In the uber popular 2022 film 'Knives Out', Daniel Craig wore a pair of warm-toned Cutler and Gross sunglasses (pictured below). These are the 130V2V frames you can still buy on the Cutler and Gross site and in stores. However, Craig wore his with custom lenses for the film.

Daniel Craig Cutler and Gross Knives Out Film

One of the most iconic scary movies of all time, 'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991) also featured Cutler and Gross. Anthony Hopkins, as the terrifying lead character Dr. Hannibal Lecter wore a pair of green-tinged, slimline sunglasses by Cutler and Gross (pictured below). 

Cutler and Gross Hannibal Lecter

Two more incredibly high-profile actors, Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson wore Cutler and Gross frames in the 2014 film 'Kingsman: The Secret Service', pictured below. In fact, you can shop the 'Kingsman' Collection here, as the brand has curated a special collection of frames featured across the film franchise.  

Cutler and Gross Colin Firth Kingsman

Cutler and Gross Samuel L Jackson


Cutler and Gross is an inspiring brand that takes art, design, and colour seriously. They embrace the fun, eccentric sides of the people who choose their frames and strive to keep pushing the boundaries of everyday eyewear. We think Cutler and Gross should be your first stop if you're looking for a pair of frames with saturated colour and a unique, look-at-me shape.

Tell us, what are your thoughts on Cutler and Gross Eyewear? Do you own a pair? We'd love to know!

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