DITA Eyewear, Perfecting the Art of Eyewear with Japanese Craftsmanship

DITA Eyewear, Perfecting the Art of Eyewear with Japanese Craftsmanship

Handmade in Japan, DITA is famously known globally for its classic and cutting-edge designs without the compromise of comfort and quality. With a marvelling range of inspired vintage frames of the ‘50s to ‘80s, this luxury eyewear brand constantly pushes the boundaries of timeless shapes and is constantly inspired to create bold designs. The use of innovative technology and expert manufacturers ensures the highest levels of quality, making this eyewear brand unparalleled in expertise and a true leader in optical innovation.

In this article, we take a look at DITA’s history, craftsmanship and various iconic collaborations throughout the brand’s timeline.

The Brand History

DITA is a Californian-based luxury eyewear brand founded in 1995 by childhood friends Jeff Solorio and John Juniper. The two have been best friends since kindergarten, and were always working together in one way or another since they were kids. Prior to creating the brand, they were former pro snowboard filmmakers and photographers respectively. Uninspired and unsatisfied by the low-quality products from the fashion houses and lead designers back in the day, John and Jeff decided to start the brand with the aim of creating high-quality and innovative crafted eyewear.

DITA founders Jeff Solorio and John Juniper

The duo admittedly didn’t know much about eyewear design or the industry in general, but what they were certain about was wanting to create an eyewear line that was inspired by old-school classic Hollywood glamour. One of the ways for them to gather first-hand research was by going around to vintage stores to hunt for frames, and the ones that caught their attention at the time were the cat eye design and the ‘50s styles. This became the main inspiration for their first collection, which featured big round Jackie O, pearl colours and cat eye styles.

While the name ‘DITA’ is now associated with this luxury eyewear brand, it wasn’t always the case. The brand got its name from somewhere else — the famous burlesque dancer and pin-up model Dita Von Teese. It is said that co-founder John Juniper met Von Teese back in 1993 when the DITA eyewear brand was just a mere idea. He had asked her if he could name an eyewear brand after her — fast forward a few years, the brand was born, and the original Dita Von Teese modelled for the brand’s first prototype.

A notable milestone for the brand is when it opened a proprietary factory in 2018 in Japan. This is so that they are able to invest more in research and development of new and unique designs, as well as various production methods. This move made DITA one of the first few independent eyewear companies to take such a step.

DITA Japan craftsmanship

Now, almost three decades after its opening, DITA has established itself as a premium and luxury eyewear brand, and co-founders Jeff and John have earned the status of being some of the best eyewear designers in the world.


DITA invests significantly in quality and craftsmanship of its products. The company doesn’t cut corners — it is said that it takes over 350 separate production steps over the span of at least eight months to create one single piece of DITA frame. That entire process, for just one frame alone, can involve as many as 100 artisans and master craftsmen.

Some say that DITA is ‘an innovative combination of timeless elegance and mechanical chic’ — it is safe to say that that phrase is very accurate. There are two major factors that contribute to the brand’s reputation of luxury eyewear products: quality materials and design technology.

Quality materials

While the brand’s design studio and world headquarters are in Los Angeles, California, DITA’s frames are all handmade in Japan. The founding duo themselves have praised Japan as the gold standard for eyewear manufacturing — the country was already developing titanium frames in the ’80s, which was a milestone that put Japan at the forefront of the industry. 

DITA Sunglasses

DITA uses the finest qualities for its frames and is made by the best manufacturers in Japan. Some of them are the world’s oldest and most respected eyewear factories, including those owned by families for generations. Some of these master artisans and master craftsmen have dedicated as many as five decades to perfecting their skills, like samurai swordsmiths from a bygone era.

Some of the high-quality materials used by DITA include titanium, 18K gold, white gold and Japanese Zyl. The titanium used in DITA is some of the highest grades of beta-titanium. This type of titanium is used because this material is extremely light, durable and flexible. Compared to steel, beta-titanium is a third of its weight.

The use of Japanese Zyl is a prime example of the brand’s uncompromising production philosophy perfectly. Japanese Zyl is a type of acetate that comes from a plant that is known for its superior quality and sustainability. DITA chooses to use this material because it can be polished up to an extremely high standard. The brand distinguishes itself from other brands that commercially process large quantities of acetate frames cheaply and quickly by having its own unique way of making its frames — the acetate frames are slowly tumbled in genuine, hand-cut bamboo chips. This is its traditional bamboo polishing process that creates significant results for the acetate frame, which is deeper, richer and high quality. That’s the secret behind DITA’s signature glossy look to its frames.

Technology and design

Another aspect of the production process that DITA prioritises is technology. The brand uses cutting-edge computer-aided design (CAD) technology — a key component of DITA’s production process — which assists in the hypertechnical areas of the frame designs. World-class wristwatches and automobiles are designed using this same expensive, sophisticated technology.

DITA production

It takes a special skill to turn flat sheets of acetate into elegantly curved frame components — the iconic frame shapes and designs of DITA are created using custom-made metal dies set into specialised heat presses. The perfect example of DITA's unflinching attention to detail is the luxurious eye rim wire, which are carefully shaped and measured by expert craftsmen. The finished eye rim wires are then hand-soldered to the bridge, followed by hand-led smoothing and hand-polishing.

Throughout the manufacturing process, master craftsmen, craftsmen, and artisans would monitor the fit, shape, and finish of every frame. To ensure that the final product meets DITA's exceedingly high-quality standards, they will run their hands over the frames' surfaces looking for imperfections and imbalances. These various quality control checks in place guarantee that all DITA frames are up to perfection before they even come close to the hands of customers.

Top DITA Designs

Since the brand’s opening in 1995, the brand has undoubtedly come up with some groundbreaking frame designs in the industry — after all, they are a renowned luxury eyewear brand. Unlike some other brands, DITA chooses to not have its logos plastered everywhere on its product. That was a conscious decision by the founders. The reason behind this is so that the focus is on the frame design, and that should speak for itself. Nonetheless, there is still a DITA logo on all of their frames — on the inner part of the temple.

One of the most significant milestones for DITA is its premier Optical Collection in 2007. This collection was inspired by the various timeless styles of years past, and the brand has revitalised these old classics into modern timeless pieces.

Decade-One & Decade-Two Limited Edition Models

DITA Decade-Two Limited Edition Design

The brand also celebrates every decade with a limited edition model: Decade-One in 2005 and Decade-Two in 2015. Decade-Two offers a turbocharged reboot of the classic aviator frame in celebration of 20 years in the business. One might say that this frame is the very definition of DITA — a merge of past and future, classic and futuristic. On top of the signature details like DITA’s diamond-press detailing and flexible nose pads, the frame also features a mesh metal bridge and drill mount two-base lenses.

The Heartbreaker

DITA The Heartbreaker

With DITA’s range of designs, there are some that are more successful than others. Among its bestselling designs for women include the Heartbreaker, the Condors, and Medina. The Heartbreaker has been seen on many celebrities including supermodel Gigi Hadid — which was one incident that caused the rise of this design — and the frame was a tribute to a ‘passing encounter and the joie de vivre of a beautiful woman’. Made from lightweight titanium, the Heartbreaker is a modern take on the classic cat eye design, making it a timeless piece that will last decades more. 

Gigi Hadid in The Heartbreaker

Men Favourites: Mach & Flight Series 

As for men, some top hits include the Mach I from the MACH Series and the Flight IV from the Flight Series. The Mach I, in particular, is a staple in any eyewear collection. It was inspired by, in short, speed — fast cars, speed boats and sleek planes. The highlight of this design is the metal bar that connects at the top of the lens’ rims, adding chic and stylish elements. While the design can be worn by both men and women, they are particularly more popular for men. 


The MACH Series in general is a popular one among celebrities. All designs in this series are made of 100% UVA and UVB lens and has an anti-reflective coating. Among them that have been spotted wearing DITA MACH series is Dwayne Johnson, more commonly known as The Rock, in the Mach 6.

DITA x The Rock

DITA Mach 6

The Flight Series features designs that are classic yet trendy. Various designs took inspiration from various things. For example, the Flight-Seven was a tribute to the supersonic military aircraft of the 1970s. This design features an elegant, lightweight and remarkably thin frame made of beta-titanium with oversized temple tips made of acetate. 

DITA Flight7

The Flight-Six design is a bolder design compared to the ones that come after it. The design is a tribute to fighter pilots — who were somewhat of a style inspiration for men during the post-war years — with the classic aviator frame. The design features a titanium front frame with a bridge piece and brow bar, custom acetate lens rim inserts and titanium temples with diamond pressed detail. Similar to the MACH series, all designs in this series are made of 100% UVA and UVB lens and has an anti-reflective coating.

One of the more recent viral sighting of a celebrity wearing this series is in the 2019 Spider-Man: Far From Home movie where Spider-Man himself — more accurately, Peter Parker — was seen in the FLIGHT 006 EDITH Sunglasses.

DITA x Spider-Man


Optical Favourites

Topping DITA’s optical eyewear category is the Statesman, a frame that celebrates Hollywood’s Golden Age of creativity and timeless iconic style, as well as one that put DITA on the map. The frame is made of acetate brow-line and titanium lens rim and bridge.

DITA The Stateman Optical

DITA Statesman

Multiple celebrities have been seen wearing this design. A few known names to have worn this series are Justin Timberlake and David Beckham. 

David Beckham in Statesman

Collaborations & Celebrities

DITA is not short of collaborations. The list is full of big names, including Alexander Wang, Visvim, Cazal, Neighbourhood, Undercover and Clot. The brand’s products have also been seen on numerous celebrities like Brad Pitt, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Lenny Kravitz, Eva Mendez and Jamie Fox.


DITA Eyewear x Dita Von Teese

A recurring collaboration is with the iconic Dita Von Teese, the star that the brand was allegedly named after. One of the most recent collaborations with the “Queen of Burlesque” was in November 2018 to bring a new twist to the classic and iconic cat eye frames. Crafted with lightweight titanium that spans the brow in a single line, the design gave the illusion of a floating lens with sculptural details that were inspired by Von Teese’s collection of vintage couture.

DITA Dita Van Teese Collab

Von Teese stated that “the cat eye is a well-worn style, a silhouette that rarely transcends the era in which it was created. My goal was to keep within the spirit of the 1950s, but to craft our version in a slick, new way as a secret weapon for the modern Femme Totale.”

DITA x Dita Von TeeseDITA Dita Von Teese Collab

DITA x Thom Browne

Another long-standing and extremely successful collaboration is with American fashion designer Thom Browne. The two brands have been collaborating together since 2011 and have multiple styles that took inspiration from architects, politicians, studio artists, industrial designers and professors from the ‘40s to ‘60s. DITA has received many awards during its time, and among them is the Silmo d’Or in 2013, where the Thom Browne TB-011 design won in the Frames category.

DITA x Thom Browne


DITA Award for Thom Browne Design

The Thom Browne series is a recurring favourite for everyone, including celebrities like Chris Brown, The Weekend, Hailey Bieber, Lebron James, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Below is Lady Gaga in TB-001.

Lady Gaga in TB001

Another celebrity spotted wearing a design from the DITA x Thom Browne collection is Lewis Hamilton in the TB804.

Lewis Hamilton in TB804

DITA x Aston Martin & Kirby Chambliss

DITA’s partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2018, a Formula One motor-racing team, is also one of the biggest collaborations for the brand. This collaboration aims to “develop new products with ingenuity that push the limits of high-end optical craft and design," said CEO of DITA Micky Dhillon.

DITA x Aston Martin

In that same year, DITA also announced a partnership with Kirby Chambliss, an American world champion aerobatic and air race pilot, to develop products that meet the requirements of someone of his lifestyle.

DITA x Kirby Chambliss

Both ambassadors from the partnerships were seen in sunglasses from the DITA Lancier line. This is a sunglasses range that are inspired by athletes and are made with impact-resistant, lightweight and durable materials dedicated to all types of sports, from land, sea and air. The Lancier line designs were created with the issues faced by athletes in mind, and with that offer improvement in optical precision while also blocking UV rays and blue spectrum light, and featuring color formula lenses chosen for various sporty challenges.


DITA is unbeatable in quality, style and innovation. The brand’s use of the finest quality and innovative reinventions of vintage designs put itself high up on the list of best eyewear brands, if not the top. Some say that DITA has successfully modernised traditional frame constructions to perfection, and the brand itself is always hungry for more. With only two-something decades in the business, who know what the future will bring to a brand like DITA.

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