Europa International Acquires American Maker of Frieze Frames, to Develop U.S. Manufacturing in Chicago Area


(L to R) Europa’s Jerry Wolowicz,
Cynthia Shapiro and Scott Shapiro.

CHICAGO— Europa International has announced the acquisition of American made eyewear brands, Frieze Frames and Anvi Frieze.

The purchase, which was concluded a few days ago, includes Full Spectrum Global and American Eyes Manufacturing, the Ventura, Calif.-based companies which owned the two brands, and these will be combined to form a new entity, Independent Eyewear Manufacturing (IEM), according to Europa’s executives. IEM will produce high-quality eyewear in their new facility out of Europa’s headquarters in Chicago.

The eyewear collections will be rebranded and redesigned by Europa for an anticipated third quarter 2015 release. “We believe this could be the beginning of a new frontier for Europa and even the optical industry as a whole. We’ve been working toward bringing high-end eyewear manufacturing back to the U.S. for some time now and we have found the ideal partners in the team behind Frieze Frames,” said Europa president Jerry Wolowicz.

Frieze Frames’ Marc Franchi (l) and
Jason Stanley.

Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley, the founders of Frieze Frames and Anvi Frieze, will serve as president and vice president, respectively, of IEM and will be relocating to the Chicago area, Wolowicz told VMail.

“We are very excited to be joining forces with such a great company,” said Franchi. “Europa International is the perfect partner to bring high quality American made eyewear back to where it belongs, at the forefront of the optical industry.”

“This partnership will allow us to expand American Eyes’ existing manufacturing and increase distribution at the same time. In other words, we’ll be able to make more frames and make them accessible to more people,” said Scott Shapiro, Europa COO. He told VMail, “We’ve been hearing from customers and sales reps that there’s real demand for American-made product, a movement to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and we’ve been researching this for a couple of years. We chose to work with Marc and Jason, because they have been making the highest quality product in the U.S. The new brand will be luxury high quality, high end product.”

With the mission “Independent for the Independent,” Europa International has been partnering with independent ECPs across the country and around the globe since 1977. Europa’s collections include Scott Harris, Cote D’Azur and Cinzia.