There’s something about the timelessness of vintage treasures that keeps people coming back to them generation after generation, and eyewear is no different. The team at California-based Rims & Goggles believes that there are many histories to be discovered with vintage frames and every once in a while, it’s their job to help bring those histories to the present for their customers.

“Vintage frames come with two histories. One from the makers and one from the owner. We enjoy learning about both. Most of the vintage frames we work on were handmade which speaks to our philosophy of supporting independent, handmade eyewear brands,” said Stacy Diamond-Garcia, who is working on the restoration.

Recently, a customer came into Rims & Goggles seeking a restoration for a vintage Dior frame that she’d inherited from her grandmother. They believe the bejeweled spectacles date back to sometime in the 1960s.

“The style embodies the enameled accessories you would find from that time period,” Diamond-Garcia continued. “We don’t do them [restorations] often, but when we do, it’s such a treat. I think because of the time period of this frame and the challenge of finding materials to do it, this restoration will be extra fun.”

Jobs like this are often a full circle experience for the Rims & Goggles team. Penna Omega, owner of Rims & Goggles said her parents opened the optical boutique in 1975 after her mother owned a boutique clothing store in San Francisco in the 1960s. Omega says her mother’s love for independent fashion was the perfect segue to opening an optical boutique as she would often find bespoke eyewear on her trips to Paris and Milan. It was on those trips that Stacey’s mother found that designers were creating eyewear that became more of a coveted fashion accessory than a medical crutch.

“The team at Rims & Goggles is continuing on this passion by creating our frame line GRO which is sold exclusively at our Mill Valley and Berkeley locations,” Omega added. 

However, when it comes to getting down to the actual process, the first task the team has is to source a match for the stones that embellish these vintage rounds and place them onto the missing spots on the frame.

“The customer [also] wants to recreate the same purple tinted lenses that her grandmother had placed in them decades ago. After a good cleaning they will be as gorgeous as the day she fell in love with them,” said Stacy Diamond-Garcia.