Virtually Explore Chicago through STATE’s Latest Collection

At a time when we’re making efforts to stay close to home, we thought we’d take you on a virtual tour of some of Chicago’s gems that inspired our latest styles. Each STATE frame is named for a Chicago street. Sometimes it’s a neighborhood vibe the style captures, sometimes it’s a historic landmark, sometimes it’s an inspirational person from that street. The Summer 2020 Optical Collection takes us all across the city…

While the weather is warm, every Chicagoan feels pressured to be outside as much as possible. Starting on the far North Side, Kildare Avenue runs through Gompers Park, a 42-acre green space. The park features all of the common park things – a pool, playgrounds, and camps. What makes it special, though, is the nature reserve. A true respite from city life, you can lose yourself in the native habitats, waterways, and fishing lagoons. It’s one of our favorite spots to spend an afternoon. The Kildare frame, like the park, is a perfect mix of structured and freeform elements. A rounded eye shape and endpieces coexist with a keyhole bridge and beveled edges, in colorways that work for any urban or nature escape.

Heading southeast, we reach the Southport corridor, an area of Chicago that truly offers something for everyone. Lined with independent shops and restaurants, it’s family-friendly, date-night friendly, friends-night-out friendly. One of the anchors of the street is the Music Box Theater, which remains unchanged from it’s opening in 1929. The premier local theater for independent and foreign films, it’s far more whimsical than it sounds, considering the singalongs and animation fests it also hosts. Designed to make you feel like you’re outdoors in an Italian palazzo, it’s a great spot for people-watching. The Southport frame – a little avant garde in shape; fresh and wearable in unexpected color combinations is perfect for a day ambling through shops, dining al fresco, and then gazing at the faux night sky.

A little further southeast, a trip along Canal Street is a front row seat to Chicago’s rich history as a transportation hub. From Union Station to the old Post Office, ornate landmarks speak to the architecture the city is so proud of. The Canal Street Bridge is one of those marvels – built in 1914, the railroad bridge is the only vertical-lift bridge that spans the Chicago River, able to be raised up 111 feet to allow river traffic below to flow uninterrupted. A true feat of engineering, as is the frame that shares its name. Carved from rich acetate, rounded endpieces transition seamlessly into sculpted temples, bringing form and function together beautifully to create a frame perfect for everyday wear.

Finally we head to the South Side to reach Vernon Avenue, where our friend and New Original, jazz trumpeter Marquis Hill, grew up. Chicago’s South Side is a dichotomy – vibrant, close knit, and often turbulent. We like to imagine Marquis jamming with the neighborhood kids and practicing, always practicing. This frame is reminiscent of the best jazz improv – rich color, contrasting temples, a notched bridge and sharp browline all come together to form a style that transcends trend, destined to become a classic.

Though each of these spots and streets offer distinct experiences, they all represent different facets of Chicago, providing endless inspiration. We’re so proud to call this city home and to craft all our frames here.