Julius Tart – Clutch Cafe  
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Juilus Tart

A new brand for us at Clutch Cafe, and one we're super excited about, Julius Tart is an eyewear brand steeped in history and has provided stylish eye gear through the years to the likes of JFK, Albert Einstein, Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, Stanley Tucci and DJ Harvey. Now produced by the safe hands of Japanese eyewear artisans, Tart remains an icon of American design.

Shop the full collection here.

We asked a few friends of Clutch Cafe to help showcase our selection of this iconic brand.  

DJ Darren House wears the Julius Tart Optical FDR in Clear Crystal

  Tart Optical Enterprises, Inc., was founded in New York City in 1948 by Julius Tart, an expert optician and legendary craftsman of iconic eyeglass frames. The New York City that emerged from World War II was a dramatically different beast than the pre-war era. The change was in large part due to the war itself, which had finally lifted the city out of the Depression and ushered in an era of unknown prosperity.

The growth in commercial activity brought on by the War helped reinstate New York’s economic standing, taking the city to unheard economic ascendancy. The city became one of the world’s leading manufacturing centres, with over 40,000 factories and countless people seeking work.

Restauranter Sam Miller wears the Julius Tart Optical Bryan in  Champagne

Alongside the post-war economic boom came the cultural shift too, something that creatives like Julius Tart were inspired by that helped developed emerging brands & products. In Manhattan you had Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic was selling out every night with their re-interpretations of the classics. Broadway was booming, while in packed out nightclubs in Harlem a new kind of jazz was emerging from the city, igniting those around and inspiring creatives alike.

Cabbie Wayne wears the Julius Tart Optical FDR in Tortoise

Julius Tart was one that jumped on this creative wave of post-war New York, developing his eyewear company, often coined with creating some of the most eye-catching and iconic frames. Found throughout local opticians, customers were fitted for their style and their prescription. From the inception of the brand, Julius Tart frames consistently and successfully reflected the movement of New York City at the time as well as meeting the stylish demands of the high-end optical market. The highest production standards of quality and individual craftsmanship were constantly adhered to.

Journalist Simon wears the Julius Tart Optical AR in Black 

The brand gained popularity when Hollywood icon James Dean sported a pair of thick acetate rimmed glasses – synonymous with Tart Optical’s Arnel frames. Inspired by the Hollywood icon’s style, the spectacles were later worn by Johnny Depp and featured in the film Secret Window.

As of the 1990’s, Julius Tart was the last domestic producer of eyewear in the US. Now produced in Japan, each frame evokes Tart’s original vision with their long-lasting, quality designs. Cut from a cellulose based acetate, each pair comes with 100% UV protection lenses and comes complete with official Julius Tart Optical packaging as well as a leather case & cloth.