Vontélle: Redefining Eyewear with Brooklyn Flair

Posted By NYC Newswire

By: Brianna Robles

When Tracy Green, co-founder of Vontélle, an eyewear company, had to buy new glasses after losing her pair several years ago, she was met with some hardship. Not only were the frames expensive, but they lacked originality and most were too small for her facial features.

To vent her frustrations, Green called her best friend and now business partner, Nancey Flowers-Harris. They realized they both had the same issues with their eyewear so they created their own company that caters towards diverse facial features.

To learn about the industry, Flowers-Harris booked two tickets to Paris to attend SILMO, one of the world’s largest optical and eyewear trade fairs. When the friends arrived, they were shocked as very few of the attendees, presenters and optic representatives looked like them and many of the frames on display were not striking and looked like glasses they had seen before.

Vontelle, Thurgood, 352568, BLACK/IVORY , Official by Vontélle. Provided/Vontélle

Vontélle, which was created in 2019, is intentional about making its frames comfortable for diverse facial features, according to the founders. This means incorporating wider bridges around the nose and larger lenses for higher cheekbones.

“We’re not all a monolith, we don’t all look the same,” explained Green. “And because of our noses and our cheeks and our face shapes and our head shapes, it’s really hard and you have to wear your glasses all day… I always had issues with them fitting properly. And now I’m making glasses that fit properly and people love them.”

Now, in addition to their online variations, they’ve partnered with national retailer, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, to offer a 15-pair exclusive collection. The collaboration came as a way to celebrate Black History Month and promote diversity in the eyecare field.

The exclusive line can be found online or in one of America’s Best 900 stores nationwide.

“We chose Vontélle for this collaboration because they share our passion for empowering eyeglass wearers to showcase their culture and personality through their eyewear,” Erin Durham, a spokesperson for America’s Best told BK Reader. “It seemed like a match made in heaven.”

The brand pays homage to the two co-founder’s African diasporic ancestry and offers eyewear with bold patterns and designs that also include patterns from Latin America and the Caribbean to celebrate diversity.

Vontelle, Douglass, Official by Vontélle. Provided/Vontélle

Each frame in the America’s Best collection is named after a Black historian like Thurgood Marshall, Phyllis Wheatley and Medgar Evers, to name a few.

Much of the inspiration for their frames comes from living in Brooklyn, explained Flowers-Harris. She recalls visiting local African garb stores on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville to look at patterns they could include in their collections.

But the founders were also intentional about visiting neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Bay Ridge and Flatbush to see what people were wearing.

“I think I always had a design spirit and when you’re out and about [in] Brooklyn you just see the best, the best fashion because it’s a melting pot,” said Green.

Since its inception, the brand has partnered with Nickelodeon to offer children’s eyewear in addition to its adult frames. The glasses can also be found in retail stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Walmart and Amazon.

The co-founders said they will continue to create unique collections and add additional sizing options. To shop the exclusive America’s Best Black History collection, you can visit their in-person store or shop online here.

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