Euroinsights – Centennial Celebration For Lafont Paris

Euroinsights - The Optical Journal

Family history and heritage mark the centenary of the Lafont story, which began in 1923 when Louis Lafont opened an optical boutique near Place de la Concorde and the Neoclassical Eglise de la Madeleine. From the beginning, the boutique was a welcoming environment for people to purchase spectacles.

Original Lafont Boutique at Madeleine Paris
Original Lafont Boutique at Madeleine Paris

Then in the 1980s, a pivotal turn took place, when Laurence and Philippe Lafont introduced their iconic frame– Genie. Laurence and Philippe’s sons Mathieu PDG, and his designer brother Thomas, are now the fourth generation of the Lafont family to lead the business. Reflecting on the significance of Genie, Matthieu noted:  “Genie is the iconic piece, but even more so is the P3 shape. Whatever the year, season, or global market trends are, we have P3 models in our collection for both adults and kids, with slightly adapted designs from the original 80s model.”

Laurence and Philippe Lafont
Laurence and Philippe Lafont

Matthieu and Thomas have been involved in the family business “almost forever” reminisced Matthieu in a Podcast with Daniel Feldman, Optical Journal Editor, (26 March 2021)  “as we worked together with our parents at Silmo since we were in junior high and always around the show. Our parents said there was no obligation to be in the business, but it was always natural.”

Matthieu and Thomas Lafont
Matthieu and Thomas Lafont

Color, style, and that delightful Parisian ‘je ne sais quoi” anchors the varied collections by Lafont, including optical and sunglass designs for men, women, and children. Frames styles are imbued with imaginative color, innovation, superb detailing and constantly evolving to incorporate the latest technology and sustainable methods into the designs.

Lafont frame

Sustainability is “something that is very important to us,” says Matthieu, “and reducing the impact of our activity on earth. Since Silmo 2021 we have committed to a stronger eco-friendly approach and offer only bio-acetate material in our kids collection. We also developed our Creative Upcycling concept to reuse our old acetate to create new material. Every Silmo we propose a new limited series of Creative Upcycling frames.”

Lafont Mona Sunglass
Mona Sunglass

Lafont has three boutiques in Paris: the original opened at 11 rue Vignon Paris at Madeleine, La Rive Gauche on boulevard Raspail, and in the sleek 16th arrondissement on rue de Passy. The boutiques are stylish optical havens decorated in deep plum and smart olive green. Imaginative window displays are definitely eye-catching and are a concerto of fun, fantasy, and Lafont’s beautifully crafted and constructed frame designs. So far, the boutiques are only in Paris; however, Matthieu noted that boutiques outside Paris and internationally could be a long-term possibility. Other goals are more specific. “Staying in line with our values is our main goal,” says Matthieu, “and being independent, family-owned, and an eyewear frame maker producing in France.”

The eyewear is produced in the Jura region of France, recognized for its quality factories. Artisanal craftsmanship, technology, care, and expertise detailing all contribute to the excellence and quality of the frames.

Lafont 100th Anniversary logo
Lafont 100th Anniversary logo

Lafont Paris

As Masion Lafont celebrates their milestone anniversary, Matthieu and Thomas are committed to the future continuing the values, concepts, and quality, plus ensuring eco-responsibility in their products and services. See the entire Lafont collection on their website

TC Charton Eyewear - Made To Fit
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Joan Grady
Euroinsights is a contributory column created and written by Joan Grady. Joan is Owner/Director of JG Creative Expressions, a solely independent editorial service supporting the eyewear sector, music, and the arts. She is fashion editor of Vision Now magazine in the UK; was originally co-founder of; and has written for international publications, including 2020Europe.