Illesteva is an independently owned eyewear brand with roots in Downtown New York and production in Italy and France.
Before Illesteva launched in 2010, options for designer eyewear at a fair price point were few and far between. A handful of companies control most of the eyewear industry, often forcing brands to prioritize either stylish design or premium craftsmanship. We wanted our customer to never have to make that choice. Our challenge was to modernize the idea of a simple pair of glasses. In 2009 co-founder Daniel Silberman traveled to Italy to source manufacturers for the debut collection. Those who stood out were true artisans who had spent decades perfecting elements of production such as metalwork and hand-mixing acetate (This is why no two Illesteva acetate frames are identical). The name Illesteva was born out of a meeting with one of those skilled artisans, named Luigi Esteva - and a family infatuation with Casablanca heroine Ilsa Lund.
Designed in New York
Designing a pair of Illesteva glasses happens in-house at our SoHo HQ. Taking cues from downtown New York and inspiration from around the world, our styles are a direct product of our endlessly fascinating surroundings. We take passion for modern design and translate it into pieces that are fundamentally wearable.
Handmade in Italy and France
Our frames are handmade exclusively by the leading manufacturers of luxury eyewear, in small family-owned factories in Italy and France. Only the highest grade materials are used. This meticulous process takes over 90 days and requires more than 50 steps from start to finish.
Where We Are Now
The years since launching have involved design collaborations with some of the biggest names in art and culture; Lou Reed, Michael Jackson, Rashida Jones, and others have lent their names to one-of-a-kind styles. Illesteva preserves the notion that quality comes from attention to process. Research and development is the foundation of our business practice. This dedicated approach is what allows our product to speak for itself.