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The Great Brands of Optics: Nylor

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Created in 1955, the Nylor brand quickly became a symbol of French eyewear . Despite its position, it fell out of favor in the 80s, to be reborn very recently, in an original way. A look back at this unique history that has shaped a brand like no other.

The eyewear company and the nylon thread behind Nylor

It was in the middle of the 19th century, in 1849 precisely, that 13 workers from the Jura, eyewear craftsmen by trade, decided to join forces to create the Association Fraternelle des Lunetiers Ouvriers. Later, their association will become the SL, or the Société des Lunetiers. Based in Paris, the company is gradually becoming a major protagonist in the manufacture of optical frames.


Diversifying its catalog, the SL, whose name will be changed to Essel, begins to produce corrective lenses, but also surveying instruments, compasses or equipment for opticians. In 1955, more than a century after the creation of the SL, an engineer decided to innovate by developing a new technology for attaching lenses to the frame using an invisible nylon thread. This revolutionary system will allow him to create the Nylor brand to exploit the patent. According to the brand's website, these frames, called “semi-rimless”, will offer the possibility of “lightening the contours, gaining elegance and thus entering the flourishing world of fashion”.[= ]

Success is almost immediate. In the 1970s, the brand sold more than 1.5 million frames.

The fall and then the rebirth

In 1972, Essel merged with the Silor brand to create Essilor . Wishing to specialize in the manufacture of ophthalmic lenses, the latter gradually abandoned Nylor and even decided to sell it. After a while, Nylor disappeared from the landscape of French eyewear.

It was not until 2022 that it would reappear, thanks to the desire and the 'a couple. Jean Monnier and his wife discover a vintage frame on eBay that catches their eye. While those close to them were ecstatic over this new pair of glasses, the couple fell in love with Nylor and discussed the idea of relaunching the brand.


But this idea imposes difficulties, especially that of ensuring that the new models are as iconic as the historical models. The couple decide to buy the brand, rename it Nylor Paris 1955 and begin research to find quality suppliers, who will be able to restore its retro and vintage shine.

At Silmo 2022 , it's done ! Nylor is making a resounding comeback, "reinventing itself around its historic values." It joins forces with Zeiss for the manufacture of its lenses and, in less than six months, and almost 70 years after its creation, becomes an emblematic brand of French eyewear.