In recent months, artisanal eyewear brand Dom Vetro has had a homecoming of sorts. After a trip to the Italian Alps introduced founder Ashley Bezamat to an exclusive group of expert frame makers and artisans (or Maestri) who had made a life handcrafting some of the world’s finest frames using the same methods pioneered in the 17th century, the then-30-year-old relocated to Europe to set up shop. Now, 5 years after founding Dom Vetro and learning the ropes of artisanal frame making, Bezamat has brought the business back to his hometown of Los Angeles.
Located just 15 minutes south of Beverly Hills, Dom Vetro’s new headquarters is the only one of its kind in the city—giving visitors a glimpse into a traditional Alpine eyewear workshop. All of the highly specialized machinery, acetate, and other raw materials that eventually get tooled down into your favorite pair of sunglasses have been imported from Italy, and Bezamat is now the maestro, mentoring a new wave of artisans in the centuries-old tradition of eyewear crafting. For now, the brand’s most popular styles—think the classic notch-bridge Lupetto, chunky Primo, and sleek, racing-inspired F-36 ($295 each)—are handmade almost entirely by Bezamat using traditional methods, meaning each frame can take up to a week to complete.
If one of the standard styles isn’t quite your speed, Dom Vetro also offers a customization service for its most popular frames. Locals can head into the workshop to work directly with Bezamat to design a bespoke pair of frames, customizing any of the brand’s styles by choosing from the brand’s library of fine acetates, hand-selecting the hardware, and tweaking the lens style and fit to ensure that the frames will blend seamlessly into your lifestyle. If you can’t make the trip out to Los Angeles, a pared-back version of the customization program is available online (from $325), allowing you to personalize one of the brand’s classic styles by selecting custom acetate combinations, lens styles, and metallic details. Once you’ve decided on a style, Bezamat will construct your one-of-a-kind pair of frames and deliver them within 10 days.
Regardless of if you choose an off-the-shelf pair or flex your design muscles, you’re sure to end up with a pair of optical lenses or sunglasses that stand the test of time—both holding up to the wear and tear of daily life and passing trends.