Designer’s French-Chic Vintage Style Optimal Eye-Wear

Eyewear is the frame that frames the eye; the eye is the window to the human soul. An eye view to optical eye-wear designer Michel Atlan’s Eye-Wear collection.

Originally from the city of Lyon, France, and in the United States since 1984, Michel Atlan’s eyeglasses frame the human eye with the most stunning handcrafted vintage style, with a French touch and solid hardware.

You may know a person from sight but you get to know him or her better when you end up in an intimate conversation about life and business. Michel and I are members of the Chabad SoLa Community in Los Angeles, California. Nonetheless, we never had any close encounter but to greet each other politely, till I volunteered my time to interview Michel who is an upcoming world renowned eye-wear designer. During the interview, not only did I receive a brief, but detailed, educational session on eye-wear but I also got a deeper viewpoint of Michel’s persona.

Michel Atlan with his eye-wear collection - Photo: Michel Atlan
Michel Atlan with his eye-wear collection – Photo: Michel Atlan

Bad News Becomes Good News

How a job downturn changed into the ultimate business and life venture

Though Michel was in the clothing manufacturing industry business for many years his destined business career was the eye-wear industry.

When his employer handed him the last check Michel was kind of lost because when you think that this type of work, for some 13 years, is the only work you can perform and you do not think of anything else to do you feel lost and lack the right answer.

Michel remembered a good friend who told him often that he firmly believed that if he made it in the clothing industry he could make it anywhere. Michel remembered the confidence his friend had in him and he decided to follow up on his friend’s trust in him. All he had to do was put his mind to it.

That person introduced Michel to the optical industry.

Having to earn a day paycheck Michel ventured into the eye-wear closeouts business and slowly learned the ins and outs of this industry for himself and by himself.

The beginning was selling closeouts of discontinued major eye-wear brands collections which he did for some four years. During that period Michel represented eye-wear companies which yielded him the opportunity to gain priceless experience in the eye-wear industry including to be known to some optical stores’ owners, an open territory should future business opportunity arise.

He attended optical shows, as eyeglasses representative and called on optical stores while he received invaluable experience selling other people’s merchandise.

Licensing Quality Brands

Michel decided that the time had come to sell his own brand and thus started to put his name on merchandise and thus created his first, modest eye-wear collection.

Believing in himself and with accumulated experience and confidence and having enough understanding of the eye-wear industry has given Michel the drive to create and sell his own eye-wear brand. Next came his own first eye-wear collection.

By inscribing his name-logo on already existing eye-wear models of diverse shapes and colors of eyeglasses, not specifically the results of his own design, gave Michel the drive to start his very own name-brand.

Michel understood that he had to create a trendy niche brand. He also became aware that the market was missing the 1950s-1960s-vintage eye-wear styles influence and there was a vast market for it, if explored.

He took the initiative and redesigned six models, in three different colors, and began selling them to local stores with which he was familiar from the early stage of his work in the eye-wear industry.

This was the birth of the nouveau-geek-chic look of Michel Atlan Eye-Wear collection brand.

Road to Success

The road to success is paved with relentless work and compromising.

The beginning was modest; three stores became his first customers. Today the collection offers 20 styles, made of acetate and metal, in several colors, sold in 44 US states as well as in Canada, with each year one or two new models are added to the solid, durable, superior, above the standard quality, eye-wear collection.

The sales’ volume grew exponentially; it doubled and tripled, slowly paving the path to making Michel Atlan Eye-Wear collection a world recognized eye-wear brand.

Looking back Michel now can say with much assertion:you can do everything as long as you can put your mind and head into itif you believe you can, then you are halfway there.

michel atlan vintage poster. Photo: Michel Atlan
Michel Atlan eye-wear collection poster – Photo: Michel Atlan

Spreading the Optics Wider

One can find Michel Atlan’s most unique and well-respected eye-wear collection, priced within the middle to high-end price scope, in many prestigious specialty optical shops and optometrist offices.

To promote his creative and unique eye-wear, expand, and be constantly seen, Michel presents his eye-wear collection in optical conventions and shows and also partakes in trunk shows. When visiting existing customers he collects his stockists’ endorsements and references.

Michel demands much of himself. He is immaculate and adheres to his business philosophy and principles of fairness, generosity, honesty, passion for his band and being a solo owner in order to keep his business model’s individuality matched to who he is.

Each of Michel Atlan’s eyeglass styles frame the eyes with love and elegance and each is easily recognized by its French boy or girl first name.

michel atlan eyewear gaston
Michel Atlan eyewear – Gaston

The optical business is very competitive and it takes anchored discipline to remain in it. “The idea is to be in the marathon, to stay in the race and not reach the final line, which could end being in the business,” that is Michel’s business practice.

Based on his principles, making sure his manufacturers follow, to perfection, his manufacturing instructions, in his own strict methodical fashion, Michel’s business is becoming voluminous.

To be successful you have to be able to sacrifice and compromise,” Michel assesses his business acumen.You cannot expect anything of people before you come to terms of what to expect of yourself,” he adds.

Michel Atlan’s business model is built on solid concrete, not wood stilts. Each step is well-calculated. It is all about personalizing not generalizing the business, with trust in himself, passion, steadiness, and preservation.

The idea of not indulging himself, compromising where needed, along with characteristic strength and resilience has been, so far, Michel Atlan’s road to success and he has only just begun.

Putting Hope in Certitude

For Michel Atlan,y the ceiling is the floor on which you get to walk and the sky is the limit. He loves his work and it is most obvious.

For now he is the business and the business is him. However, Michel hopes that one day someone will discover him swimming in the big pool with many other members of the optical business. That person will realize his uniqueness, as a person and the business he created, ascertain him and his eye-wear creative talent and pull him out of the general public pool. This certainty will get Michel to the final line of the ultimate success of worldwide recognition.

In the meantime social respect and recognition as well as accumulating financial security are all accomplished with Michel’s day-in and day-out commitment to the business.

michel atlan spectacles. photo: Michel Atlan
Michel Atlan’s latest eye-wear design – Photo: Michel Atlan
Designer's French-Chic Vintage Style Optimal Eye-Wear 1
Michel Atlan’s eye-wear case – Photo: Nurit Greenger

Because the World Is a Beautiful Spectacle

Michel uses selling point pressure buttons in a form of interesting slogans that are for his customers and greatly represent his business approach but can be applied to him and also life perception in general; one such slogan is “because the world is a beautiful spectacle.” One other is: “true talent is often unaware of its own brilliance,” which could be so well applied to Michel’s business path that took him from being a woodwork artist, to clothing manufacturer salesman to his life venture eye-wear business.

In these appropriate slogans is hidden Michel’s faith and trust in God.

The nostalgia of the eye frame comes alive with each new eye-frame Michel creates while putting challenges in front of himself all the time.

To see and be seen, whether it is through chic eye-spectacles or vintage style sunglass, Michel Atlan may be contacted at [email protected]; website:; telephone: +1-213-700-3838, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Nurit Greenger
During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the "Accidental Reporter" felt compelled to become an activist. Being an 'out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a "one-woman Hasbarah army" for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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