Introducing the STATE Artisan Series

The drive to create knows no borders; it has no gender or ethnicity; it measures no distance. For some, it takes hold of everything and changes how they see the world. These are artisans. There are over 60 in the STATE factory, and countless others around the globe. The STATE Artisan Series explores what can be accomplished when specialized artisans from around the world join forces.

Sabae, Japan: For our first Artisan Series collaboration, we travel to Sabae, Japan. This is where Japanese craftsmen created the world’s first titanium eyeglasses and developed a reputation for mastery that lives on today. In this collection, artisans from both Sabae and Chicago showcase their craft, partnering the finest Japanese-made titanium temples with STATE’s luxurious American-made acetate fronts.

STATE x Japan is designed in Chicago, USA, inspired by the rich history and tradition of fine Japanese craftsmanship. Japanese eyewear craftsmen are engineers and artists at once, training many years in order to make meticulously handmade frames. The town of Sabae, Fukui began its legacy of eyewear manufacturing in 1905 and has since fostered generations of uniquely skilled artisans.

Aomori in Nightfall Chrome and Shadow Matte Gold.

Raw acetate is transformed into polished frame fronts in STATE’s Chicago factory. The custom monoblock hinge was designed collaboratively, combining Japanese precision with American style and drawing on STATE’s signature pyramidal hinge. The components come together in Chicago.

Left: The STATE x Japan hinge, Right: Aomori in Black Tortoise Gunmetal, Nara in Oyster Gold, Kyoto in Flax Chrome.

Kyoto in Mist Matte Gold and Whirlpool Gunmetal.

All temples are crafted from beta titanium (a highly flexible form of titanium) in Japan. Titanium boasts high strength and low density, perfect for creating strong and lightweight temples that are also hypoallergenic. Each temple is ergonomically curved for comfort and, as the temple bends, you’ll see its profile transition from rectangular to round for easy adjustments.

Each temple tip bears the classic STATE pyramidal shape, stamped with 21 dots representing Illinois, America’s 21st state. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our Japanese partners in craft to bring more STATE x Japan styles soon.


Gain a new appreciation for quality, handcrafted goods by taking a closer look at U.S. eyewear manufacturing in Chicago. See the making of a STATE Optical Co. frame firsthand and meet the craftsmen behind the process.

Arrange a STATE factory tour by emailing with your name, company name, and contact information.