Morel is one of the oldest brands of eyeglasses that we carry at Town Eyecare. Morel began in 1880 when Jules Morel set up a pince-nez (a pair of glasses with a nose clip instead of earpieces) shop on his family farm in the Jura region of France. Even though Jules was not an eye doctor he had an appreciation for a quality pair of glasses. Over the course of several years this hobby turned into a full time business when his son Marius took over the family farm.
Fast forward several years. Marius Morel had taken over the company and in the 1950s Marius Morel introduced the “Cleopatra” frame, a cat-eye design with gold details that was perfectly in step with the style of the day. Morel also offered frames in rolled gold, a technique used to create high quality products that retain their luster even after years of use.
In the 60s Morel gained more notoriety with artists and celebrities when they began making frames with very fine gold-filled wire rims. The most classic example of this frame was the “Tydée” and was given the model number 6000. This frame was sold over a million times worldwide.
In the 70s, the design went from being an orthotic device to a fashion accessory. That was when designer Jacques Depussay joined Morel, which was a first—up until then, Marius’s son Jacques Morel had been the one to design every frame.
The “Flight” frame released in 1997 was a hit with its minimalist screw-free design. The model was made from a new, ultra-light material—Nibrodal, a blend of copper, nickel, and tin—and offered in bright, fashionable colors.
Today the family company is run by Jules Morel’s great-grandchildren, Jérôme, Amélie, and Francis Morel. Morel has one of the largest design centers in the Jura, where every new collection is born. Designers sketch their ideas for new frames. Then they work in depth on the texture, materials, and colors to use. The sketch comes to life in the prototype workshop, where the frames are first mocked up to scale.
Morel is world-renowned for its eyewear design and expertise. After earning Silmo d’Or awards in 2008 and 2009, Morel won the two most prestigious international design honors in 2017, the Red Dot Design Award and iF Design Award. Valérie Prillard, head of the prototype workshop, has also been recognized for her accomplishments, becoming in 2015 the first woman to be named a “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in the eyewear category.
Emphasis on innovation, Morel offers sophisticated frames that are always on the cutting edge of style. The family has a history of creating iconic designs that remain fresh generations later. For more than 130 years, Morel has exemplified the purest tradition of French eyewear expertise and the values of its founder, Jules Morel. It has made a name for itself as an innovative promoter of quality and design.