Van de la Plante is the man behind Gentlemen’s Breakfast, a vintage eyewear boutique tucked into a tiny garage-like space in Echo Park, Los Angeles. A licensed optician originally from Buffalo, NY, De la Plante opened Gentleman’s Breakfast in 2010 as an alternative to the big eyewear chains, while also seeking to promote the quality and character of vintage frames. Each piece he’s brought into the store carries a story, and the shelves are lined with everything from gold-rimmed Christian Dior shades to flexible, 60s-era prison glasses that inmates received so they couldn’t stab each other (not kidding).
These vintage frames on De la Plante are from the 1970s and were made in Massachusetts by an American brand called Kelley & Hueber. Like many of the frames he sells, de la Plante customized this pair for his face shape and style, heating up the material to make the fit smaller, and putting in pink lenses “just for fun.” De la Plante estimates that he has more than 150 pairs of vintage glasses in his personal collection. The only quirk: he’s had perfect vision his whole life and has never needed a prescription!