It was almost a 100 years ago, in 1919 on Grays Inn Road, Clerkenwell when the Kirks, at the time in the business of making clothing and buttons, first had the notion to begin making eyewear.

Clerkenwell was at the time home to many companies making the best luxury goods in London which sold in the best department stores in London’s West End. Globetrotter suitcases were made near by as were Prestwick Leather Goods which in 1935 would change it’s name to Ettinger.

Converting a sewing machine into a cutting machine was the Kirk’s door into the frame making business, and the start of a London story that leads its way through the streets of London to Kirk Originals today and the launch of our new Made In England collection of handmade Men’s Sunglasses.

The Kirk Originals London story takes in a period as the largest maker of spectacles frames in London, an intense decade of invention resulting in numerous patent applications, a move to Hatton Garden, London’s Jewellery quarter, and then an explosion of style in the 1990s as the Kirk Originals range was launched after the discovery of a trunk full of original 1950’s and 1960’s spectacle frames and sunglasses.

Kirk Originals became a regular feature of style magazines like The Face, and Arena, and was worn by The Brand-New Heavies and The Young Disciples as Kirk Originals became synonymous with the vibrant London club scene of the early 1990s and then soon after sported by Brit Pop’s supernova stars, Oasis, and Mick Jagger, Paul Weller and Morrissey.

Award winning stores opened in Mayfair and Covent Garden before a move to Blackfriars, near St. Pauls Cathedral, one of the oldest parts of London where we have our showroom (open by appointment) today.

To make an appointment at our showroom please call 0207 248 1238 or contact

Shop the new Kirk Originals Made In England sunglasses collection here.