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      Our Mission

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      Save independent design and help customers realize the power of their personal style.

      There are hundreds of independent designers pushing the boundaries of style & innovation. Too often the reward for their creativity is having their best styles copied and sold for less by “disruptive” companies claiming that eyewear is overpriced. The bigger price to pay is retail's lack of choice. Should companies sell luxury collections that only a few can enjoy or sell more "attainable" imitation brands that devalue the original artists?

      We set out to do things differently. Offer thrilling eyewear from overstocks and discontinued styles at insider prices –enabling designers to thrive while giving everyone access to their creations. 


      Our Heritage

      It all began in 1911 when Irving Silverstein saved up enough money to open his first optical store in San Francisco's Union Square. Fast forward to 1998, when Irving’s grandson, Lloyd & his wife Cynthia, opened Optical Underground – the go to destination for unique eyewear.

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      Founder image

      Our Founders

      Founded by 3rd generation San Franciscans, Lloyd and Cynthia Silverstein, Optical Underground is built on a family legacy of optical expertise and  community stewardship. The Silversteins actively support causes that address homelessness, healthcare and education. Supporting local artists and musicians remain at the forefront of store events and partnerships.

      In his spare time, Lloyd can be found driving vintage sports cars, gardening and eating spicy foods. He serves as president of the Hayes Valley Merchants Association.

      Cynthia is a self-professed exercise, design and fashion fanatic who loves her pets, Stella & Luna, almost as much as her children.

      Our Manifesto

      Eyewear changes the way people see.
      It changes the way we see ourselves.
      It changes the way we see the world.

      Because we appreciate this, we will devote as much attention to aesthetics as we will to optics.
      We will offer the best values on the best names in high quality fashion eyewear. We will allow the search for eyewear to generate the energy it deserves: Fun.

      In all we do, we will take our responsibilities seriously and ourselves lightly.

      We will treat our customers with habitual integrity.
      We will communicate clearly.
      We will deliver obsessively.

      And we will build success on the shared uniqueness of what we offer and how we offer it: 

      Liberating Eyewear

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      What's in it for you?

      For eyewear addicts, enjoy styles from your favorite designer at truly insider prices. For those who haven’t braved the waters of high fashion eyewear, here’s an opportunity to dip your toe in without breaking the bank.

      Who do you want to be today?

      What's in it for designers?

      We free up resources that could be used to create next season’s collections by purchasing overstocks and past season goods. We also serve as a brand ambassadors to customers who wouldn't otherwise have access to their products due to expense.

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