The Sama Eyewear Story
Sama Eyewear: Fusing Couture Fashion with Premium Eyewear
Founded two decades ago in Los Angeles by eyewear designer Sheila Vance, Sama Couture Eyewear has firmly established itself as the leading ultra-premium fashion eyewear brand among celebrities, royalty, fashionistas and stylish individuals who want their eyewear to stand-out from the crowd.
Featured in such blockbuster films as Miami Vice, Mission: Impossible III, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Sama Eyewear’s collections are favorites of countless superstars and luminaries, including Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Jay Z, Jessica Alba, Lebron James, Elton John and Cher.
"Sama" is an ancient term that means "There is no beginning ... no end" and it eloquently expresses the unique design and production philosophy behind Sama Eyewear. Because Sama Eyewear is manufactured and assembled by hand, Sama can make regular enhancements to its eyewear pieces without the retooling constraints other mass-produced eyewear brands face.
This means that the Sama Collection is is constantly undergoing both design and production changes based on fashion trends, advances in eyewear production technology and especially input from clients.
This makes Sama of the highest quality eyewear collections available both from a style and fit and finish perspective.
Sama is also widely recognized as one of the leading pioneers in fine optical and eyewear production and technology and is credited with introducing the first 100% pure Titanium frame to the marketplace.
Sheila Vance and Sama: Defining Luxury Fashion Eyewear
Trained in jewelery design and textiles, Sama founder Sheila Vance decided early in her career to choose eyewear over apparel design and pioneered the fusion of haute couture fashion with ultra-premium eyewear design and manufacturing.
Vance and Sama literally introduced the world to the concept of ultra-premium fashion eyewear, creating hand-made couture pieces that could be worn as fashion accessories alongside other staples like designer shoes, handbags and jewelery. In fact, Sama was the first eyewear brand to organize its eyewear into fashion categories like Day, Evening, Resort, Sport and Petite.
Sama's Collection of truly distinctive, runway-inspired sunglasses and eyeglasses has earned the brand a loyal following among global trend-setters and fashionable Hollywood.
Vance and Sama also create custom couture eyewear for clients who desire one-of-a-kind pieces, using rare and exotic materials, gems, pearls and diamonds.
Considered one of the world's most talented and innovative eyewear designers, Vance is unique amongst eyewear designers in that she structures her work schedule around the fashion industry (as opposed to eyewear industry) calendar. The result is an ever-evolving eyewear collection that reflects the latest seasonal fashion trends from Milan, Paris, New York and Tokyo.
Sama's reputation for designing exceptional premium eyewear also caught the attention of fashion darlings Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who tapped Sama and Sheila Vance to develop, launch and market the Badgley Mischka Collection of couture and sport eyewear and sunglasses.
Vance and Sama also collaborated with Loree Rodkin -- self-avowed "eyewear addict" and one of the world's premier designers of custom jewelery -- to create the Loree Rodkin EyeCouture Collection.
Sama's Beverly Hills flagship boutique Destination: Sama is a frequent stop for Hollywood celebs looking for the hottest, must-have sunglasses and eyeglasses. Sama also operates Destination: Sama boutiques in West L.A., St. Louis and Rome.
Globally, Sama eyewear is available via an exclusive network of select, independent authorized optical boutiques.
Couture Eyewear with a Conscience
Sama is also unique in that it was literally founded to help fund a philanthropic organization: The Sam Vance Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Sheila Vance in 1997 to prevent drug use among teens and young adults, as well as help young addicts get on the road to recovery.
The Sam Vance Foundation was created in the memory of Sheila's son, Sam, who died of an accidental heroine overdose at 19 while experimenting with the drug as a freshman at U.C.L.A.
"The primary concern of most companies is making money," explains Sheila Vance. "They get into charity and develop a social conscience, if at all, as an afterthought…but Sama is different. I founded the Sam Vance Foundation first, then I created Sama as way to fund the foundation.”
Leading by example, Vance donates 100% of the net proceeds from Sama’s Visionnaires collection, as well as a percentage of the 1001 Nights collection and a portion of Sama Eyewear’s total annual sales to the Sam Vance Foundation.
This year, Vance also announced that 100% of the net profit from Sama's special edition Heart of Gold U.S. sales will be donated to The Betty Ford Clinic.