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Fabrica de Armazones Opticos South America
FAOSA (often misspelled FAOSIA) Was founded in 1925
by Jose' Cuttler, who hired a Swiss technician and
started manufacturing artistic eyeglasses in Mexico City.

They made thick, dramatic frames using cellulose nitrate,
which was both expensive and dangerous to work with.
Later the switch was made to a less flammable Cellulose
acetate which is still used in high-end frames today.

By the early 50s the factory employed 115 people and
turned out 15,000 frames a month - by hand. They also
opened optical boutiques in Miami and Mexico City.

The Zafiro was the most iconic of the FAOSA lineup and
were seen on celebrities such as Fidel Castro and Juan
G Esquivel, and Mexican president Aldolfo Ruiz Cortines.

Zafiro's popularity soared when Buddy Holly began
wearing them. According to Holly's optician (J. Davis
Armistead, O.D.) "They became a distinct part of him".
By the mid-50s FAOSA frames are 'the thing' for Jazz
musicians and artists in the Americas and Europe..
They were widely imitated, but originals are hard to
find, highly collectible and sought after.. The last pair
Buddy wore sold for over 80 thousand dollars.

In 1961 Luis Cuttler took over FAOSA. By this time
Mexico's borders are open, the optical market is
flooded with French, Italian, US, and Asian optical
By 1966 they were making key chains from the
leftover eyewear acetate material..
They exclusively manufactured all the official key
chains for the 1968 Olympics (held in Mexico).

Jose Cuttler passed in 1975. -  His grandsons, Ian
and Alex Cuttler, were inspired to bring life back to
the family business and create eyeglasses in the
great and orignal FAOSA tradition..