Bassel Kabak

Words Elisa Zanetti


The founder was led by his driving passion for artwork and handcrafting to the world of eyewear. Following his dream of creating an optical frame that would be handcrafted with only one single wire, he created Monogram

How did you choose the brand name?
The word monogram represents the unique signature which reflects individuality - one of our brand's core values. The word itself also reminds you of our first frame which was as light as 1 gram.

Can you summarise the most important milestones in the history of the brand?
The story started when I was working in the field of luxurious eyewear distribution. I was passionate about handcrafting and had a dream of creating an optical frame that would be handcrafted with only one single wire. I manually tailored the first frame with a single wire from gold, using a very simple tool, and this solo model started selling great. This encouraged me to look for an expansion and Dubai was the destination where we had the opportunity to create the first collection and make a big expansion to most of the MEA countries. The first award win for the best creative glasses in the Middle East was our boost to take the decision to expand further, into the global market, and since then we always make sure that we are in all the big international fairs, and where we have won prestigious recognition and awards. Today, we have an additional base in Montreal Canada, and we are present in more than 45 countries worldwide.

What about your personal path?
As a pharmacology graduate, I started my professional path with Nestlé International. But driven by my passion for artwork and handcrafting, my dream to create a totally unique concept eyewear got me to where we are today as a fast-growing and internationally rewarded technical brand.

Where do you find inspiration?
Initially, I was driven by my desire to develop a unique minimalistic custom-made frame. Now our biggest inspiration is Dubai where we are located. This amazing city always inspires us with its innovative, creative, futuristic, dynamic and premium characteristics.

How do you combine craftsmanship and innovation?
Our high-quality raw materials are sourced from Germany and Japan, produced and treated with the latest high technologies and then each piece of monogram is handcrafted in-house at our headquarters in Dubai. This craftsmanship allows us to apply our creative smart techniques and to fulfil individualised product enquiries.

What are the unique technical aspects of your product?
We've developed unique patented techniques for assembling our frames that don't need any screws or involve any industrial processing. One distinguished example in the technical eyewear design industry is our rimless glasses design. It has a special technique that allows opticians to mount and de-mount the lens in seconds using only their hands without the need for any pliers and devices.

Tell us more about your collaborations...
We are always excited and open to collaborating with other brands with whom we share values, especially if this collaboration gives a new dimension to our offering. In 2020 we collaborated with Zeiss to develop an exclusive collection for Zeiss Vision Center all over the world, to enrich their individualised offering. In 2022 we had a collaboration with Marie Sophie Dion, the famous optician from Montreal, creating a capsule collection that merges Montreal and Dubai inspirations.

2023 has seen Monogram recognised by the Mido Jury as the number 1 sustainable eyewear - obtaining the international CSE award. How important is respect for the environment to you?
Developing and producing sustainable products is a shared responsibility of every industry to elevate responsible consumer consumption, lower the carbon footprint, and improve the entire supply chain and thus protect valuable ecosystems and reduce pollution. We know that the eyewear industry is small compared to other kinds of industries, but we believe that eyewear is hugely involved in everybody's life and this designates it as a perfect social example to learn from. We continuously change and apply new production protocols to gradually apply sustainability in every aspect of our production.

Could you tell us something more about your unique production model?
As you know, Individualised, custom-made and sustainable products are nowadays trends. Our in-house unique and dynamic production model, completely different from traditional eyewear production models, gives us a high level of customization ability with a very short delivery time, fulfilling consumers' increasing desire for exclusivity, personalised, and technically advanced eyewear. Our handwork and production models also allow us to reduce raw material waste and energy consumption to zero which leads to a sustainable environment.

What is next?
We are currently (and always) working on new product lines and several upgrades to some of our current collections to be introduced to our Silmo booth visitors. In terms of marketing and expansion, this year we are planning to add the US market to the 45 countries where we are currently present. And, of course, our dreams have no limit for continuous development and expansion.

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