Services to be Held for Longtime Luxury Eyewear Retailer, Marvin Freeman

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.—Marvin Freeman, a pioneer in the luxury eyewear retail sector, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 5. Many in the industry regarded him as a maverick, helping move eyewear into the fashion, luxury boutique space, giving many opticians and others their start in the business. As an independent retailer, he opened the first Optica store in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif. in 1977, and he eventually opened additional Optica locations across the U.S. After a brief retirement, Freeman moved to Las Vegas and opened the first Davante location at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, again followed by additional stores.

With the success of the Davante stores on the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos in Macau became his new Asian venture for the Lunettes Group eyewear stores, with additional locations following on the Cotai Strip and Shanghai.

After a brief illness, Marvin partnered with Cosmas Lykos and Josh Pianko to create Vitra Eyewear, with a first location opened in late 2015, as VMAIL reported at the time. The Vitra Eyewear of South Coast Plaza was soon followed by openings in Hawaii and in Hudson Yards,Manhattan.

Close friends, eyewear designers Christian Roth and Eric Domege, shared their thoughts upon Freeman's passing. "We lost a very dear friend and mentor. Marvin's vision, exquisite taste and great merchandising helped most of the independent eyewear designers since the late 70's to establish their brands in the U.S. market."

Marvin is survived by his wife, Jessica, and his daughter, Monique.

The funeral will be held Sunday January 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn, 69855 Ramon Rd., Cathedral City, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his honor to City of Hope.