This company guarantees that all the products they sell are “deadstock,” meaning they have never been worn before, are no longer in production, and cannot be found at any other retailer.
“I have a time machine,” joked co-founder Maxwell Stainback. “I don’t tell anyone who I get my stuff from. It’s part of the mystery.”
The company was founded by Stainback, Evan Winter and Saglara Lidzheeva in 2010, and is looking to expand beyond the boundaries of the flea market scene, where the glasses have been a hit with customers, and open a shop in Brooklyn at some point in the future
In the meantime, the business is utilizing its website, social media pages and word of mouth at places like the Brooklyn Flea Market to drum up business.
Back in 2010, Stainback was selling normal designer glasses when he stumbled upon a partner who had some vintage glasses and asked him to help sell the product.
“I’m a big history buff,” said Stainback who used his eBay account to hawk the vintage shades online. Once he saw how fast the deadstock glasses were selling, he decided it was time to open up shop himself.
With a collection of over 10,000 glasses and sunglasses, Stainback says they only have a few styles that repeat. Of those, only around 50 pairs are the same.
Extinct Optics features products from all over the world, such as a pair of 1986 never-worn Cazal sunglasses that were made in West Germany. Some of the glasses are over 70 years old and have been discontinued for decades.
“I have to hunt to get these things.” Stainback said, who added its like wearing history. “Finding these glasses take a lot of patience and a lot of phone calls. They come from the deepest, darkest corner of warehouses all over the earth.