What Exactly Is “New Old Stock” (Besides an Oxymoron)?

It may seem like a contradiction in terms, but that hasn’t kept “new old stock” from being one of the most sought-after types of sunglasses we carry. Yes, it’s an oxymoron, but it’s still pretty darn cool — especially for those who are style-savvy.

That’s because new old stock (often abbreviated as “NOS”) is de facto vintage. The “old” comes from the fact that this particular style — whether it’s the materials, the design, or both — is no longer made, either because the manufacturer decided to end production or went out of business altogether.

The “new” is because, although the sunglasses were made in a bygone era, we’ve only recently rediscovered them — so these classic shades are only just now seeing the light of day, even if they were originally made twenty years ago or more. And they’re not secondhand — these babies are brand-spanking new. At the Sunglass Museum, we’re constantly exploring old warehouses and storage units for new discoveries, which we then share with you. It’s these such finds that you see listed on our site as “new old stock.”


And if you’ve been shopping vintage for any amount of time, you’ve probably also come across the term “deadstock” — which is pretty much the same thing, although we prefer NOS, as it just sounds less morbid.

Because finding new old stock is like going on a treasure hunt, we can’t guarantee how long a design will remain available or if we’ll be able to replenish it. It’s all up to the whims of the sunglass gods — and the fleet-fingered shoppers who recognize a rare treasure when they see one.

 sunglass museum deadstock vintage sunglasses