Charles Schmall, an American eyewear industry veteran and well-known personality in the business, has died after a brief illness at the age of 87. His name is linked to the expansion of the designer eyewear business in the U.S. Schmall was born in Brooklyn in 1929 to Polish immigrants. After serving in the U.S. Army, he started his career in the optical industry as an employee of Ashland Optical, a laboratory based in Long Island City, which later became his own. He then became a distributor of Optique du Monde through North American Eyewear and started to play an active role during the early years of licensing in the industry, with such designers as Ralph Lauren and Diane Von Furstenberg. He eventually became president of Optique du Monde. When the company was sold to Safilo Group, Schmall was named president of that division.