Exclusive: Eyespot, Chestnut Hill: pop-up launch

Our friends at independent luxury eyewear destination, Eyespot, are launching a new series of in-store events, dedicated to emerging designers. EYESPOT X COLLECTION will be run as a Pop Up shop featuring exceptional designer ranges, selected from around the world for a limited engagement. Some of the exciting new labels with be making their first appearance in the US, allowing customers to get a very special taste of the most creative and innovative small labels and, in many cases, to meet the designers behind the brand at the opening events.

Model Barbagianni – Birds collection by Mondelliani

Appearing for the first boutique exhibition is Mondelliani Glasses from Rome, whose collection will be launched in store on September 15th and 16th from 10am until 5pm (open to everyone). Flying in from Italy, founder of the brand, Federico Mondello and family member and designer Roberta will be available through the weekend at Eyespot, to talk about the creation of the collection and their background in optics in Rome, where the Mondello family whose first optical store opened in 1975, now own several optical boutiques themselves.

Model Panarea – Eolie Collection by Mondelliani

Typical of the eye-catching handmade collection is the Eolie Collection, comprising glamorous sunglasses inspired by the beautiful, vivid colours of the Mediterranean and the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. These super sunglass styles have uniquely flattering shapes and fresh toned, matching high-quality lenses produced by world leader Zeiss for an “exceptional visual experience”.

Model Sean from the Rigadritto collection by Mondelliani

Also exhibiting is the Birds Collection, inspired by the play of colours of the feathers of birds, and the brand’s avantgarde Rigadritto range, a tribute to great icons of international cinema. Minimalist lines and exciting lens shapes come together in this exclusive artisan series. The label will also show a super collaborative limited edition line with US textile designer, John Robshaw.

EYESPOT is the only retailer in New England carrying this prestigious collection from Italy. The collection will be available at the store following the Event this coming weekend and through to end of December 2017. The EYESPOT event takes place at One Boylston Street, The Street, Chestnut Hill, MA. For further information, visit https://eyespot.com/www.mondelliani.it Eyestylist.com is delighted to support the new EYESPOT x COLLECTION eventsCN

RockOptika, UK launches ‘Racing Club’ sunglasses

Tom Herrington’s enthusiasm for handmade eyewear has led to the addition of new RockOptika Sports designs in 2017, dedicated to the needs of the road cyclist, and balancing traditional craftsmanship, vintage-inspired design ‘with style’, and subtly integrated technical attributes – an ambitious project. The collection has launched at RockOptika HQ in St Leonards (UK), a vintage-inspired store presenting the brand’s full collection of opticals, sunglasses and limited edition sunglasses as well as a few hand-picked designs from other British eyewear designers.

 

Jet-Pac – Racing Club

Careful research and detailed conversations with ex pros and amateur cyclists led to the production in France of two models, Jet-Pac and Allez. “Our goal was to design the most stylish glasses on the road. They also had to be totally fit for purpose,” explains the designer, who is also a cycling enthusiast.

Each model is produced in bespoke Italian acetate alongside classic tortoiseshells with a vintage feel – quite different from an average sports frame. A high-quality back coated anti-reflective lens and leather temple grips ensure the frame offers UV protection, comfort, and a stable and snug fit on the face – factors that contribute to enhancing the experience of the cyclist (and their style) in variable weather conditions.

RockOptika frames are designed in the UK, and made in France, in the traditional spectacle-making region of the Jura. The frames are available from selected opticians and the flagship RockOptika store in St Leonards (UK), as well as online at www.rockoptika.com CN

Eyestylist visits Etnia Barcelona, flagship store

Etnia Barcelona released official images of its flagship store by Santa Maria del Mar (El Born, Barcelona) in April. Remodelled by Jordi Tió, the project also involved interior designers – Lázaro Rosa-Violán, the design studio behind some of Barcelona’s most fashionable hotels and restaurants, including Boca Grande, El Nacional and Soho House Barcelona. Eyestylist visited the building in August 2017.

Etnia’s flagship store extends the brand identity of the Barcelona label in a stylish design focused building with two shop floors, showrooms, workshops, a terrace and a bar/entertainment space at the rooftop, with beautiful views over the city. Owned by David Pellicer, and created over 17 years ago, the Spanish eyewear label has become a top-selling European brand across the world – after particular success in France, as well as further afield, in the US and S. America.

Glass dome displays – Etnia Barcelona

The remodelling of the building was led by Jordi Tió, a design expert related to the design world of Vinçon (a former retail company in the Catalan city) and architect of the Barcelona and Berlin Camper Hotels, amongst others. The work involved the demolition of several bearing walls to create diaphanous spaces in the old building, as well as the lift well, running from top to bottom, with views of the different floors of the store. The façade has been strictly preserved, right down to the colours, respecting the original appearance of the building.

Interior design details – Etnia Barcelona

The shop interior speaks for itself. As well as some ‘Catalan’ touches in the colourful details  – the elegant lift is based on a classic Barcelona ‘ascensor’, the individual spaces offer a pleasurable experience for browsing and trying on frames, with recurring themes: furniture and mirrors with the feel of an old-fashioned barber’s shop, and central “bar” areas with mirrors and vintage “objets”  – recovered from old optical stores -, flowers and glass dome displays.

The furnishings and lighting portray a 1940s style, referencing different trades and spaces. From old operating theatre lights to a jeweller’s work bench or theatre dressing table with its light mirror, to create a kind of backstage feeling. The store also stocks art monographs and photography books, to underline the brand’s relationship with the world of the arts, a focus for many of their limited edition sunglasses. www.etniabarcelona.com  Eyestylist.com wishes to thank Noemi at Etnia Barcelona for arranging a tour of the store. CN

Iconaocchiali Visione Design, Signa (Florence)

An avantgarde shop rarely passes us by and while Eyestylist hasn’t yet managed to visit, we look forward to this experience in the future. Monica Albanese agreed to talk to me about Iconaocchiali – Italy, and her new project with MiN New York.

What is your background?

Our store project was born in 2011 when I joined my sister Barbara’s company. The idea was for me to enhance her great technical know-how, with a new and different aesthetic direction. I am a collector of clothing, handbags and glasses. I have worked in the fashion industry for many years with a lot of different brands. I was also a teacher at the Istituto Marangoni, in Milan and Shanghai.

My family is important to me. They have taught me a lot about respect, beauty and a beautiful style of working. My sister taught me to entertain customers with professionalism and courtesy. She also taught me her love of taking care of the customer’s vision by being very careful to match the technology with beauty. My uncle is Paolo Seminara, who has taught me everything I know about eyewear. He is an important eyewear designer – he created the Vogue eyewear brand in the ’70s. It became a very successful brand – and was sold to Luxottica in the ’90s. Image above: Barbara and Monica Albanese

Kuboraum on display

What is currently available in the shop? 

Our store is unusual and unexpected. I like it when people ask “what do you sell?” We like to amaze in a gentle and discreet way, choosing elegance and cultural “references” in eyewear. In our store, you can find niche brands. Some are strong on image, some are more valuable in the construction of the glasses and the choice of materials. Among the brands we have selected are Linda Farrow, Lotho, Platoy and Frency & Mercury.

We also love Kuboraum and Slave to Ancestors, the collection made entirely in leather.  We work with many more, including Jacques Durand, Sama Eyewear, Portrait, Robert La Roche, Lunor, Jean Francois Rey, and Orgreen.

IconaOcchiali – interior

You are also involved in a sunglasses collection with MiN NYC – how did this come about? Are you the only stockist of MiN in Italy? 
This is a funny story. A young man entered my former shop in Florence. He was very enthusiastic about the brand selection and the elegance of the store. From that moment on, we became friends, and this has developed into a working relationship. Matthew called me in the summer asking me if I wanted to work with him and Chad to create the MiN NEW YORK glasses line. I immediately accepted, and began to seek the right language that respected the aesthetic aptitude of their brand.
I am not the only stockist in Italy, but our store is like a “brand” showroom for MiN in Italy – since I’m directly involved in the creative side.
Last summer we presented our first part of the Eyewear Collection in Florence at Pitti Uomo; we also did Pitti Fragrance, and we went to New York for Vision Expo. We are brand new in eyewear, but already strong in the fragrance business.

Monica Albanese Handbags, Eyeptizer Eyewear , Saraghina Eyewear, and object

What are the MiN Eyewear designs like and why has the perfume brand moved into eyewear?
Presenting fragrance and eyewear as a part of the same story is a completely new idea.
One by one we have created and translated every scent story into a spectacle in the form of glasses.
When we created every single style, we sprayed a cloud of perfume into the air and carried our emotions back and forth and went back to every place visited in Chad’s mind at the time of creating the scent.
The MiN New York fragrances are created to celebrate a moment, a minute of life (MiN as a dime of minute). We think that a better product can make life fuller and that through an authentic experience something of us is revealed, that was previously hidden. Physics and metaphysics. A journey within ourselves but with a propensity to life.

MiN New York: suspended bottles

As a designer, what are your most important influences in Italy or outside Italy?
Usually my personal feeling is my starting point. My background is like a ‘chest’, filled with tastes and things that I choose and are the only thing that make me unique and special. As an italian woman I usually live among the flame of florentine architecture, I can see all the best painting exhibitions in Milan, where I live alf of my week (as a designer), I can travel north and sud for a week end, smiling and testing all the “colours” of life.

MiN New York box and bottle

Mention anything else about your shop in Signa regarding the styling?
I love change. The store has taken shape in time and that it suits the flow of life with changing needs and what seems important or new at that time. For this reason we have not created any fixed structure, excluding a wall cabinet. Our project is born of the need to express in a simple and universal way (hence the choice of the ICONA name), the idea of the beautiful as a manifestation of an instantly recognizable functional aesthetic.
All the eyewear collections and the objects we sell (Grottaglie Ceramics, Monica Albanese Handbags, Bijoux bought in many travels, Objects of various nature and Pieces of Art) have been chosen through a careful search of what we really consider as the Icon and thus representing a style and elegance that will be an integral part of the customer who will choose them.
We like to think that we can present glasses and other products as small artistic masterpieces and design objects. CN Iconaocchiali, /29, Str. Vicinale Vecellio Tiziano, 2, 50058 Signa – Florence

Restyling at Monocle, Rome

Eyestylist wrote about Monocle, the optical ‘eyewear gallery’ in Rome, in June 2013 – http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/06/monocle-romes-eyewear-gallery/.

Four years on, the shop owned by Gabriele Vergerio, and managed by creative eyewear expert Carmen Cox, has been restyled – by architect Andrea Eusebi. The new interior highlights the individuality of the frame collections on display in a chic understated neutral setting that exudes finesse and attention to detail, typical of the store which is one of the leading eyewear boutiques in Europe.

The restyled interior is adorned with elegant details including materials such as Palisander and brushed iron, in a design that was commissioned exclusively for the store “to reflect the image of the owner Gabriele Vergerio” –  and realized in its entirety by skilled Italian artisans.
For 2017, Monocle highlights Jacques Marie Mage, Ahlem, Linda Farrow (newly selected), Matsuda, Dita, Thom Browne, Mykita, Hoffmann, Kuboraum, 8000 and the boutique’s own label, Monocle Eyewear. The store prides itself on providing an exquisite choice in hard-to-find designs, created to exacting standards of craftsmanship in luxurious, often unusual materials.

Monocle Eyeglasses gallery/Eyewear/Accessories, Via di Campo Marzio 13, 00186, Roma, Italy – www.monocle.it CN

Götti Boutique Lucerne

Götti and Switzerland are synonymous with beauty and artistic creativity. Twenty-three years ago, Sven Götti opened his first optical shop with Urs Niederer – Götti + Niederer – and the first collection of Götti designs were sold there. The historical building – Mühlenplatz 1 in Lucerne  – is now the setting for Sven Götti’s own exclusive eyewear boutique in contemporary, streamlined surroundings that echo the Swiss designer’s frames. The straight-lined interior provides the ideal setting for the minimalistic titanium and acetate optical and sunglass designs. The interior is sleek and pure in black and white, combined with oak parquet floors.

Hall of Frames photo display at Götti Lucerne

The complete Götti collections are on display including the Götti Dimension frames created using 3D printing technology; and the latest innovative Götti Perspective rimless project. The reception area features a “Wall of Frames” photo display with personalities that are fans of Götti eyewear. Among others you will find Tamy Glauser; Hans-Ulrich Obrist; Philipp Fankhauser; Stefanie Heinzmann; Greis; and Lea Lu.

Götti Lucerne interior

The eye-catcher in the Boutique is a chandelier manufactured from over five hundred pairs of sunglasses from previous Götti collections. The unique light installation was specially designed for this store by the Zurich design studio Bureau Purée. There are many reasons to visit Lucerne Switzerland – the wonderful covered bridge Kapellbrüke (Chapel Bridge) built in 1333; the amazing medieval architecture; The Richard Wagner Museum; and now a stunning tribute to Sven Götti’s dedication to eyewear and Switzerland. www.gotti.ch JG

Haute Eye, Seoul

A special thank you to Ti Kwa of Rigards for introducing us to Haute Eye, a leading independent eyewear store in Seoul – with a selection of collections that is both creative and individual.

The store is located in the bustling Mapo district of South Korea’s capital, a busy shopping destination close to universities, a huge variety of restaurants, coffee shops and eateries as well as famous nightspots – all in all, a thriving, fun place to visit with large crowds and lots of atmosphere.

Rigards @HauteEye

“We have many European collections and artisan editions,” explained the team who welcomed me and allowed me a look in some of the cabinets brimming with designer collections like theo, Vava and Mykita. “Rigards is a recent addition for us. We are also specialising in emerging Korean labels…Stealer is the new one, with ophthalmic and sun styles – made exclusively in steel – they are comfortable and very wearable, as well as cool.” (www.stealereyewear.com). Sister brand – Muzik, was created in 2013 and is produced exclusively in France (www.muzikeyewear.com).

Stealer Eyewear

In a small space, Haute Eye shows what can be done to offer the discerning eyewear enthusiast a unique choice of the latest eyewear – with the focus on emerging talent alongside creative icons. Watch this space for future news at Haute Eye. www.hauteeye.com/ CN

Gogosha Pop-Up 2.0

An intriguing journey is underway at Gogosha Boutique, one of the most highly regarded optical boutiques in America. Founder/owner Julia Gogosha has left her long standing store in Silver Lake, and is heading to a new location in Echo Park, via several pop-ups at some creative, alternative spaces.

“Rents have doubled and building conditions deminished. We needed to find a place that felt like home for the future of Gogosha Optique. We are building a permanent new location in Echo Park, which will be complete in the Fall. In the meantime we have been nomadic to be able to continue our services to our loyal clientele base as well as expose ourselves to new customers.”

The first pop-up was tucked away upstairs in what the Gogosha team called the treehouse, above Go get em Tiger, McConnell’s ice cream shop and next to the coveted 5 room Hotel Covel. Just recently they have moved across the street from the original location, next to a transformative dance studio and close to the addictive Night + Market Song Thai restaurant. “We’re even featuring a Garrett Leight Shop-in-Shop,” Julia explains. “It’s one of our most accessible brands and it’s a great service to have a greater selection for our clientele to show a harmonious collaboration between a vendor and a multi brand store who operate only a few miles from each other.”

Current location of the Gogosha pop-up – 3325 Sunset Blvd

These locations have been the result of relationships with clients and advocates, she explains. “Without them we would’ve operated solely from our West Third Street location for nine month greatly hindering the convenience for many of our East side clientele.”

“We’ve created each new environment on a shoe string budget with a skeleton crew – but with the highest visual impact. It’s as challenging as it is rewarding.  We’re excited to learn and evolve with each move, continuing our love of eyewear and community. Then ultimately creating an environment that will help elevate a curated eyewear experience.” More information coming soon! www.gogosha.com CN

Kirk & Kirk at Wolf & Badger NYC

Independent eyewear and high fashion collide at Wolf & Badger NYC, with the introduction of Kirk & Kirk sunglasses for men and women. The colourful British brand’s Kaleidoscope collection is part of the curated edit of independent designer brands available at the store, which include many European brands being introduced to the US market for the first time. The shop will also present new exciting brands from the US market, providing it says “a platform to showcase their products, to share the inspiring stories behind their collections, and to connect with a design-focused and socially conscious audience.”

Kirk & Kirk display, Wolf & Badger NYC

Since Kirk & Kirk launched in 2014, the brand has quickly expanded its international presence through optical boutiques and a few handpicked fashion retailers including Wolf & Badger in London. The availability of the line through the award-winning fashion retailer in NYC is yet another development for founders Jason and Karen Kirk, at a time when their US success – from East to West – is building steadily.

WOLF & BADGER, Soho, NYC, 95 Grand St, New York, NY 10013 www.wolfandbadger.com / www.kirkandkirk.com CN

Frame Chain at Cutler & Gross, Spitalfields

Frame Chain, the British label by Annie Kearney and Vanessa Harrington have launched their latest collection of glasses chains at the Spitalfields branch of British brand Cutler & Gross, in their first pop-up collaboration with a glasses company. Above: Co-Founders, Vanessa and Annie of Frame Chain

Drop Pearl by Frame Chain, matched with tortoise frame by Cutler & Gross

Founded in 2013, the brand, which is already available at leading fashion retailers including Liberty and Fenwick in London has quickly gained recognition for their striking, innovative chains which double up as a chic necklace.

Close-up: glasses on chain – yellow gold plated

The chains come in a variety of colours and designs, making an ideal match for all eyewear designs and, essentially, are suited to all tastes and age groups. New additions include several bespoke pieces where vintage jewellery details have been integrated into the 18 carat white or yellow gold designs. Current bestsellers include chains adorned with pretty natural pearls in varying sizes – a key trend for 2017 and an ideal way to work it into a summer wardrobe. Find more details on the range of styles and an online store at www.framechain.co.uk CN

Glori.us x Lunetterie Générale

Glori.us, a high quality fashion store located in Sherbrooke, Canada, is a specialist in luxury brands and custom made fashion and tailoring with individuality and flair. Created by Jean-François Bédard and Tanya Cloutier, the shop has opened its doors to like-minded fashion brands for men and women – including Surmesur (www.surmesur.com), specialists in made-to-measure menswear.

Eyewear is available in the store exclusively from Lunetterie Générale, Canada, a young, fresh brand by entrepreneurial co-founders, Julien Couture and Alexis Martel.

“We’re the first eyewear brand to build a shop-in-shop style concept store inside a fashion boutique in North America,” says Julien Couture. “Inspired by the museum and architectural grandeur of the Beaux Arts movement, the eyewear area, designed by Samuel Barker, is dedicated to Lunetterie Générale – and our new and growing collection, produced in Japan.”

LG – sunglass style from Debut collection

The frames, produced with carefully finished details and a sobre, vintage-inspired colour palette are created in titanium, Japanese acetate and natural materials including wood, which the co-founders have researched to be able to include locally sourced varieties. “Our first collection was the result of a unique collaboration with Tommy O’Gara, renowned Art Director behind successful avant-garde eyewear brands. We’ve been able to create styles that know no limits and that will be at the forefront of the affordable luxury market.”

Shop-in-shop concept

Asked about their interest in fashion concept stores, the team told us they will continue to work with optical stores, as well as developing a network of concept stores similar to Glori.us, where it has been possible to create a special relationship between the label and the store’s clientele. 90, Rue Wellington N, Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5B7. A second Glori.us store opened in March at 434, Avenue Victoria, Saint-Lambert. www.glorius.ca

For further information about Lunetterie Générale, visit https://lunetteriegenerale.com CN

Mondelliani flagship, Rome

Mondelliani glasses, selected independent brands (Hoet and Theo) and bijoux accessories. The curated collections by the Mondello family have a new design home in Via dei Prefetti, an historic street with an abundance of chic stores located in the Campo Marzio neighbourhood.

The minimal interior, balancing bright colour and elegant white displays was designed by Claudia Campone of Studio THiRTYONE in Rome. An area for eye tesing has also been included as part of the project – allowing the team to offer state-of-the-art eycare as well as beautiful accessories.

Accessory display, Mondelliani shop

Following the opening in December 2016, Rosaria Mondello commented: “Eyewear is the accessory that speaks about who we are, more than any other. If you wear black and choose a red frame, for me, you are all about “red”. If you wear a “statement” frame, such as a heavy rimmed black design, you need to be able to carry it off, with grit and a strong character, otherwise you will look like a member of the Beagle Boys. What gives us great satisfaction is finding the right frame for each person: this requires sensitivity, taste and attention to detail”.

Via dei Prefetti 11, Rome. Other stores are located in via del Bergamaschi and via dell’Oca, Rome. www.mondelliani.it CN

L.G.R Pop up boutique in Milan

Family, friends and devoted fans of gorgeous L.G.R. eyewear celebrated the opening of the charming boutique in Milan (top image – a jubilant Luca Gnecchi Ruscone). The pop-up store displays the wonderful variety of L.G.R designs, along with his latest collections – the elegant Capri; history inspired Mimetic frames; and the supremely luxurious L.G.R Gold Edition. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s dedication to artisan eyewear is evident in the exceptional craftsmanship and precise detailing in each frame.

Luca Gnecchi Ruscone with his mother Emma Bini, at L.G.R pop up boutique opening in Milan

Located on Milan’s trendy Corso Garibaldi, the cosy boutique features both optical and sunglass designs created by the Rome-based designer. The boutique is open through 25th April. www.lgrworld.com JG

Lafont Boutique rue Vignon Paris

Over ninety years ago, a chic little optical boutique opened in the Madeleine area of Paris. The distinctive location on rue Vignon is close to the famed Madeleine Church, and a short stroll from Concorde. If boutiques could talk, what a fascinating tale the Lafont shop could reveal! The building was constructed in the early 19th Century, and has survived global depression, a World War, and numerous changes in selling eyewear. The boutique strides confidently towards its centenary, rich in history – complimented and enhanced by modern times and trends.

Cosy, calm, and elegant atmosphere at rue Vignon Lafont Boutique

Louis Lafont opened the boutique in 1923, and a guided tour by Matthieu Lafont – the third generation to be working in the business – provided a fascinating insight into the family legacy. Frames from the archives are on display in custom-crafted cabinets, so the shop is a delightful mixture of Lafont history, and the current collections.

Tools of the eyewear trade at L’Atelier Lafont

In this cosy, elegant atmosphere, clients are able to choose from the vast range of Lafont frames – optical and sunglasses – for men, women and children. In addition, Lafont has opened their first Atelier, tucked behind this architectural gem. The original stalls where horses were once kept provide further flashback into the rich Lafont heritage. In the Atelier, clients can creat a pair of one-of-a-kind frames with numerous possibilities for shapes, colours and materials. Certain materials are exclusive to L’Atelier Lafont, including buffalo horn. Pedigree, experience, and artisan craftsmanship are expressions of refinement and authentic luxury available at the L’Atelier Lafont.

History and contemporary trends unite at Lafont Boutique on rue Vignon Paris Vingnon

If a visit to Paris is on your agenda, a positive and rewarding experience is definitely a visit to the Lafont Boutique and L’Atelier Lafont — 11 rue Vignon 75008 Paris.www.lafont.fr JG

New opening: OOG Concept Store, Gdansk

A modern, inspired interior is the focus at the second concept store by OOG, located in the Old Town of Gdansk, in Poland. Eyewear expert and owner, Adam Kujawski told Eyestylist: “The interior was designed by Marta Napiorkowska-Losin from Manadesign studio. As with our first store in Sopot, we left her to come up with our new concept.” 

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Inspired by the old-fashioned lifestyle of Gdansk, Napiorkowska-Losin has kept the mood of OOG’s original store, whilst playing with a contrast of natural materials, metal fittings and a fresh colour direction. The result is a trendsetting store design and a reference for the new wave of modern independent optical retail openings in Europe for 2017.

Interior

A very special eye test room has been created in the basement of the building. “During the Second World War, the old town of Gdansk and the building was completely destroyed,” explains Kujawski. “It was rebuilt with a mix of bricks that were left in the ruins. In the walls, it is possible to see an incredible mix of Gothic bricks and much more recent ones from the 20th century.”

3d graffiti on the inside: by
3d graffiti on the inside: by Oskar Podolski

Graphic artist Oskar Podolski aka OESU One (www.oesuone.com) has also been involved in the design project downstairs, creating a 3d graffiti with a quote by Jose Saramago, roughly translating: “Everybody’s world is what his eyes can see.”

Address: OOG Concept store, Szeroka 17, Gdansk, Poland. For more information about OOG in Poland visit www.oog.com.pl CN

Eye Boutique, Dubai Mall

Dubai’s impressive luxury eyewear store – EYE BOUTIQUE – is a haven for the eyewear enthusiast, offering a mix of some of the world’s greatest luxury design labels and experimental designs, an exceptional and comprehensive vision care service, and a staggeringly impressive choice of vintage frames.

Part of the historical Hassan’s Optician Company in Kuwait, the first optician store officially approved by the Kuwaiti Department of Health in 1960, the innovative world-class EYE BOUTIQUE was founded by Sanaz Saadat, the wife of Dr Kian Saadat, the son of the founder and current CEO of Hassan’s Optician Co., Dr Hassan Saadat Yazdi.

The success of the EYE BOUTIQUE in Kuwait and Dubai is such that expansion plans are underway to open two additional stores in the UAE.

Eye Boutique, Kuwait store
Eye Boutique, Kuwait store
Unique design from ic! berlin
Unique “collectible” design from ic! berlin

Today, the boutique in the Dubai Mall which EYESTYLIST visited in October 2016, has a comprehensive selection of luxury and experimental frames. They include some of the finest designs by leading innovators Anna-Karin Karlsson, LGR, Linda Farrow, Gentle Monster, Oliver Goldsmith and LINDBERG, as well as ic! berlin – some of their rare pieces such as Splash! dating back to 2012 and their more recent collectible “glasses display” (pictured above).

Luxury Limited Editions and vintage eyewear at Eye Boutique
Luxury Limited Editions and vintage eyewear at Eye Boutique

The vintage collection is unprecedented and comes from Hassan’s Kuwait archives. Key early pieces from brands like Persol are available, as are labels such as the Italian classic Casanova by TAXI, Paloma Picasso, DIOR and Cazal.

Dubai Mall, Ground Level, Dubai and 360 Shopping Mall, Sixth Ring Road, Kuwait. New stores coming soon! For more details visit www.eyeboutiqueme.com CN

 

Anna-Karin Karlsson at Bergdorf Goodman

Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson presented her luxurious eyewear collection at Bergdorf Goodman, New York City’s illustrious fashion emporium. Karlsson’s individualistic, charismatic frames were among the highlights of the Fashion Week experience.

“I love Bergdorf Goodman and I am thrilled that their team is so very adventurous and fashion forward to carry my work. Such a joy to do my in-store visits and events a couple of times a year and meet the lovely staff, and the folks that have enough confidence to wear my work.” Anna-Karin is photographed (above right) with Linda Fargo – the dynamic senior vice-president fashion and store presentation. www.annakarinkarlsson.com www.bergdorfgoodman.com JG

Ottica Urbani, Venice

“Ottica Urbani started to produce eyewear in 1953, with a collection in cellulose acetate by Mazzucchelli 1849, handmade in Cadore,” explains Fosca Urbani, one of three siblings who run the eyewear business today.

“Today we have two shops in Venice – one at the Lido, by the Des Bains Hotel and one just steps away from Piazza San Marco. We are stocking brands like Kuboraum, JF Rey and BOZ as well as our own collection of handmade designs.” The business has a simple yet precise philosophy when it comes to its own line: to bring inspiration from the lively artistic and cultural context of Venice and the city’s magical beauty. The Urbani frames are made from water buffalo horn, wood, stainless steel and high-quality acetate with inserts made of fabric and – incredibly – Venetian glass. “This eyewear,” explains Fosca, “is the result of our creative experimentation; it is designed to “dress” the face, a symbol for a lively, colourful and optimistic personality.”

Tondo
Tondo Murano by Ottica Urbani

During our visit to the store, we saw the Pantos style worn by Sir Elton John, frames decorated with small animals, as well us some “limited edition” designs with a special connection to Venice.”Tondo Murano is the classic round dedicated to Le Corbusier inset with unique embedded Murano glass “millefiori” beads produced the famous Ercole Moretti company.”

Ice by Ottica Urbani
Ice by Ottica Urbani

Model Ice, on the other hand, is a statement design produced by hand with an uneven outer rim that is elegant, expressive and perfectly Venetian in spirit.

For further information about Ottica Urbani or to purchase their Venetian frames online, visit www.otticaurbani.com CN

Club Tropicana, Holiday Pop-Up, London

Print designer Lisa King and Zanzan Eyewear have opened a stunning one stop summer shop in London’s Soho today, just in time for the soaring temperatures in the capital. The selection of specialist independent brands includes exclusive brightly coloured swimwear by Lisa King, handmade sunglasses from Zanzan, jewellery by Jiya, and a selection of travel items and vintage books and magazines. A capsule collection by iconic 80s label Bodymap includes beach separates, tees and totes.

Erzulie by Zanzan Eyewear
Erzulie by Zanzan Eyewear
Le Tabou by Zanzan Eyewear
Le Tabou by Zanzan Eyewear

Featured accessory labels: Lisa King Swimwear, Zanzan, Bodymap, July Stars, Conservatory Archives, Alighieri, Jiya, Cosmos by Petra Borner

Club Tropicana Popup takes place from 5th to 15th May at 4 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DG – www.zanzan.co.uk / www.lisakinglondon.com  CN

The German Collective

Five optical store owners from Germany, including featured boutiques on Eyestylist, Klar in Darmstadt and Leidmann, Munich, are teaming up together to launch limited eyewear models in their unique stores across the country – in an initiative inspired by a mutual love of great design and good friendship. Their first edition? A Limited Edition acetate sunglass design with Californian eyewear designer, Garrett Leight, produced in a run of just 150 for the five participating stores.

The German Collective: limited edition frame with Garrett Leight
A first limited edition design with Garrett Leight

Available through the five stores from this weekend, priced at 335 euros, the Collective told Eyestylist a 2nd Limited Edition collaborative edition is on the way for Autumn/Winter 2016 – this will be created with a different international eyewear designer popular with the group.

The German Collective includes optical stores 6MillionGlasses in Hamburg, Specs, Berlin – https://specs-berlin.de, Steingasse 14, Heidelberg http://steingasse14.de, Leidmann, Munich www.leidmann.de, and Klar, Darmstadt – www.klar-augenoptik.de. CN

Family optics in Munich

Hans Schneider and his daughter Sina gave us a warm welcome in Munich, on a cold snowy evening during the annual eyewear event Opti. Their family-run store, located close to the universities and prestigious art galleries opened at this very same address in October 1970, and, as Hans and his daughter explained, the whole interior, as it was then, has been preserved. “We have only needed to renovate the floor,” explained Sina. “My father had the interior furnished by an “optical” furniture specialist from Hanover (a rarity at that time!), according to his own taste and design brief.”

During the first two years’ of business, Scheider recalled that he sold Zeiss lenses, opera glasses and Rodenstock lenses and spectacles. It wasn’t until 1972 that he added some of the up-and-coming Italian eyewear labels; and as things began to change and the choice in collections grew, Schneider took a selection of fine eyewear designs including the German labels Cazal and Jil Sander – at that time sold directly by the design house itself – and, by the early 80s, Alain Mikli from France.

Brillen Schneider, Munich
Brillen Schneider, Munich
Client trying on frames at a Brillen Schneider open evening
Open evening for guests, Brillen Schneider

“Today, with the vast number of collections available, we are still seeking out the innovators and designers that show excellence, quality and detailing. We have selected items that my father and I both identify as individual and of good quality…we are working with brands like Lindberg, Oliver Peoples, PQ and Eyevan from Japan,” says Sina. “I love some of the more underground styles by Activist in Brooklyn. My father has an incredible appreciation of all things that are well made, using traditional techniques, but he is also known for recommending the very individual frames produced with a modern, more daring aesthetic. He has a real eye for which frame will suit a customer, young or old, and true expertise when it comes to finding something different. He’s inspirational.”

Brillen Schneider, Amalienstr. 33/32, 80799 Munich, Germany www.brillen-schneider.de CN

Eyestylist at Lafont – Blvd Raspail, Paris

Parisian brand Lafont’s boutique on Boulevard Raspail, a stone’s throw from Bon Marche, is instantly recognisable with its aubergine and dark green decor and artistic seasonal window displays. A 1970s painting of a tiger above the desk – with a glint in his eye – has come from the Lafont family’s private collection, creating a surprising focal point in the spacious modern interior where eyewear is displayed on elegant shelves.

Our most recent visit to the family-owned Parisian brand took in two Lafont addresses – 17 Boulevard Raspail, a large space with a high ceiling, chic and contemporary, and fitting for the area frequented by Parisian professionals, lawyers and politicians; and the historic “epi-centre” of the brand in Rue Vignon, charming and historic, more museum than boutique, dating back to 1923 (further details at http://www.eyestylist.com/2011/09/lafont-eyewear-paris-france-2/)

A Lafont classic: model Jupiter
A Lafont classic: model Jupiter

“My mother and father began to experiment with colour in eyewear as early as the 1970s,” explains Matthieu Lafont who meets me at Rue Vignon. “They were spraying the frames to apply colour at that time,  and then they began to introduce fabric into the designs. They were really experimental for those times.”

Today the shops highlight the brand’s entire collections – classics such as Jupiter (above) set side by side with new designs, desirable re-editions, a gorgeous classical horn collection, and precious authentic vintage tortoise frames. Bespoke is also an important highlight at retail. “We see demand for bespoke frames in the stores, and this is an area that is increasingly relevant, it’s a part of our expertise,” explains Matthieu.

Fabric frames: a traditional feature at Lafont Paris
Fabric frames: a traditional feature at Lafont Paris
Interior detail: Blvd Raspail
Interior detail: Blvd Raspail

With four shops in Paris and one in Normandy, as well as optical stockists worldwide – some feature bespoke Lafont “corners” with similar colours and details as the Parisian stores themselves – the label shows no signs of slowing down in terms of creative drive and accomplished trendsetting designs and decorative applications. Part of the beauty of the collection remains its unique identity – and the expression of that through each design. “For our 2016 collection presentation at Mido,” explains Matthieu,” Thomas, artistic director, has worked on new colour combinations in acetate, metal or acetate with fabric. We will also present a new set of retro inspired products combining carbon fibre fronts and beta-titanium temples. A lot of work has been dedicated to the shapes, with new offers in terms of sizing and proportions.” For more information about Lafont Paris and the Parisian stores visit www.lafont.com. Photography credit: Eyestylist.com CN

Wilde Store, Colombia

The Barcelona brand Wilde Sunglasses announces a new showroom in Medellin, Colombia, following the success of its independent label in the Catalan city of Barcelona. The new retail space is similar to its bijoux boutique on Calle Avinyo, behind Placa Reial and the Ramblas. The retro-modern design of the collection, inspired by earlier decades, has established the artisan label as one of Barcelona’ s most popular home-grown independent sunglass labels, and it is becoming increasingly sought after outside Spain.

Wilde Showroom
Wilde in Colombia

Designed by the Wilde team, the space in Medellin becomes the first international outlet for the brand showing the entire collection for the first time in Colombia. www.wildewebstore.com CN

Moscot NYC in London

Moscot’s latest venture is a new store in Soho, London, which opened this month. The first of its kind in Europe, the shop at 37 Beak Street has been designed to replicate the Moscot stores in New York City, with the familiar decor, vintage memorabilia and dark wood fittings, and a range of its well-known vintage-look eyewear, popular with spec-wearing celebrities including Johnny Depp.

Hugo at Moscot London
Hugo at Moscot London / image by Eyestylist.com

We popped in on a busy Xmas shopping afternoon to a warm welcome from the team and managing partner, Mo Webb. Resident ‘Moscot mascot’ Hugo (#MOSCOTMASCOT) was also at home – one of the cutest puppies we’ve met in a while.

As well as three stores in New York City and one in London, Moscot has shops in Tokyo and Seoul. One of the oldest surviving independent labels in eyewear, dating back to 1915, the brand has grown a following globally.

Moscot London, 37 Beak Street, Soho London W1F 9RZ. For details about Moscot, visit  www.moscot.com CN

Les Suites – Paris

A world of luxury, beauty, inspiring fashion and accessories waits behind the doors of Les Suites – the sumptuous Parisian boutique, located in the chic 8th Arrondissement. The ambience is magical – an amazing interior with a sweeping grand staircase, exquisite service, clothes and accessories that are unique in their crafted perfection.

Les Suites Interior
Les Suites Interior

The exclusive boutique opened in 2013, presenting Limited Editions of gorgeous fashion creations – Haute Couture and Pret-a-Porter plus wedding gowns – are made by European, American, Japanese, Russian and Chinese designers. Like the collections, the clientele is international – from all corners of the globe, and includes many from the art, film, and music worlds. Often mothers and daughters shop together, to discover one-of-a-kind items. Fabulous sunglasses — all handcrafted – featured at Les Suites includes designs by Anna-Karin Karlsson, Jacques Marie Mage, John Dalia, Thierry Lasry, and Kyme. When in Paris, treat yourself to a visit at Les Suites – it is a memorable, modern, exceptional and elegant experience. www.boutiquelessuites.com JG

Images by Eyestylist.com

Specstacular Opticians, Shoreditch

A vintage destination for eyewear connoisseurs

“It’s lined with up-and-coming design stores,” says Hackney boy Keval, explaining the location of his inspirational glasses store – Specstacular – on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch, East London. “Hala and I opened the shop in May last year, but we’ve planned the business over a much longer period of around 7 years. I was driving across the country to source furniture and increase the vintage collection. I have been collecting vintage frames for around 20 years.” In the centre of the shop is a wooden cabinet featuring unusual eyewear exhibits including an “eye mask” that dates back to Roman times. Lining the walls of the shop are a selection of the frames – different types of vintage design, folding glasses, unusual safety eyewear and visors, and classics of all shapes and sizes. Pictured above: owners Keval and Hala at Specstacular, Shoreditch

 

Rigards x Royal Selangor
Rigards x Royal Selangor, coming soon

The shop was introduced to Eyestylist by Rigards’ Ti Kwa, whose unique horn designs are now available here – aptly it’s the first stockist of the Rigards collection in London, and the only store in the UK that will have the exclusive Rigards x Royal Selangor designs in horn and pewter – coming soon.

Alongside Rigards are several other carefully selected new labels such as Michel Henau and Kuboraum, – Keval says the new ones have to be really interesting – “the wackier the better” – and the selection of incredible vintage designs, which dates back to the 40s, giving the shop its historic appeal. “We have become a destination for eyewear brands and designers; we are involved in all kinds of special TV and film projects including a documentary on the Royal Family and a Hong Kong-Chinese romantic film called ‘Triumph in the Skies”.

Festival eyewear: Hala models safety frame fitted with bespoke lenses
Festival eyewear: Hala models vintage safety frame with bespoke lenses

“Customising lenses is one of our specialities and this is an area where we seem to have caught the public’s imagination. We are able to play with colours and tints that you wouldn’t normally get, and we can fit them in frames that are not easily found,” explains Keval.

Theo - 'Petillante'
‘Vintage’ Theo – ‘Petillante’

Planning for the future, the duo mention a new 15 piece collection of their own, coming in summer 2016. “I am working on it and I’d like to launch next year. We will start in acetate with a few combination styles. The aim will be to create a collection that fits with our specialism in vintage, with, of course emphasis on artisan quality and precision.” Further details at www.specstacular.london CN

40, Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH 

Les Lunettes Óptica, Barcelona

Third boutique opens in the Catalan capital

Les Lunettes Óptica, a leader in independent eyewear in Barcelona, has opened its third store, just off Paseo de Gracia and close to Gaudi’s exotic Casa Batlló. A minimal white interior with industrial vintage fittings and natural wood make a perfect backdrop for creative frames selected by Eva Mena.

Interior, Les Lunettes, new store
Interior, Les Lunettes, new store

Collections launched here in August included LGR, Res/Rei, Gentle Monster and Barcelona’s own young eyewear label, Alfred Kerbs.

 

foto tienda

RES/REI frames displayed at Les Lunettes
Res/Rei acetate frames displayed at Les Lunettes, Consell de Cent

Each of the Les Lunettes stores has a handpicked selection of frames and a different style of interior in keeping with the location of the store. Owner Eva explained: “All our stores are unique. The starting point for the new interior in Consell de Cent was a set of old industrial drawers and the iron stairway, painted neon yellow – with this we have added some 1950s touches including vintage mirrors and chairs. We will add more individual touches as we go along.”

Consell de Cent 308, 08007 Barcelona. Find out about Les Lunettes stores at  www.leslunettesbarcelona.com CN

Brillen Schneider launch exhibition

Ewa Look, collage artist

Munich’s Brillen Schneider, a specialist in fine eyewear and independent brands such as LGR, Lindberg and Suzy Glam, launch a new window exhibition with artist Ewa Look. 12 handmade collages, with a nod to German dadaism and 3d futurism, are displayed alongside eye-catching frames from some of the collections on sale at the prestigious store.

 

Ewa Look's The Authenticity of Red: The Gentlewoman featuring LGR Eyewear
Ewa Look’s The Authenticity of Red: The Gentlewoman, featuring LGR frames

The colourful collage designs in different sizes metamorphosise the optician’s windows with spectacular effect. Showing until 19th October, with all original collages available to purchase. Brillen Schneider, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 Munich / www.brillen-schneider.de www.ewalook.com CN