History permeates the French port city of Rouen on the River Seine. Hero and martyr Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in Rouen in 1431; Edward IV of England (1442-1483) was born there, as was the novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821), and François Hollande, former President of France (2012-2017), and Claude Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral Series in the 1890’s while visiting there. Now French optical brand Lafont is creating a new and exciting history of its own – with a charming, inspiring boutique in Rouen’s historical Old Town.
The Rouen boutique is the first shop outside Paris for the Lafont family-owned business. Optician Fatima Deflinne explained: “There is a family history of friendship between the Lafont family and the previous owner of this shop, and when he was ready to sell, he approached Philippe Lafont. The shop is over one hundred years old, and has always been an optical boutique.” Ultra chic colourations of aubergine and olive green harmonise elegantly in the shop, located within a three-minute walk of the acclaimed Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen, plus intriguing shops and cafés. The complete range of Lafont’s diversified eyewear designs for men, women and children are on display. A specific area for children has been carefully allocated where they can play with toys or use colouring books, while also trying on the latest immensely desirable children’s frames.
The shop participates and supports city events, the most prominent activity being the International Rouen Armada that takes place in June every year. This is a major robust celebration on the River Seine, where the finest and beloved sailing ships arrive from all over the world to cruise and navigate along La Seine from Rouen to Le Havre. This year, as a tribute to the genuine love story between the city, the world of sailing and Maison Lafont, the Lafont Parisian workshop created a striking design to be sold exclusively in the boutique. The graceful, navy blue Armada frame is accented with a carved sailboat above the contemporary frame top.
Everything in the Lafont Boutique is personalised, and that includes customised, handwritten invitations that are sent to customers to experience and appreciate new collections. “We only use real invitations that are sent in the post,” explained Deflinne, “and visitors are welcomed with a glass of champagne. Rouen is really a community and everybody knows everybody.”
For Lafont, authenticity is linked to the credibility of the designs handmade in France, which have been awarded the distinguished certification ‘Origine France Garantie.’ For more information on Lafont products and shops, visit www.lafont.com JG