Dr. York, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara

Eyewear, tequila and an artsy vibe at Dr. York’s second fine eyewear destination in Mexico

With a neighbourhood that’s been dubbed the coolest in the world, Guadalajara is the place to be in Mexico in 2023. The city has a vibrant, fast-evolving art-and-design scene and cultural energy and charm – centred around the unique neighbourhood of Colonia Americana.

Dr. York opened in the locality in March 2021. Having built a reputation as a leading independent eyewear store in Mexico City, owners Jose Castellano and Elena Orestano had set their sights on something new, with a bold independent spirit and a different point of view. “We had started hearing through customers and friends about this peculiar neighbourhood and community in Guadalajara that was blossoming with an attention towards design, gastronomy, art, and architecture. We thought, and still do think, that it really was something special and we wanted to be part of it, so we started our research around 2017. Good things take time and we were lucky enough to find our spot in 2020 and finally opened (a little delayed because of Covid) in 2021.”

A destination for fine eyewear in Guadalajara’s popular neighbourhood Colonia Americana

The space itself is more like a gallery studio than a straightforward store. “It definitely feels more like a studio than a store,” explains Castellano. “And that was the approach we were looking for. We wanted to have a space where we could express our personal point of view of our trade and where we could work on another project that we had not been able to make progress with before. So we though that the idea of a studio / store would be at least, unconventional.”

For the interior design, the couple commissioned Regina Pozo (founder of @txt.ure.mx) who they had already worked with for the remodelling of the Mexico City store. “She helped us to materialize this desire to design a Mexican experience for an optical shop. Her project helps artisans in small Mexican communities to have a platform where the world can enjoy and appreciate their craft. It felt right to work with her again; she helped us create this ambience where someone can feel that they are not only in an optical shop, but also in a studio where something special is blossoming, with an appreciation for local design, art and style.”

The space is like a gallery or artist’s studio

So far, the space stocks a choice of frames from Ahlem, Theo, Garrett Leight, Kuboraum and Labor. “We are looking forward to showcasing Lapima, Lazare and Vada in the coming months,” Jose adds. “As we started, we believed that there was no other space in Guadalajara that was presenting independent eyewear exclusively. We did not want to make an exact replica of our Mexico City collection, although it’s pretty hard not to because we are lucky to work with some of the best out there…we wanted to present something organic to our new community. And so there are some surprises from our original selection.”

View from the exterior of Dr. York, Guadalajara

The Castellano family have now made Guadalajara home, with Jose travelling to Mexico City every 10/12 days to spend 4/5 days with the Dr. York team and customers there. They say it works really well and that the team in MC is really well established and doing very well. “This year Dr. York Mexico City turns 12 years old. We are very lucky because since the beginning we were backed up by a great community, with many of them still trusting in us to take care of their eyes. The neighborhood there has evolved, and changed, like Dr. York, but something that we have always trusted and built on was the warmth of our service and our peculiar point of view towards our craft. Hopefully we have been able to communicate that precisely and we will continue to do so – in both cities – now and for the future.” Dr. York, C. Manuel López Cotilla 1234-Local B, 44160 Guadalajara / Dr. York, Álvaro Obregón 187-B, México, D.F.

Read more about Dr. York on Eyestylist at https://www.eyestylist.com/2011/07/dr-york-mexico-city/