Boutiques

Mykita in Mexico City

Beautiful Roma Norte district welcomes the handcrafted eyewear brand

The elegant tree-lined boulevard Colima (Roma Norte) interspersed with Art Deco houses has seen the opening of the new MYKITA Shop, housed in a 1950s Bauhaus-inspired building. The store is designed to offer an ‘immersive’ MYKITA experience, with three levels and an overall space of 700 square metres. Alongside their established design classics and latest eyewear collections which are all handcrafted at the MYKITA HAUS in Berlin, the shop – as is typical of the German brand’s retail concept – offers a comprehensive optical service with state-of-the-art instruments and lenses by ZEISS.

MYKITA, Mexico City: new interior

The interior architectural concept seeks to preserve the open, airy character of the building, originally conceived as a flower shop with large windows and two interior fountains now repurposed as large planters. Visitors access the first floor directly via the external stairs and are welcomed into a spacious eyewear gallery with consultation areas. The current collections are displayed on the freestanding curved MYKITA WALL; the laboratory used for lens cutting and fitting, frame adjustments and repairs sits just behind the reception desk. Stunning white terrazzo flooring, oak furniture and pastel blue powder-coated steel furnishings come together to achieve a clean and effortless composition of colour and surfaces that is characteristically in tune with the MYKITA aesthetic.

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TVR advert 2021 linked to the TVR website

On the split level, an eye-opening experience of Mexican coffee awaits: inspired by the sensory world of MYKITA and Colonia Roma, the Laboratorio coffee bar is the latest brainchild from the makers behind the third-wave coffee institution Rompeolas – a steam of coffee experts dedicated to exploring, recovering, conserving and valuing the flavours of the best coffee beans produced in Mexico.

MYKITA now has 16 shops worldwide in Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Osaka, Paris, Taipei, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich. www.mykita.com

Eyewear by Olga

‘Eyewear By Olga’ is a luxury eyewear retailer, or – as the owner likes to call it – an ‘EYE PAD’ founded in 2011 by optician, designer and fashion enthusiast Olga Trentin. The ‘PAD’ is located in the centre of Mississauga, Canada in the neighbourhood of Port Credit. The interior of the store itself is a feast for the eyes; packed with colour, exploding with textiles and featuring artisanal furnishings throughout. The shop first appeared on Eyestylist in October 2011.

We would love it if you could give us a short synopsis of the story / journey behind ‘Eyewear by Olga’…It’s such a funny story actually; I went to visit a friend in an optical store that I frequently shopped at, but my friend was busy serving a client. So, I picked up a frame that caught my eye and handed it to her client swiftly leaving the store afterwards so that I wouldn’t be intruding. Later, my friend told me that her client had purchased the frame I picked for her – and so, I was offered a job at her company as a frame stylist. I loved this job so much that I eventually became an optician and later on, a manager. I was able to learn a lot about the business and realized how much more I had to offer the optical industry. That’s when I decided to go on my own by opening my very own ‘EYE PAD’.

I took a pen and paper and started sketching the ‘PAD’; ribbons on the ceilings was the first idea that came to mind – ribbons are known to fill a space with lots of cheer – I felt that I had to add them to the design. I didn’t want a typical retail look, but something different and yet, timeless. I also didn’t want a cold and clinical office feel, so the ribbons also added that soft element to the design. I then mainly picked warm colours but added a pop of colour with our back wall and chairs. I felt that the chairs in particular had to be unique and so – after doing some research – we found the perfect choice: ‘The Eye Chair’ by Jackie Choi – it was originally a college project of hers that was presented all over Britain from BBC to Harrods and so it became one of my favourite elements to the ‘PAD’. The design feature was a low backrest to support runback for ergonomic reasons but as well as that it makes a strong visual statement; it looks like a hollow eye when viewed head on, they are quite the conversation starter. Our display cases feature a light coloured onyx to bring a certain warmth and a natural feel we wanted to implement, this is also why you won’t find any bright lights in our ‘PAD’ – we want our clients to have a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.

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Hall of Frames Zurich Convention Center 12-13 September 2021
The EYE PAD is a unique experience for eyewear enthusiasts

What have been the biggest struggles you and your store have faced through COVID-19? The element of the unknown regarding COVID-19 really frightened us; we closed our store for about three months in order to keep everyone safe. We quickly realized that our industry really was essential because clients were still in need of our services and so we had to find a way to make it work for everyone while being as safe as possible. It was a little bit of a struggle at first, but we managed to make it work; we would order contact lenses online and have them directly delivered to our clients, we would pre-order eyeglass lenses online and have clients do a door drop off with their frames to prevent any contact. When we finally started to open our doors for appointments, we took one client at a time, each customer had a mandatory COVID-19 questionnaire to be filled out, and temperatures were taken at the door. We also disinfected each frame that was tried/touched and disinfected all surfaces between appointments, floors were washed daily as well. Then of course masks were mandatory for everyone and our staff were double masked with shields worn on top too. I think most people understood why we did all of this and felt safe coming in to see us. We all had to work  together and we continue to do so to make this strange and scary environment feel as safe as possible for us all.

What are your favourite frames from your current collection and why are they your favourite? Oh wow, so many to choose from! If I had to choose one, I’d say my favourite frame in my current collection is the ‘Dita – Revoir’. It was originally released as a sunglass and is now offered as an ophthalmic. It is such an elegant bridgeless cat-eye and as the ‘Dita’ website describes it “spans the brow to resemble wings extended in flight”. I love the space between the wing point and the lens as it gives it some edge while keeping its elegance overall. (more…)

L’Opticienne Manon Favand – France

“La Vue est Belle” : the chic, French style of a brand new store in the South of France

L’Opticienne is a stylish, boutique opticians founded by Manon Favand, located in an historic building in the commune of Uzès in the south of France. Favand first conceived the idea of having her own boutique after she had completed her training as an optician. After that, and throughout various highs and lows on her journey as a professional in the field of optics, the idea was refined: eventually the delightful L’Opticienne was born. Above: the small traditional French shop front with floral decorations is eye-catching and welcoming 

Interior: Favand has created a warm and enchanting atmosphere in her shop

The idea was to provide a space or to create a new dimension in the realm of eyewear that would enhance all the facets of the optical profession, in turn providing customers with quality frames that would also be fun, beautiful and above all – an asset to their wearer. This was an incredibly ambitious dream for Manon as she says “she had almost given up on the idea, many times” – but when the building that housed her mother and grandmother’s ‘second hand’ shop became available, she could not ignore the sign to finally take a leap into the unknown.

Interior by Manon Favand: personal, well presented and carefully styled with plants and intriguing “objets”

L’Opticienne signifies the culmination of Favand’s idea – which had been maturing for years – of a feminine, creative and beautiful store run by a woman in an industry and a profession that was, and arguably still is, predominantly male dominated. Her passion to create something new and fresh and to support the success of independent designers is apparent throughout her business; working solely with eyewear designers and brands who meet her standards of quality and passion for their work. The layout and design of the store itself was carried out by local craftsmen which further exemplifies the point made by Favand to carve a new path for growing professionals to follow.

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VAVA Eyewear
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After one year in business, Favand has found great success as an optician. An intuitive creative with a thirst for diversity and interdependence within her field of work, Favand states that “this business is my universe; it is my philosophy and I am happy and proud to share it every day.” If her sheer devotion and passion for her store isn’t enough to invoke a desire for a visit – what is? Manon Favand opened her store in November 2020. She features a wide range of well-known and lesser known independent brands in her store including Henau Eyewear, Essedue, RES/REI, La Brique et la Violette, and sustainable label NO IDOLS. 

L’Opticienne – Manon Favand, place du Duché 30700 UZES, France.

This interview was written by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.

Sacrées Mirettes – Lille, France

‘Opticien Lunetier Responsable’ – Sacrées Mirettes – by Sarah & Flo – opened in December 2020 during the pandemic

Sacrées Mirettes is an eyewear boutique located in Vieux Lille, the historic area of Lille, France. Though the store is situated in beautiful surroundings, steeped in history and culture within a bustling city, the business and founders Sarah and Flo did not have the warmest welcome into the retail world. Opening in December last year in the midst of the current pandemic was no easy feat; between curfews, lockdowns and newly imposed laws to tackle COVID-19, it is a testament to Sacrées Mirettes and everyone involved in its set up to have made such a strong start, in spite of everything.

The store specialises in responsible, high quality brands and features an interesting mix of frame styles

Vieux Lille itself is known for its colorful houses, charming restaurants, bars, and its streets of independently owned shop fronts – amongst which Sacrées Mirettes can be found. The boutique faces onto the impactful Notre Dame de la Treille; this cathedral is a stunning piece of unconventional French architecture.

Upon entry, the shop has a warm and comforting atmosphere – the founders designed the space alongside architect Quentin Glorieux with the intent to put their customers at ease, allowing them to shop and browse in homely surroundings. The warmth in the colour palettes used throughout – from the wooden floorboards to the rose coloured feature wall in the back of the store – really radiates the attention paid by all involved in implementing this interior.

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The collections available include Lunettes Alf and Gotti Switzerland

As well as being aesthetically lovely, Sacrées Mirettes also focuses on sustainability and environmental responsibility. The founders aim to raise awareness about the impact of the optical industry and do so by stocking responsible and high quality brands including Clément Lunetier, Oscar Magnuson, Vue DC, FOLC, Aude Herouard and Gotti Switzerland, among many others.

An independent boutique in an historic city that survived the toughest of beginnings and one that is making strives towards an eco-friendly world of optics is undeniably admirable, impressive, and definitely worth a visit. By Victoria Brunton for Eyestylist.com.

Sacrées Mirettes, 15 bis Rue du Cirque, 59800 Lille, France www.sacreesmirettes.com/opticien_lille/collections/

Lewes optician: Taylor-West & Co. (UK)

Opened in January 2021, the stylish boutique in Lewes is the third Taylor-West & Co. Opticians in the south of England

In a corner of Lewes, known for its cafes, independent stores and the Needlemakers historic building to which it is attached, the new Taylor-West & Co. practice is a bijou boutique with an elegant and smart appearance. The choice of collections on offer, and the design focus in every detail of the interior are carefully curated to meet the discerning tastes and demands of the well-known and historic town and its community of creatives, artists and music lovers.

“My aim was to create a warm, welcoming and stylish environment, ” says owner Sophie Taylor-West who also has stores in Hove (Brighton) and Dulwich (London). “I wanted to make people feel comfortable and at ease, just as they would feel in the home of a friend. I also wanted it to have an element of fun and frivolity, to suit the range of frames I sell!” A pink and gold ‘Woods’ wallpaper by Cole & Son, adds a whimsical touch to the interior which is otherwise minimal and white with some old exposed brick. An apothecary drawer unit which immediately catches the eye was a special find on Vinterior – shipped over especially from the Netherlands.

Above: the interior features vintage furniture and bespoke displays for individual frames to make each one stand out and to highlight its special character. The shop has large beautifully decorated windows and an airy, fun and sunny space has been created by the owner Sophie who is passionate, creative and dedicated as well as “hands-on”!

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Kirk & Kirk frames at Taylor-West Lewes; a local brand with HQ just down the road in Brighton

Sophie told us that she and her builder did all the work to redesign the shop. “I love sourcing all the decor and display materials myself; I have put a flash of yellow in each store, and the yellow armchairs I found are perfect for this. The neon sign in the window is something I haven’t tried before, but I wanted this to be really eye-catching for people walking and driving past, to make it obvious what sort of establishment we are! Lastly, I’m pleased with the faces display in the second window, which I painstakingly made myself from acrylic. I think they really showcase our style.”

Taylor-West & Co. Lewes – featuring RES/REI, Anne & Valentin, Mykita and more!

The store currently features eyewear brands from around the world – Anne & Valentin, Mykita, Ahlem, Orgreen Optics, RES/REI, and Kirk & Kirk, and the curated selection varies from store to store as Sophie explains in detail. “My brand choices have changed organically over time. For example, the only brands we still have in Hove which have lasted since opening are Anne & Valentin and Kirk & Kirk, (which just happens to be a Brighton brand). It’s so difficult to know who your customers will be and what they will want when opening a practice from scratch. You just have to pick what you like, and then really believe in them. You also have to know when something isn’t working and be brave enough to phase it out…! We found a lot of new brands when we opened in Dulwich, such as Mykita and Ahlem, and they have worked well when we got them in Hove and then Lewes. I’m a great believer in the expression ‘you can’t be all things to everyone’. I’ve sometimes worried that our average price point is too high and this will put off some potential customers, but in this climate you have to differentiate. Decide where to place yourself in the marketplace, and do it really well. I prefer to stick to handmade, high-end eyewear which will stand the test of time, and trust that our patients want the best quality there is.” Taylor-West & Co. The Needlemakers, West Street, Lewes, E Sussex www.taylorwestandco.uk