Boutiques

Retrosuperfuture opens store in Mexico City

The brand has opened the architect-designed store in Av. Tamaulipas 141

Situated in the vibrant La Condesa area, RSF Mexico City was conceived and designed by RSF’s creative team in collaboration with architect Paul Cournet. The compact store is designed for an organic flow, emphasising key functional elements.

On one side, a custom stainless steel build-out provides a multifunctional experience. Clients can explore the Retrosuperfuture collections on display, starting with a curated selection of pieces. Below, drawers conceal soft velvet pads for placing selections and exploring options. Further down, clients can delve into RSF’s full collections, collaborations, and the vast selection of both sun as well as optical RX frames. Above: the exterior of the new store – opened in February 2024

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Retrosuperfuture – interior – photography by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

On the opposite side, a full-height mirror spans floor to ceiling, and throughout the entire store, offering a comprehensive view for clients to fully see themselves and their eyewear choices. A huge, fully dimmable lightbox graces the ceiling, replicating the ambiance and warmth of a sunset to enhance the overall mood. For a comprehensive optical service, RSF’s Mexico City store includes private visiting rooms equipped with licensed opticians, optometrists and Zeiss vision testing machines to address clients’ ophthalmic needs. Find out more at www.retrosuperfuture.com

Av. Tamaulipas 141, Condesa, CDMX Mexico City, Mexico. Monday – Sunday 11 am – 8 pm.

10 questions: Elena Serrano Pelaez, Optica Rosal 21

On a mission to allow as many people as possible to see themselves through stunning frames, Elena Serrano Pelaez founded Optica Rosal 21 – a curated, unique and ambitious eyewear boutique based in Oviedo, Spain. Eyestylist speaks to the entrepreneurial, passionate founder…

1. Tell us a little bit about the road you took to establish Optica Rosal 21? From the first steps I took, my passion for design, fashion, and art has been unwavering. My godfather played a crucial role in intensifying these emotions, guiding me through art exhibitions and fashion shops when I could barely spell my own name. As a teenager, the desire to establish my own business and share my feelings with open-minded individuals already burned within me. Passing optical shops, a fascination with the intricacies of the nose prostheses that enhance vision compelled me to dedicate my life to designer eyewear. This bold decision, made 18 years ago, marked my leap into entrepreneurship. Selling my dream to the bank, I secured the funds to establish my vision—a unique optical design shop challenging the norms in the North of Spain. Fortuitously, the local emphasis on quality and added value became my advantage. The love for my job, coupled with curiosity, instinct, and a passion for travel, allowed me to broaden my horizons beyond Spain and create a distinctive optical design shop.

2. What is it about your business that sets it apart from the rest? My motto, “Think outside my house,” holds great importance to me. While I avoid scrutinising my competition, my eyes are wide open to global developments. I am a perpetual learner, observing, absorbing, and seeking inspiration everywhere I go. This approach fuels my daily commitment to enhancing my shop. Unlike many opticians hesitant about change, I actively embrace it. I seek shifts within our business and, more significantly, in external factors like fashion, music, and street culture. Simultaneously, I invest in personal growth through continuous participation in workshops and training. This enriching process allows me to adapt and mould my shop in response to constant evolution.

3. What is your favourite era / genre of design and why? My affinity for women’s glasses from the ’70s, characterised by oversized frames, smooth shapes, and gradient lenses, reflects my admiration for their femininity, humour, and power. Brands and designers inspired by that era always capture my attention. The trend for men emerged in the late ’80s and early ’90s, featuring small, round, oval, or geometrical frames. Iconic frames, like those designed by Matsuda, gained fame through the film industry, enhancing the personality of male actors in movies like Alien and Interview with the Vampire. Above + below: Elena Serrano Pelaez founder of Optica Rosal 21

4. How do you identify and define your customer base? My customers are individuals who appreciate being different and unique. While some lean towards modern styles, a significant portion prefers classic aesthetics. They seek frames that stand out, avoiding common choices. Trusting our carefully curated selection of brands, they value the time and professional dedication we invest in their choices. Whether avant-garde or classic, they desire an extraordinary frame that aligns with their personal style. The process of choosing new glasses involves comprehensive guidance, addressing potential insecurities. We precisely explain how their chosen frame will enhance their image, reflecting our shared appreciation for design, high quality, and craftsmanship.

5. Is there a specific process you take to select the brands or frames you stock in-store? Categorising customers into four types, each associated with a specific brand, demands excellence in quality and service. These brands must evoke genuine enthusiasm, leading to a personal connection where I fall in love and experience butterflies in my stomach. Equally important is their DNA and storytelling aligning with mine.

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6. What pair of frames, if any, illustrates your personality best? Evolution is a constant in my personality, reflecting in my choice of frames. Currently favouring vibrant colours—a departure for me—oversized frames remain a consistent preference. If I were to define myself with a brand, it would undoubtedly be Theo. Like Theo, I am not merely fashion; I am simultaneously very fashionable. Our evolution over the years respects core values while adapting to changing times.

Exterior of Optica Rosal 21

7. Do you think social media is an integral part of owning an eyewear boutique these days? In my opinion, social media is the primary window that opticians have in 2023. It offers a platform to communicate and inform customers, showcasing my identity and values—a personal brand. The dedication to this endeavour involves regular collaboration with my social media coach, ensuring I stay abreast of the latest trends and evolutions. My advice emphasises quality over quantity—favouring fewer but genuinely interested and loyal followers who, in turn, become advocates within their social networks. This approach fosters organic growth, focusing on genuine connections.

8. Would you rather: coloured or monochrome frames? Colour holds immense power for me, defining individuals. Encouraging customers to shift from neutral to powerful colours or glasses with colour accents involves a process that challenges them to see themselves without filters. Collaboration with brands strong in colour facilitates this shift, and successfully convincing a customer to embrace a brightly coloured frame brings me immense satisfaction.

9. Do you have any exciting news or updates on the horizon? This question excites me, coming at the perfect time. I am convinced that Spain is ready for more high-end optical boutique shops, led by opticians with a clear vision. Rejecting the conventional image of medical professionals, I emphasise showcasing passion and personality in this beautiful profession. Consequently, I created a platform for opticians eager to elevate their practices. I am proud to announce the participation of a European university certifying my efforts. Through direct mentoring, I aim to guide shops and opticians toward enormous change and progress, sharing the experience and knowledge accumulated over the last 18 years.

10. What is the big dream for Optica Rosal 21? The grand dream for Optica Rosal 21 is to see people from Oviedo and beyond adorning themselves with beautiful designer frames, understanding the transformative effect and benefits of high-quality eyewear. I aspire for Optica Rosal to be recognised for enhancing the aesthetics of individuals, providing not just unique eyewear advice but making a style statement. Dreaming big extends to my academy, with a focus on elevating the quality of the optical business in Spain. I genuinely believe that exceptional service and the offering of high-quality brands will reshape public perceptions of our profession. In conclusion, my promise is that by infusing fun into the eyewear buying process and emphasising business development over routine operations, we can trigger a transformative shift in how customers perceive our profession, leading to the growth of our businesses. In essence, 1+1 equals 3. Visit the Optica Rosal to get inspired at https://opticarosal21.com

Images by kind permission of Elena Serrano Pelaez, Optica Rosal 21. This interview feature was written by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.

Žilka Optik Studio, Prague

The new Žilka Optik Studio interior was designed by owner/founder Filip Žilka and realised by Olgoj Chorchoj studio – large glass windows have been installed to accommodate the display of art installations 

Žilka Optik Studio, an established fine eyewear destination which opened 25 years ago in Prague (Czech Republic) has marked its anniversary this year with the unveiling of a newly designed state-of-the-art space in the historic centre of the city in June 2023. Their retail concept represents one of the most exceptional to have been announced this year. The new striking interior was designed by owner Filip Žilka and carried out by the renowned Olgoj Chorchoj Prague-based studio (www.olgojchorchoj.cz).

More akin to a prestigious art gallery than a shop, the spot-lit windows of the studio embrace Žilka’s particular approach to eyewear. “Glasses are not just a mere accessory,” says the owner who is well known for his particular philosophy for  matching the perfect frame to the individual’s character, “but they symbolise and reflect the wearer’s personality. Our current window display was produced by the studio of the National Theatre under the creative direction of Marek Cpin.” Pictured above, works by Marek Cpin. Cpin is a well known set and costume designer who studied at the Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Brno, Czech Republic).

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A circular room within the minimal space at Žilka Optik Studio – photo Filip Slapal

The refined and minimal interior features a circular room lined with frames presented on translucent white displays, and hidden behind a curtain. Žilka explains this feature as part of his philosophy of finding the ideal frame: “The client coming to us here does not select their next frame on their own, the selection of frames is curated for them by our team. It is always our intention to sell “eyewear by Žilka” which sums up our knowledge and expertise. Our individual approach is a superior opportunity for our clientele beyond the brands and designs themselves.”

The circular room within the interior – hidden behind a light blue curtain Photo: Filip Slapal

Asked to pinpoint his particular concept, Žilka said: “My key intention and criteria was to always collaborate with the designers who create eyewear, and have a personal dialogue and connection with them. Our overall concept is based on a stylistic approach that uses our expertise in physiognomy, non-verbal communication and the psychological profiles of each personality type”. He adds that his aim is to bring out the client’s character and link it with a matching pair of frames. This requires a personal appointment at the studio.

Žilka Optik Studio – a relaxing area for clients to enjoy
Currently, although always fluid, the portfolio of brands offered in the store has been handpicked to offer a variety of eyewear styles for various types of clients – from the extravagant to the more conservative. “My personal favourite brands include Jacques Marie Mage, Blake Kuwahara, Matsuda, LINDBERG and Rigards; two of our latest additions to the family are Kuboraum and Esmont.”
To find out more about the store visit www.zilkastudio.cz. All photos by Filip Slapal – provided by Žilka Optik Studio. Copyright applies.

10 questions: Dr Philip + Dr Erica Meltzer, Spectacles of Great Neck

A father and daughter optical enterprise on Long Island (NYC), Spectacles of Great Neck has become one of our favourite retailers to follow on social media. Dr Philip Meltzer opened the business in 1988, with Erica joining in 2022. Their professionalism, quality eyecare service and eyewear offering – presented with an infectious, original energy on Insta reels – are making an impression that goes far beyond the community they serve.  Here we asked them a little bit more about the business and their working life together.

1. Tell us about the store, which I think has quite a few years’ history? How long have you and your father been working together? Philip: Spectacles opened in Great Neck, NY in April of 1988, in a town with four other optical stores. With so many options for patients and customers, I knew I had to set myself apart. From day one, Spectacles has prided itself on excellent customer service and has adapted to meet the needs of a changing Great Neck demographic.

Erica: I graduated SUNY College of Optometry in May of 2022, so I’ve been working with dad for the year since. I also spent a lot of time working with him between undergraduate graduation and the beginning of optometry school, so we’ve fallen into a great groove over the last few years. (Above: Erica wears FACE A FACE and Philip wears J.F. Rey)

2. You have had what appears to have been a fabulous career so far in optics. What has made your working life fulfilling so far? Philip:I started my career in optician school before making my way to optometry school, so from the start I was uniquely positioned to see all of the opportunities an optical career has to offer. Nothing has been more rewarding than giving people the gift of sight. Watching someone experience perfect vision for the first time, or the smile on a child’s face when they successfully learn to wear contacts makes every day special. Now after 35 years, the relationships I’ve built with my patients and my community are so fulfilling. Being alongside them as they experience bat-mitzvahs, weddings, children, grandchildren and more has been a career highlight.

3. How do you enjoy working with your daughter Erica? Philip: When my kids went to college I begged them to take some science classes, just in case they wanted to go into a medical career. They both declined my request so I never expected to be lucky enough to work with either of my kids.  Now with Erica as an optometrist and Max as a veterinarian, it’s safe to say I was right about the science classes. Words cannot express how elated I am to share this career with my daughter. We are learning so much from each other every day, it has renewed my passion for learning. We have always had an incredible father-daughter relationship, and working together has only strengthened that bond. We have such a great time in the office together, and I love introducing my patients to the future of the practice. I am so proud of all the hard work she put in to get here, and so excited for her to have a career as amazing as I’ve had. My only hope is that she loves it as much as I do, and has a successful 35 years like I’ve had.

4. We absolutely love the Spectacles Instagram feed. When did you launch your Reels – what has inspired you to put so much energy and fun into the store social media? Erica: Wow, thank you! It really is a lot of fun. I’ve been working on it for a little under 10 years now, but the reels have really blown up in the last year. I’ve always had a creative side and didn’t necessarily want to part with that even though I’m in a medical profession. I also worked as a social media manager for local businesses throughout college so I’ve watched Instagram grow and evolve from a business perspective over the last decade. I think it’s really important for brands and businesses to showcase themselves on Instagram, and I think with optometry there are so many ways to do it. I love that optometry has a fashion component and a medical component and I didn’t want to stick with just one on Instagram. Some days you’ll see me posting about contact lens hygiene, the next day a stunning pair of glasses, and other days a silly video with dad. We’ve gotten such amazing feedback on it that I don’t think I could slow down! My favorite (and everyone’s favorite) videos are the ones dad and I film together, we get a lot of good laughs out of those. Of course social media is so important for businesses and brands in today’s era, but we really want our page to showcase our personalities and to be authentic to us and our practice.

5. I know that you are working with a wide range of collections. Are you stocking any independent brands and could you tell us which ones and which ones you like best right now? Erica: I think we do a great job at carrying something for everyone! As far as independent brands go we carry: Barton Perreira, FACE A FACE, Dita, Mykita, Matsuda, J.F. Rey, Chrome Hearts, and a few more. We also carry a handful of luxury fashion names, but we have done a great job at taking independent lines and making them the household fashion names that people now come in looking for.

Erica wears Barton Perreira frame

6.  You also have an eye for styling. Is this a natural gift or have you learnt how to do this in the last years? Erica:I have to say I really learned from the best. Watching the frames that dad has picked for people over the years on the first or second try has really taught me so much about how to pick an amazing frame for someone. At this point it comes very naturally to me, and I also try to make it a very collaborative effort with the patient because I want them to truly love their glasses. Now when I work with him I’m secretly trying to be the one to pick the pair that the patient likes best and really become the master!

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7. What are your top tips for styling now as we head into Fall? Erica:We’re seeing some really great colors that are still subtle and wearable even for people who are a little timid when it comes to color. There are some gorgeous rich navy colors, aubergines, and green is still going strong from last season. We’re also seeing thick acetates come back into style, and some really cool rimless metal sunglasses that are awesome unisex pieces.

8. Have you a favorite glasses shape and colour which expresses the new – season look? Erica: I’m really loving this piece from Barton Perreira (pictured above) and also an aubergine-toned Fendi (below right) with a gold temple detail. The bold cat-eyes are where it’s at for me right now.

9. Will you shortly be travelling to Vision Expo West or Silmo? Erica: As of right now, we don’t have plans to! After Vision Expo East in March we added a new fundus camera to the practice and don’t currently have our eyes on more medical equipment. As far as frame buying goes, while we do love to walk the shows we usually put all of our effort into Vision Expo East since it’s right in our backyard. But who knows, as it gets closer we might just use it as an excuse for a vacation!

Left: Erica wears Chrome Hearts frame in matt gray, right: Erica wears Fendi

10. On Instagram you have launched a super Frame Friday highlight. We spotted you in the CHROME HEARTS grey-toned optical which looked stunning. Do you have this photo to share and would this be a frame you would wear and for what type of occasion? Erica: I’m having a lot of fun with New Frame Friday! People always ask when we are getting new stuff in and the answer is truly every day. I love being able to pick a frame that came in during the week and show people an exciting new piece. Chrome Hearts is always easy to get excited about. Their attention to detail and the edginess of their frames is so different from what other companies are doing. That matte gray piece is definitely cool, I think for my personal style I’d wear that to elevate a basic outfit, like jeans, a white t-shirt and a leather jacket this fall. I also think it would look amazing with a transition lens in the gray/silver mirror, or as a full sunglass. It’s slightly big on me so I don’t know if you’ll see it in my repertoire anytime soon but I’m still itching for my first pair of Chrome Hearts.

80, Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, NY, USA

https://www.spectaclesgn.com / @spectaclesgn

10 questions: G is for Glasses, Winnipeg

A strikingly modern approach to the optical retail world, G is for Glasses is a long overdue injection of fun, inclusivity and colour. Celebrating their fast-approaching 10th anniversary, Eyestylist was delighted to sit down with the creative, driven and exciting team in discussing their story, plans for the future and more.

Tell us a little bit about the road you took to establish G is for Glasses. Manitoba highway 309 was the literal road that led us to creating G is for Glasses; that road takes you to Big Whiteshell Lake in Manitoba and the location of Jessie’s family cottage. Over some chilled Chardonnay and a thrilling game of Scrabble, we decided to open an optical shop. Jessie is an optometrist and had been practicing for 5 years in Winnipeg – she just didn’t see herself long term in any of the existing offices, but saw the potential of independent opticals in other cities. Bonni had never worked in optical before, however with 20ish years in retail she was certain she could sell some spectacles and had creative ideas for days. We were both at the point in our careers where we needed a change, so we decided to take the plunge and start our own thing. We are cousins, so focusing on smaller independent brands was an easy choice to maintain the family roots of our business. Above: The G Girls, Jessie and Bonni, the creators of G is for Glasses, a friendly, neighbourhood independent optical store

G is for Glasses is located in Winnipeg

What is it about your brand that sets it apart from the rest? We set out to open a shop that was more than just a place to get your eyes checked and to buy a pair of glasses: we wanted to create a glasses culture that was inclusive to all humans. We are very passionate about independent eyewear as well as educating our customers and patients about the value of the design, skill and process that goes into each frame we sell. Our brand is not just our store but an extension of ourselves. We totally embrace being referred to as “The G Girls” and 100% endorse our shop simply being called “G”. When our clients are asked where they bought their glasses, they just don’t answer with G is for Glasses but talk about the experience, the people and our shop’s environment. Nothing builds a brand faster than word of mouth, and Winnipeggers love to chat.

Who is someone you see as aspirational or inspirational in terms of design? Hard to narrow it down to one, but if we are looking at something new and fresh that we are super into these days it is VADA Eyes. Katie Caplener and her team are doing exciting things over at VADA, using her jewelry background and sourcing of vintage acetates. Their colours are vibrant and their shapes are hitting new limits. Straight up a banger of a collection and brand, these ladies are true Kauboi’s (IYKYK) in the landscape of our industry.

How do you identify and define your customer base? We have a super wide and diverse range of clientele, but we do take pride in having created a safe space for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Is there a specific process you take to select the brands or frames you stock in-store? It’s a combination of talking to our friends in the industry, talking to our clients, snooping and engaging on social media and going to the shows (especially European shows). It’s an ongoing process making sure we have brands we believe in, having a good array of designs and also not being afraid to make mistakes.

What pair of frames, if any, illustrates your personality best? If you mean G is for Glasses: anything orange. If you mean Jessie: anything neon. If you mean Bonni: the bigger the better.

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Do you think social media is an integral part of owning an eyewear boutique these days? Maintaining a solid social media presence is still a great way to set yourself apart and show people why they should shop with you and be a part of what you have created. We use our outlets more to show people who we are, show us having fun behind the scenes of G and what is happening in our community, while sprinkling in all the beautiful eyewear that is arriving in the shop on a regular basis.

Would you rather: extravagance or minimalism? Impossible to answer, we love both! In terms of brands, our top sellers would fall under the more minimal classic design category, but we are always drawn to the wild extravagant frames and want them on our shelves no matter what.

Do you have any exciting news or updates on the horizon? We opened our business after working zero days in optical sales, so as we approach our 10th birthday we are going to fully renovate the optical area. We have done a few small-to-medium updates as we learned the flow of our shop, but need to go bigger now. We have new ideas, coupled now with a ton of experience, to make design changes that will keep G feeling fresh and provide an even better customer experience.

What is the big dream for G is for Glasses? Simple – just make this a place we want to keep coming back too. Nothing complicated. We opened G because we both wanted to enjoy coming to work, so our big dream is to keep the ship sailing, keep it evolving, always having fun.

G is for Glasses, 3-1176 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3M 3Z4

Find out more about the store at www.gisforglasses.com / An interview feature written by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.