Eye-catching opticals stores around the world
These boutiques have really opened our eyes to design-led optical and sunglasses stores. From London’s chic Notting Hill to craftsmanship-focused Charlottenburg in Berlin, they take inspiration from their local area, introducing independent labels to curious customers...
‘I was inspired by the fast-paced lifestyle found in London and tried to recreate a fixed sculpture that emphasises this kind of movement,’ says Viu’s creative director Fabrice Aeberhard of the new 85 sq m store located in the city’s bustling Soho. Using a crystal black anthracite stone to craft the wall structure, the Swiss eyewear brand’s cutting edge glasses are displayed on trays hung to this functional grid system hiding storage drawers to keep the store sleek. The dusty pink concrete walls and floor bring a soft and romantic contrast to the heavy store fittings, while mirrors on the ceilings gives the illusion of a wider space and reflect metallic elements. Just like Viu’s timeless frames, the store is designed to last and reinforces the brand’s commitment to quality and durability.
Founded by Uta Geyer in Berlin, Lunettes Selection has expertly crafted fine modern eyewear and curated vintage frames since 2006. It was natural then, that the brand commissioned the innovative Oskar Kohnen Studio to design its new West Berlin store, which brings together a retro aesthetic and contemporary interior elements. The boutique draws inspiration from 20th century European artists while also highlighting the history of the local area in Charlottenburg – a neighbourhood valuing craftsmanship and cultural heritage. Inside the store, a pastel green pharmacy cabinet has been assembled with 375 repurposed drawers from the 60s, through which customers can browse the label’s fine line of opticals and sunglasses, as well as some rare luxury pieces. A raw industrial light tube illuminates the space, and hangs from the ceiling on steel rings, while a large central glass table reflects the space’s green hues.
Ace & Tate
Building upon Freiburg’s recycling culture, Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate integrated sustainable innovation into its new German store. Clad in a dreamy sky blue, the interior presents the whole range of handmade, high quality frames onto trays taking the shape of white airy clouds. Designed by artist Boris de Beijer, the merchandising blocks in the middle of the space have been created by repurposing leftover acetate into colourful and precious pedestals, while the flooring material is made of upcycled vinyl waste. ‘I produce quite a lot of plastic waste material, but I treat the material as something precious,’ explains de Beijer. ‘Nothing leaves my studio unused.’ Also keep your eyes peeled for Ace & Tate’s 50th store which just opened in Arnhem, Netherlands.
A leafy plant installation welcomes visitors stepping inside Finlay London’s second outpost in Notting Hill. Just as in its Soho sister store, the pared-back interior dominated by light plywood reveals the full collection of Finlay London’s sunglasses and spectacles alongside a rota of curated independent eyewear brands. The Ledbury Road store – which inspired the name of the brand’s first frames – has already raised local interest and introduced a family friendly feel thanks to the kids section located in the basement. Keeping with a high-end aesthetic, each frame is displayed on gilded brass shelves reflecting the light and creating a glowing pattern on the white walls. ‘We wanted to display a frame like a piece of art by putting it on its own individual shelf,’ adds co-founder and creative director Dane Butler. The new location also hosts Finlay London’s recently launched eyewear accessories and an exclusive line by LA-based brand Jacques Marie Mage.