For more than 25 years, Drs. Blinstrup and Nuccio have tended to the needs of eyes with examinations and healthcare services. When they aren't fitting peepers with custom contact lenses, they treat eye diseases and infections. Symptoms such as pain, sudden vision change, and flashes of light often require urgent attention, which is why the duo remains on call for such emergencies. Their studio shelves—nestled amid bright green and yellow walls and an exposed corrugated-tin ceiling that imparts an urban loft vibe—brim with glasses and sunglasses from brands such as Giorgio Armani, Coach, Calvin Klein, Nike, and Prada. Technicians sculpt single, bifocal, and trifocal lenses in the onsite optical lab and buttress them with protective coatings. Nuccio Optometrists also employs special contact lenses to reshape corneas and, once clear vision is achieved, equip blinkers with retainer lenses that are worn at night. This process eliminates the need for LASIK surgery and spares eyes the embarrassment of wearing ugly metal braces.
Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses?whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites?they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
Going by the numbers, Bloomingdale Optical looks pretty good?three doctors, 900 frames, and countless pairs of corrected eyes. But the goal of the staff isn't just to restore sight to 20/20 clarity, they also want to ensure eyes are as healthy as they can be. That's why, during exams, they employ cutting-edge diagnostic equipment capable of detecting even the slightest of abnormalities, allowing the doctors to catch eye diseases early. Designers carried include Coach, Timex, Dana Buckman, Marc Jacobs, Joseph Abboud, Anne Klein, and Columbia, just to mention a few.
Ulta's licensed staff, which partakes in ongoing training to keep skills sharp, creates customized looks and expert image enhancement using acclaimed beauty products. Like a loaf of bread in a space shuttle with a broken sunroof, hairstyles can grow stale between salon visits. A 45-minute coif-cultivation session, in which the stylist takes into account face shape and lifestyle, energizes follicles and forges a salon-fresh look. In the one-hour Dermalogica facial, an aesthetic augur examines skin in order to customize a course of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing session with Dermalogica products. The treatment leaves skin impeccable, like a recently buffed and oiled slab of marble.
Helping customers improve their vision is the main concern of the optometrists and eye-care professionals at Eye Boutique, who provide preventive screenings and help choosing from their more than 1,800 frames at each location. In each shop, licensed doctors of optometry scan eyes with comprehensive exams before diagnosing issues or prescribing high-definition Zeiss lenses and contact lenses from Optix and Acuvue. Designer frames from Guess, Nike, and Kenneth Cole house lenses fashionably, and Teflon protective layers help guard lenses from scratches and reduce glare. Sunglasses from brands such as Ray-Ban and Coach also protect eyes from harmful UV rays, creating an accessory that is both stylish and useful, like a diamond with a job.
Akira swaddles customers from clavicle to toe with a collection of trendy apparel from more than 200 designer brands crafted by foreign, domestic, and Chicago fabricsmiths. Women, men, and mannequins can browse a selection of clothing and accessories that includes the signature looks of Jeffrey Campbell and Boy London. Akira has cooperated with such endeavors as Generation Y, which fosters artistic expression in Chicago public schools.