Though SEE Eyewear’s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop’s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn’t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
Optical Works, Phoenix Optical, and Fine Arts Optical have manufactured frames by hand for more than 70 years, resulting in a cache of tens of thousands of contemporary styles as well as more than 3 million unused vintage frames. Artisans handcraft each pair of glasses in French or Italian factories using materials such as bamboo, buffalo and ram horn, traditional metal, and plastics to customize specs and keep up with current ocular trends. A prescription lab forges custom lenses that fit into frames, enhancing vision with polarized sunglasses, hidden bifocals, special coatings, and hard-to-fit prescriptions for nearsighted third eyes. Each store showcases around 3,000 different pairs of frames that both emulate the looks of celebrities and suit individuals’ styles.
The Monetta family has been helping Bay Area locals see for nearly 60 years. At Eyes in Disguise and Dr. Monetta Optometry, Dr. Robert Monetta O.D. proudly carries on his father's practice that he took over nearly 30 years ago. He uses his own experience to expertly screen patients of all ages for vision loss and chronic eye conditions. At either of Dr. Monetta's optical shops, patients can choose from stylish handmade frames or brand-name pieces from Kazuo Kawasaki, Gucci, and Prada, and can also count on superior patient care and customer service.
Through education and acculturation we evolve the lenses through which we see our world. Today's side deal will change the border around those lenses with $150 worth of chic frames from SF Optics for $70. Choose from a selection of glasses so fab that "two-eyes" becomes a backhanded moniker only slightly less potent than "popcorn toes."
Dr. Vincent Penza and Dr. Katherine Morioka have seen a lot of each other during their lives. They both attended the University of California at Berkeley, where they received their Doctor of Optometry degrees, and upon graduation combined forces to start City Optometry—where they’ve been tag-teaming clients' vision for the past 20 years. Nowadays the two visionaries keep peepers enjoying the sights of the city with services such as eye exams and LASIK consultations. In an ever-evolving field, they keep their office updated with state-of-the-art tools such as Stratus OCT Diagnostic Imaging, which snaps digital photographs of the retina that can detect abnormalities, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. After clients receive their prescription, they can peruse shelves lined with eyewear from Christian Dior, Ray Ban, and Lafont to bolster a fashionable look and thinly veil a superhero alter ego.
Strolling into Burlingame Optical is more like the encountering the lobby of a five-star hotel than an eyewear shop. Yet, sure enough, frames by Chanel, Robert Marc, and Chrome Hearts—amid a sea of other designers—fill the shop’s elegant cherry cabinets just waiting to be tested. Eyewear specialists pace the marbled floor, guiding the nearsighted and farsighted to the perfect lenses, from single-vision to digital progressives. At an onsite lab, technicians perform finish grindings and fortify spectacles with anti-reflective coatings and miniature wiper blades.