After working at eyewear centers for three years, a 21-year-old Norman Childs took a tremendous leap of faith when he opened his own in 1979. In the inaugural years, Norman developed close relationships with his customers and began building Eyetique’s reputation for carrying high-fashion frames by the likes of Oliver Peoples, Prada, and Chanel––brand names that were hard to find in the area. Norman’s brainchild grew even larger with the help of a massive ad campaign showing more than 600 actors, musicians, and local celebrities donning the shop’s eyewear. With an entrepreneurial spirit that never yields, Norman also developed his own brand of eyeglasses, the Norman Childs line, which features frames made in the USA.
Today, Eyetique has since expanded to eight locations and continues to outfit visitors in sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses, which empower wearers with 20/20 vision and the ability to always spot Waldo in games of hide-and-seek. Staff members work one-on-one with customers to ensure that frames reflect the their personality, helping guests choose from a variety of designer brands including Coach, Gucci, Ray-Ban, and Silhouette.
Now helmed by a second generation of eyewear aficionados, Dalmo Optical has been clarifying blurry vision for half a century. During the eye exam, a skilled sight specialist examines eyes for signs of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and nitpickiness. After scores are tallied, the friendly staff helps fit faces with a flattering pair of frames from brands such as Dior, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs ($149–$600 for a complete pair). Dalmo Optical’s in-house lab ensures timely lens-frame bonding, with most single-vision spectacles ready to wear home in as a little as an hour. Peepers seeking protection from UV rays and Medusa’s gaze can also peruse a selection of prescription sunglasses ($69–$249).
Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, the nationally recognized and trusted franchise now operates in nearly 800 locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well trained in assisting all bespectacled beings from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames starting at $99.95, or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Anne Klein and DKNY ($149.95+) or Versace ($205+). Single-vision lenses adjust a singular field of vision and start at $80 (basic uncoated plastic) and $120 (plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN lenses ($205) are lightweight heavyweights.
After 50 years in and around the eyecare business, Optical Outlet owner Shelly Droz is as well versed in attractive frames as any art dealer. Shelley grew up watching first her father, then her mother operate a wholesale business for frames and lenses for doctors in Pennsylvania, leading her to eventually take the reins next to her mother. Now operating her own business, Shelley builds upon her family’s legacy by offering vision services as well as the designer frames and lenses for which her family is known.
Inside the shop, licensed optometrists check clients’ visual acuity and overall eye health before writing prescriptions for lenses. Clients can then peruse the shop’s selection of designer eyeglasses and sunglasses from top brands such as Versace, Ray-Ban, Ogi, and Dolce & Gabbana. After an average of two–four weeks, they can pick up their new prescriptions and finally realize they’ve been wearing shoeboxes instead of shoes.
A sextet of experienced eye doctors helms Family Eye Care's three locations. There, the doctors lead their teams in warmly accepting patients for services such as comprehensive eye exams, 24-hour emergency eye care, and glaucoma treatments. In addition to ocular services, each location lines its walls with myriad frame choices from designer brands such as Gucci, Brooks Brothers, or Versace. Clients can gain peace of mind from broken specs or faulty x-ray vision with Family Eye Care's two-year unlimited warranty on select frames and lenses.
In August 2010, Sosniak Opticians was rechristened as 3 Guys Optical Center. When the founding family passed the baton, it was entrusted to a group of opticians that could uphold the level of care established over the past six decades. True to its roots, the company provides top-notch vision services and brand-name frames by designers such as D&G, Oakley, and Ray-Ban. The business operates out of two Pittsburgh locations—one in Oakland and one downtown—welcoming walk-in customers and eagles that want to look distinguished.