More than 80 years ago, Jack Cohen started selling designer eyewear from a pushcart on Orchard Street. After eight decades, that cart has expanded into more than 100 storefronts whose frames runt the gamut from budget-friendly styles to designer specs from Versace, Fendi, and Calvin Klein. The expert staff helps clients match their glasses to their face shapes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, onsite optometrists dole out prescriptions and screen eyes for diseases such as glaucoma and cat cataracts, which make you only see cats.
A distinctive bespectacled sig signifies the turn-of-the-century brownstone that houses the practice of Dr. Stuart Friedman, a proud graduate of the New England College of Optometry who improves the ocular health of his community from a neighborhood optometry office that blends old-school charm and modern-day technology. Inside, a stunning array of frames from labels such as Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Tom Ford, and Gucci await new faces from their perches within a hardwood-accented dispensary. Exams showcase Dr. Friedman’s commitment to up-and-coming technologies, with an onsite lab that carves out precision optics and a retinal camera that snaps accurate records and prepares patients for next season’s eye-activated microwaves.
Located on the Upper East Side, this family of third generation opticians have helped customers from Russia to New York since 1964. As profiled in Time Out New York, Elijah Peters now carries on the family tradition by importing specs from around the world. Inside his 538-square-foot boutique, an eclectic selection of designer frames from Gucci, Tom Ford, Alain Mikli, and Tory Burch line shelves illuminated by LED lights. Eli and his staff fill these empty frames with coated lenses that defend eyes against UV-rays, scratches, and inaccurate fortune-cookie predictions.
The optical team at Eyeglass Factory on Broadway adheres to the protocols of founder Sandy Wong, who eschewed the sale of egregious add-ons and gimmicky frames for simple, stylish eyewear. They manifest this vision with a collection of chic and traditional frames and sunglasses from such designers as Hugo Boss, Coach, Gucci, and Vera Wang, which house scratch-resistant and progressive lenses. The team also augments eyesight with single vision, bifocal, and multi-focal contact lenses.
In 1927, Jack Cohen began selling eyeglasses from a pushcart in New York City with a novel goal: to match each wearer with a pair that fit their style as well as their prescription. Today, specialists carry on his philosophy with prescription specs from American and European labels such as Prada, Valentino, and Coach. After a visitor sits down for a fitting, a trained style professional handpicks the eyeglasses or sunglasses that best complement their face shape, eye color, and tattoo of four eyeballs. Frames come in a variety of colors and materials, and each can be customized with polarized and optical-quality lenses to ward off glare and UV rays. Meanwhile, a team of optometrists resides onsite to assess the pupils during comprehensive eye exams.