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.
From the wall art depicting a Venice Beach taqueria to the back parking lot, fashioned with deck furniture and transformed into a patio, Rider Shack Surf and Skate Shop brings that laid-back, beachside vibe to a busy stretch of Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. While the namesake skateboards and surfboards take up racks of space, the shop also carries a wide selection of sunglasses, a wall full of TOMS slip-on shoes and clothes from surfer-friendly brands like Hurley, Billabong and Rip Curl. Rider Shack Surf and Skate Shop also repairs and rents out surfboards to the surrounding neighborhood, and offers free in-store fitness and yoga classes on select dates.
Melamed Eye Care’s experienced optometrist Dr. Fouad Melamed assesses acuity while searching for ocular diseases. He is also certified in the treatment of glaucoma, which is a rarity among optometrists. Dr. Fouad allies himself with Dr. Elliot Vaupen—the former president of the Los Angeles County Optometric Society—at an eye boutique stocked with frames from Coach, Vera Wang, Gucci, and other top name brands. The boutique also carries specialized lenses such as anti-reflective lenses and polarized spectacle lenses, which improve visibility by reducing glare caused by sunbeams and smiles from pageant queens.
Since 1999, Lux Eyewear has been offering a constantly updated inventory of more than 2,000 designer styles. Friendly staff members guide customers through a cornucopia of high-end brand-name shades by design houses such as Ray-Ban, Celine Eyewear, Chanel, Tom Ford, Versace, Persol, and Tiffany, prompting customers to retire the tinted SUV windshields they may have been holding in front of their faces.
Stroll through A.B. See Optical and you'll pass row upon row of designer glasses frames. The store even carries a sizable selection of sports eyewear, from goggles to protect your eyes during games to sunglasses to wear backwards so it seems like you can ski backwards.
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.