In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight?a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
Though a licensed optometrist is on staff to examine customers' eyes, Eye Roc Eyewear is more a fashion studio than a doctors' office, with knowledgeable eyewear specialists on call to help clients make stylish decisions. In the sunny, modern studio filled with blond-wood accents and bright orange tones, a wealth of Eye Roc brand-name glasses await. Doctors help patients catch eye concerns early and obtain precise prescriptions with comprehensive exams, and specialists help clients choose the perfect style to flatter every face, whether it's a pair of bold, horn-rimmed retro glasses or a bolder, even more retro monocle.
Under the Mercy umbrella of healthcare providers, Mercy Eye Care sees to patients’ optical needs in the form of exams and prescription eyewear. Qualified optometrists evaluate vision at three area locations, fitting faces with designer frames and lenses that enable eyes to see near, far, and that distance in the middle where cars are.
Phoenix Project Resale keeps women looking stunning with high-end resale clothes, shoes, and accessories by Ralph Lauren, Gap, and Ann Taylor, but its primary goal is to benefit the community at large. At least 20% of the profits from each Phoenix Project purchase are donated to local St. Louis charities and organizations––Haven House, Angels Arms, and Partners 4 Pets to name a few. Typical items include from blouses, pants, and designer dresses, all of which are laundered and pressed prior to sale. Examples from the store's inventory can be found in their Facebook gallery.
Tower Optical is the stylish spawn of St. Louis's longest-running ophthalmologic practice, Clinical Ophthalmology. The eye-shield shrine is the retail section of Clinical and home to a horde of designer brands, including Vera Wang ($250+), Brooks Bros. ($150+), Coach ($250+), and J. Lo's own line of optical orb protectors ($165+). Break down the brightness while becoming the envy of neo-hipster friends with a pair of authentic Rayban wayfarers. If you're feeling self-conscious about your eyes' square-shaped irises, invest in a pair of mirrored eyewear, which strategically deflect the evil eye from frenemies while allowing true friends to check their teeth.