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.
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.
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.
For 36 years, the friendly and experienced staff at Overland Optical has bested poor eyesight with scratch-resistant coatings, durable frames, and prescription lenses. A huge range of frames from designers such as BCBG, Nike, Coach, and Prada gild eyeglass edges in a plethora of fashionable and classic styles ($99+), and basic single-vision lenses, made from either standard plastic, high index, or polycarbonate, thwart blurs and fill ocular borders with crystalline transparency ($100+). A fleet of more than 1,000 sunglass frames and tinted lenses divert rays and mask inappropriate reactions to overhead duck formations ($120 for basic single vision), with polarized lenses offering the most comprehensive glare deflection (an additional $100).