You might expect that the big cities are the best places to buy cool glasses.
Naturally there are some great stores in LA (LA Eyeworks, Gogosha Optique), NYC (Selima Optique), London (Eyeworks) and Paris (Carlotti) but often the coolest stores are where you least expect.
In the UK, Brighton has a wealth of great independent optical stores including Bromptons, Taylor-West & Co, Frames In The Lanes and The Specky Wren while the heavy-weight champion of the independent optical world is a fantastic store called Spectacle Emporium, in Kings Heath, a suburb of Birmingham. Other great UK stores include Clamp Optometrists in Cambridge and Niche Optical Tailor in Glasgow.
We are always happy to recommend stores around the world, whether they stock Kirk & Kirk or not, so drop us a line on [email protected] if you would like a recommendation.
Our travels sometimes take us further afield when seeking optical gold and nestled away in Mexico, Missouri we recently discovered Eye To Eye, an independent optical bristling with personality. Eclectic decor, eclectic frame collections and a good line in cheese scones make this store well worth a visit.
Another great store can be found in Regina, Canada. Spex By Ryan seeks out the best collections from around the world. Not only is the eyewear superb but Ryan also creates some of the best photo shoots and videos.
One more favourite........Buch Optikk in Stavanger, Norway, where Hans Christian Buch steadfastly sticks to collections about which he can be passionate, presented in a beautiful, artistic environment.
There are hidden optical gems around the world. Increasingly, independent opticians are focusing on fewer brands, taking a more selective approach but offering a broader range of each collection. As a consumer, this allows you a much greater appreciation of the frames and the story behind them.
Over the summer, we will feature some more of our favourite stores so please keep an eye on the Kirk & Kirk blog.