I'm elated to introduce a new feature to Style is Style: The Locals. I'm discovering more and more interesting retailers and creative people here in Vancouver, so I would like to showcase some of my favorites on a monthly basis.
This month I'm featuring a lovely eye wear boutique in Gastown, Bruce Eyewear. I had not had the pleasure of visiting this shop until about a month ago, since the few times I was previously in the area it was closed. When I finally stepped inside, I was wowed by the selection and quality of the frames they offer. Open since July 1st, 2000, Bruce Eyewear specializes in stylish, bold frames. Carrying lines such as Celine and Karen Walker, there is a uniquely singular approach to glasses at Bruce. As a person who requires vision assistance (I typically wear contacts), I'm on the hunt for new frames. It was pleasant to experience an optical boutique which felt cool instead of sterile, fun instead of necessary. The staff is warm and inviting, and one could spend hours (seriously) just trying on the myriad of sunnies and eyeglasses they have.
I've also found out a little about the hows and whys of Bruce Eyewear, if you are in Gastown you should really take a peek at this lovely shop!
Do you find it is mostly prescription lens or fashion (non-prescription) glasses that your customers purchase? We have a slight seasonal shift in business, so we do sell more non-Rx
sunnies in the warmer months, but both "fashion" and Rx markets are
strong for us year-round!
With such an eclectic and style conscious breadth of stock, do you base your buying on staying on trend? Or is Bruce Eyewear more conscious of what does well with your standing customer base?
We base our buying on so many things - from technical innovation (i.e.
new materials), to particular clients, to some trend-watching, to need,
to instinct...and we always have to be mindful that frames house
prescriptions so there are always special considerations. And no matter
what the trends, there will always be people who need a small frame, a
narrow bridge, a large frame, or nosepads, etc....
Out of curiosity, what is the age range of customers who visit the shopfront?
Our demographic is not so much an age as a point of view - our clients range in age from their tweens to their 80's.
What would you say to someone who is looking to change to bolder eyeglasses, but is fearful of wearing something that makes such a statement?
Someone who is looking to go bolder...well, you can dip in a toe or dive
right in! We look at the type of work they do, the environments they
spend time in, budget, overall lifestyle - then we find examples of
frames that vary in the "degree" of boldness! We encourage but never
push - and inevitably the compliments provide the validation
What are some of the staff favorite frames?
Staff favorites vary weekly! We have a staff picks section that changes
constantly - again, it is more about the frames themselves than any
Here are my favorite Spring picks! I wish I could have taken those Anne et Valentins home with me, they are definitely on my optical wishlist now...
Left Column: (top) Barton Perreira 'Cha/vgn Nelson', (middle) Dita 'Bengal', (bottom) Anne et Valentine 'Scarlett'
Middle Column: (top) Harry Lary's 'Beauty 48', (middle) Celine 'cl 41300 3y7 140', (bottom) Anne et Valentin 'Can'
Right Column: (top) Karen Walker 'Intergalactic', (middle) Karen Walker 'Bunny', (bottom) Oliver Goldsmith 'Love Me'