Here's a little info that you may find very interesting. 90% of ALL frames, high, medium or low-end are made by Luxottica. That's right, those $19.99 specials are made by the same company as Dior or Chanel. I'm presuming the ones that state they are made in Italy or France (the two largest manufacturers of high-end frames) are made in the better factories in Italy or France, as often the cheap pairs say "Made in China". Funny nearly all my vintage sunglasses say "Made in France".
Always check to make sure the exam is included (I'm looking at you Lenscrafters.) I always assume (stupid on my part to make that assumption, but usually that's a way to get a customer in the shop and buying). Both with large chains and small shops.
Small shops doesn't always mean poor quality. See my comment above about 90% if the frames are made by the same companies so might want to think twice before plunking down the cash for something that doesn't look top-notch at a chain or high-end shop (the except is the high-end shop that sells hard to find European or Never Used Old Stock Vintage). Besides if its designer you're after (I'm usually just trying to find a pair that doesn't make me look ridiculous, I look great in sunglasses, put a clear lens in them and I look like a dork!) the small shops often have exclusives you won't find in the chains. They are trying (like most small businesses) to be unique, and thats where you'll find the most unique frames (experience talking here, it can take me weeks to find the right pair and 9 times out of 10 its the small shop where I find the most interesting frames).
I've been lucky to find a small family owned chain that has been wonderful! The owner also happens to live across the street from us! He's so good that he doesn't make a full mark-up on frames knowing this is an area he can't compete with the large chains and likes to give his clients as much of a break as possible, which is an excellent business practice. Not only does he give personalised service, he gives them the best price available without any fake add-on fees because of the brand. And you'll know straight out before the exam starts if its free or not! The way businesses both large and small should work! (I'll post the info below as there are few easily accessible to the city, and this is the one place that took their time finding the correct contacts for me -- most rush you out after the second try!)
To the left of this you will find a poll. It closes on 24 Feb at midnight (changed the date as I'm anxious to hear what you'll all say). While I love the red pair (thats why they're up there!) my last pair was red, so I'm iffy. I'd like your opinion on which frames I should chose next, pretty please and don't forget to vote on the poll to the left of this post.
|1. Black Pointed Cat Eye|
|2. Red Pointed Cat Eye|
|Red Pointed Cat Eye ¾ View (not an choice just showing side view.)|
|3. Black "Bat"|
|Black "Bat" ¾ View|
|4. Black "Bat" with Diamonté|
Envisage Optical (Look under "about us" for locations & directions)
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone (914) 235-5222
Fax (914) 235-5225
Yonkers, NY 10704
Phone (914) 375-5775
Fax (914) 476-5021
Bronx, NY 10467
Phone (718) 654-2020
Fax (718) 654-2325