As the first point of contact on the ground for spectacle-wearers, opticians are well placed to understand what potential clients expect. Their role as advisers means that they know better than anyone how to guide clients in choosing the frames of their dreams. But what should the optician do when these frames don’t suit their client? An increasing number of opticians are offering the option of custom-made for those clients who aren’t content with ready-to-wear.
Combining advice with design: optician-spectacle-makers
While opticians are still offering a variety of brands in their stores, some are developing their own line of spectacles in parallel. Easy access to training means that they can learn how to manufacture spectacles. Capitalizing on their detailed knowledge of designer collections and their experience, they are able to meet their clients’ demands and stand out from the competition.
Amazing Eyewear came across one such optician in Belgium. Ludovic Elens is passionate about fine materials. However, they don’t tolerate rough adjustment and are ill-suited to ready-to-wear. This is why he made the decision to offer made-to-measure frames in buffalo horn, manufacturing them himself. To cater for every wearer, spectacle manufacturer Ludovic also designs glasses made from acetate or wood.
For an optician, providing a made-to-measure service in-store ensures they will stand out from the competition and reach an audience looking for high-end glasses and technical sophistication. And while opticians can also be spectacle-makers, they haven’t forgotten their core business: staying close to clients and providing them with advice.
It’s in the small bucolic town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in the southeast of France, famous for the poets who strode along its river, that an artist of a completely different kind polishes his creations with passion. The optician and eyewear designer Stéphane Vranjes creates custom-made glasses that are true to his own artistic vein. He designs and creates by hand high quality frames, adding to the lustre of this eternal creative region, always attentive to the wishes of future customers and current fashion trends.
Change of scenery! This is the story of a couple you may meet as you walk through Bordeaux. Bruno Bourles together with his wife, create custom-make optical and sunglasses in their cocoon of ‘Maison Rubbel’. Like true craftsman they design acetate frames from a to z, frames more than correct your eyesight, when placed on your nose become true personalised objects of art.
BAL Créations is Anne-Lise Bertrand’s brand. The optical designer is the winner of the prestigious contest “Delabre Lunettes”, named after one of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France*, who chairs the competition.
Passionate about manufacturing, she joins forces with other opticians to create the frames they design and correspond to their customers. She provides her craftswoman’s qualities to opticians who are looking to meet their match, in order to complete their collection with tailor-made products.
*a unique and prestigious award in France according to category of trades in a contest among professionals.
Technology at the optician’s
Technology is advancing and becoming ever more accessible, having now reached some opticians stores. Whereas previously measurements were taken using complex mechanical tools, the advent of 3D scans and 3D modeling has made it an easier task today.
Some, like French optician Julien Bonnemay, have taken a hands-on approach and designed their own software. OLGA (for Opticien Lunetier Gcode Automatisé) generates a 3D model from a 2D drawing for viewing, adding color, and printing. Taking measurements is an integral feature of the design software and enables your personalized glasses to be produced directly. As most opticians aren’t developers in their spare time, though, they prefer to buy in these sophisticated tools.
Featured image: BAL créations
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