Kirk Originals Shop Front

Kirk Originals Shop Front

Personally I have been wearing glasses for the past 14 years of my life and whenever I walk into an optician it is always the same. Racks and racks of glasses sitting there looking lifeless but then I walked into Kirk Originals, that was a whole new experience for me.

It is nothing like I have ever seen before and it really opened my eyes, in fact I would not even class Kirk Originals as an optician because is not. I would call it an eyewear boutique, a place where glasses put a smile on your face just like a pair of shoes or a handbag would (for me). The shop layout is so innovative; it is very clean cut and chic but most of all when you stand in the shop you feel the glasses are floating around you.

So I bet you all now want to know where this special little eyewear boutique is and who is the person behind it all. The flagship store is on Conduit Street, London and the life and soul of the brand is the creator, Jason Kirk. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he took some time from his busy schedule to chat about glasses and more glasses. So the conversation started off nice and easy…

MGAM: How long have you been in the optical Industry?

JK: It will be 20 years next year

 

MGAM: Why Optical?

JK: My grandfather had his own business in optical where he set up a factory in London producing his own frames and my whole family are also in the optical industry. I personally did not have much interest in the industry but then I came across my grandfather’s old glasses with really great designs so I started selling them and from then on I never looked back.

 

MGAM: At what age did you start wearing glasses?

JK: That is an easy one- age 12

 

MGAM: What inspires you in your glasses design?

JK: From anything to anywhere, such as the nature, building, furniture and the desire to deconstruct then reconstruct. The brand also believes in recycling materials but is always seeking out new material or unusual material to use such as Lenticular, which is an old technology but it is not used in Optical. I try to do it differently, like how people think about clothes.

 

MGAM:  What makes a great pair of glasses?

JK: When you put it on and you smile, just like with clothes, shoes and bags.

 

Kirk Originals Unique Display

Kirk Originals Unique Display

MGAM: Who is the typical Kirk Originals customer?

JK: Creative, interesting, infrequent, not label driven, free spirited and someone who wants something different and something that is none commercial.

 

MGAM: Your store design is very unique, how did you come up with the concept?

JK: I do not want my customers to come in and feel like they are going to the dentist since traditional places where you can buy glasses do all look and feel the same.  Glasses are displayed very differently so it feels alive and a part of you. We want to make people feel differently about the glasses shopping experience so hence no testing equipment on show and the colour and the mood of the store is to make every customer feel exclusive.

 

MGAM: Do you think now glasses are slowly becoming a fashion accessory?

JK: Yes defiantly in the last 4-5 years and people are slowly buying glasses even if they may not need glasses to aid them to see.

 

MGAM: Do you think the geek chic trend and people like Gok Wan have influenced people wearing glasses?

JK: The geek chic trend is easy for everyone to understand and it is good that celebs like Gok put their name behind it; it makes people feel and see glasses in a different light. The Optical industry needs celebrities to get behind the idea of wearing glasses.

 

MGAM: What is the current trend for glasses and what do you think will be the future trend?

JK: Large Shapes, bold colour- moving away from retro and possibly lots of colours because people need fun to cheer them up with the current economic climate

 

MGAM: What is your vision for glasses of the future? What Technology can you see being implemented into eyewear?

JK: Unless it is useful or helpful then it is no use.

 

MGAM: What is the best selling country for Kirk Originals?

JK: France and America but countries that are more open-minded tend to do better. In the UK, consumers are open minded but not the industry itself. The industry needs to take that step forward because it is outdated.

 

MGAM: Thank you for your time Jason

JK: No worries at all!

 

It was an absolute honour to meet someone as creative and as innovative as Jason, he is one step ahead of the game. If you love glasses and fashion then Kirk Originals is the answer, visit the flagship store on Conduit Street or to find your nearest stockist please go to www.kirkoriginals.com. They have two collections a year just as you would expect in fashion and they are all design and produced in France. Prices start from £250.