Last night I attended the launch of Kite Eyewear. No, not as in the things you fly, it is a new eyewear brand with its own stand alone store over in Westfield Stratford. I actually saw this shop over the weekend whilst I was out shopping with the husband and of course I had a nose and immediately I was in love with the shop and the frames. It has been open for 5 weeks so they are still very new to Westfield and the concept of the store is DEFINITELY new to the optical industry in the UK.
Do you ever feel bored of going into your local optician because it feels like you are walking into a doctors surgery? Sound familiar? Are you bored of looking at just racks and racks of glasses so much so that you don’t even know what you are looking at after a while? Then say hello to Kite, it is a new breed of “optician” I don’t even want to class them as an optician because it doesn’t feel like it. We need a new word for this kind of store. How about an eyewear boutique?
The layout of the store feels a lot like a shoe or a handbag store, it is trendy with a bit of an ‘Apple”store feel to it, I mean lets face it, Apple has the coolest store design. Even if you don’t want to buy their products you just want to go in and soak up the experience and that was how I felt with Kite last night. Different glasses styles have been put into sections and all have their own unique postcard with their name, a brief description of the glasses, size and colours available. All you have to do is wave that little postcard to the frame stylist then they will know exactly what frames you want.
All the styles are displayed in both optical and in sunglasses styles and ALL the frames in store can be made into optical or sunglasses frames. That is still not the best bit, the best bit is they also come in a range of colours to chose from per a style and if you are after certain types of lenses for your sunglasses (such as mirrored lenses) then that is possible too. So basically you have the flexibility to pick and chose your perfect frame. All styles can be unisex but some I would say are more aimed at the guys (and vice versa) but all I can say is if you love your eyewear as much as me then you will be having a hard time trying to decide which frame to buy… that is always a problem I have with shoes and bags as well. hehe.
Now… lets give the frames a quick review. Of course to really review a pair of glasses I need to wear them for a length of time but just by looking and having a play with them I can tell you they have used good quality acetate sourced from Italy (of course, the best kind of acetate along with Japan) and they have used good quality hinges too. They may not be the best (they are 5 barrel hinges) but can I just say for the price you pay at £145 for optical and £95 for sunglasses styles you guys are getting a real decent pair of glasses. You will not find many brands offer this quality at that price and with Zeizz lenses (which are a very good brand). Some opticians may charge you £150 just for the lenses! It is ridiculous!
If you are a sports lover then the designers have got that covered too. The design is a wrap around temple (picture above) which is inspired by vintage glasses worn by cyclists and skiers. The metal part of the temple hooks onto your ears so no need to worry about them falling off whilst you enjoy your favourite sport. The metal used is super flexible and has been wrapped around with a soft tube of plastic to ensure comfort during use. Want to know the geeky side of these temple? Many factories have actually stopped producing this kind of temple but Kite found the last surviving Italian factory which still does them.
All I can say is you need to try out the Kite Eyewear experience and become a Kite customer. It is such a none threatening environment and no one will force you to buy a frame unlike some opticians (that I personally have experienced). Last night I also did an interview with the founder Asad and what an interesting story it was, the interview write up is to follow so stay tuned! Very inspiring and what he believes in is exactly what MGAM is all about. I LOVE KITE EYEWEAR! I am looking forward to getting my very own pair of Kite Eyewear. The only problem is which one and in what colour???