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IN CONVERSATION WITH...RETRO SPECTACLE

By Jenny Brownlees, Apr 12 2017 09:31PM

I worked with Retro Spectacle earlier this year, when styling my Sicky Magazine Editorial, 'Twenty Twenty.' Seeing the beautiful pieces for myself, I wanted to know more about the vintage glasses gone by.


Based in West Yorkshire, Retro Spectacle is an online retailer specialising in vintage eyewear. Owner Charlotte comes from an optical background and has expert knowledge not only in regards to frames, but also optical lenses. She believes vintage eyewear is a style statement and provides not only high quality frames, but high quality lenses. I sat down with her to talk all things eyewear and gush about the many, many pieces I'm coveting.


THE BEGINNING...


I was on a weekend break, sat in the sunshine in Damm Square, Amsterdam, when suddenly the idea of opening the online store hit me. I knew instantly it was something I had to do, within minutes the website URL was purchased and Retro Spectacle was born.


I have always liked vintage fashion for its ethical and sustainable values. Combining this with my profession and passion for eyewear made my decision to start the business easy. The online store has certainly been a learning curve and something I constantly aim to develop.


THE ICONS...


For me eyewear doesn’t get any better than the 1950’s - Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe looked amazing in glasses and sunglasses alike.


THE CURRENT TRENDS...


Our most popular styles for men are the NHS styles from the 1960’s, not only as glasses, we have converted many to prescription sunglasses. For the ladies, the stylish and sometimes outrageous 1950’s cat eye frames are always popular. More recently we've seen a demand for oversized floral 1980’s designs. I try not to have favourites else I would never part with them!


SUPPLY AND DEMAND...


We are constantly trying to source the best quality eyewear. We have regular a small number of regular suppliers, but we are constantly on the look out for new and exciting stock. The best pieces are the ones you find unexpectedly!


SOME ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE BUYERS...


Past generations were built slighter than we are today. Vintage garments tend to be a much smaller fit compared with today’s sizing and eyewear is no exception, particularly the 1950’s frames we carry. It's important to consider the size of your current eyewear if any, as well as your face shape and size. We provide measurements for all our frames, and have a guide which helps to explain the measurements in more detail, however if customers are ever unsure as to the size of a frame we are more than happy to help provide further measurements and information.


THE FUTURE...


We are fast approaching our one year anniversary, over the last year we have had the pleasure of meeting the most diverse and exciting bunch of people around. We have been welcomed to the vintage scene with open arms and our following has grown from strength to strength. Having shipped to over 20 countries worldwide we hope to continue this momentum and focus on collecting exciting and original vintage eyewear.


I picked my four favourites from the site, below


1. Vintage Dior for £60? Yes please!

2. The sun's out and I'm pretty sure you should be wearing these Gucci's sunnies!

3. I adore these 80's frames with their quirky shaped arms and pink details.

4. You can't get any chic-er than these 50's marble cat eye shades.


If you'd like to buy the frames from our Twenty Twenty Editorial, image one features the gorgeous Cocept tortoise shell frames, £55.


The best bit ? From Friday to Monday you can get 15% discount on all frames and lenses with the code EASTER17


Photographer: Sophie Lobban

Model: Sif at Savalas Models




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