While most optical appointments are straightforward, sterile affairs, a few newcomers are planting the seeds of change. Recently opened on Fairfax, Zak. was started by optometrist Dr. Myles Zakheim and his daughter, Kyly Zak Rabin, who wanted to make eyecare a more seamless experience. “The antiquated optometric model doesn’t marry medical, retail and the modern consumer,” says Zak Rabin. “The industry is ripe for a 21st century approach to our eyes.” Zak. offers comprehensive eyecare with optometrists on staff, a state-of-the-art on-site lab (including same-day service for many prescriptions) and a beautifully edited array of frames from emerging labels and luxury designers. And Zak. even features its own collection of frames (both optical and sunglasses) in two weights, three frame color options and six classic shapes. Added bonus: While shopping or getting an exam, customers can enjoy the fresh carrot juice served daily.
From top: Zak. has set out to modernize the optometric model with its one-stop shop; Zak. offers a curated selection of sunglasses, frames, contacts and eyewear accessories.
Another innovator, Framed Ewe, opened its fifth location this past May with a stand-alone store in Los Feliz (in L.A., the brand currently has shops-in-shops at Fred Segal Sunset and Malibu). “Selecting a new pair of frames can induce anxiety,” says Christy Kimball, who founded Framed Ewe with business partner Stephen Clark. “We want to make the experience as comfortable as possible.” One way in which they do that is by utilizing booths, allowing for a more private experience. Forgoing the big conglomerate, Framed Ewe works only with 100% independent companies, including SoCal names such as Garret Leight and Jacques Marie Mage. And this summer, the brand has partnered with L.A. brand Ahlem on a limited-edition metal frame. “People don’t realize the amount of design that goes into eyewear,” says Kimball. “They’re architecture, fashion, art and a medical device.”