Monday, 9 September 2013
Once upon a time, I was working in Paris and spending some free time roaming around that gorgeous city. I found myself outside the Alain Mikli store, utterly entranced by the coolest eyeglass frames ever. They were a wonderfully geeky rectangular shape, but the biggest selling point was the fact they were made from polished, beautifully grained wood. Sadly, they were out of my price range at the time, especially having just replaced my prescription a few months previously. But they have never been forgotten, and they have remained the holy grail of eyewear for me ever since.
As someone who has been blind as a bat since pre-adolescence, glasses have played a big part in my life. And, being a fashionista'ish-type person, fashionable frames even more so. I am constantly on the hunt for fabulous, flattering eyewear wherever I go - refer to above paragraph. So how happy am I to have discovered Wink i Wear in the Mission Park Shopping Centre? In a word. Very.
Open since April of this year, owner Laura Draycott has amassed an amazing array of fashionable frames from around the world in her eyewear boutique. Lines like JF Rey (France), Etnia Barcelona (Spain), MOSCOT and Le Rocher (both New York) are flying off the shelves and onto the noses of Kelowna's fashionable. Frames generally range in price from $250 to $500, but - if you are feeling very flush and exclusive - can range up to $1600 for a pair of glasses made from real gold with 0.45K of diamonds and buffalo horn temples. Now you won't get that at Specsavers.
As a big fan of retro eyewear, I especially love that Wink i Wear has a whole section devoted to vintage frames. Authentic vintage frames, that is, not modern knockoffs, sourced mainly from Germany and the UK. "I have always loved vintage eyewear, it makes me feel connected to the past. I have collected it for years," says Laura. "When entertaining at home I would break out my vintage eyewear collection for our guests to try on and play with. It was always a huge hit, and I felt that I was not alone in my love for classic eyewear."
Laura's mission is to provide cool flattering frames to the Okanagan, and she is succeeding at pace. "All customers are looking for something that looks great on them," explains Draycott. " Many want eyewear that makes a statement, and sets them apart from the crowd. I've had many customers who have been everywhere in the Okanagan, and come defeated to my store because they cannot find something they love. It's so fun to help them, because their new issue becomes having to choose just one frame, and in some cases they end up purchasing multiple pairs of eyeglasses!"
Yup. I'm already worried that I may well fall into this final category. Better get talking to the bank manager.
Wink i Wear
Mission Park Shopping Centre
#7 - 605 KLO Road
Kelowna V1Y 8E7
Phone: 250 862 WINK (9465)
Hours: Mon - Fri - 9 to 5
Saturdays by appointment only.
Closed long weekends and holidays.
You can read more about Laura and Wink i Wear in the new issue of Icon Okanagan, out the second week of October.