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How to Choose a Designer Eyewear Retailer in San Diego

4 min read

When shopping for eyewear, it’s tempting to choose a national eyewear brand carried by most eyewear retailers, either from an online store or a local kiosk that offers a quick, cheap way to purchase lenses. But for a stylish, quality pair of eyeglasses with lenses and frames that will last, it’s important to select a retailer that offers both luxury eyewear brands and the craftsmanship to create lenses tailor-made for each client. Here are some tips for choosing the right luxury eyewear retailer in San Diego.

Onsite Opticians and In-House Labs

The best designer eyewear retailers in San Diego will offer a well-trained staff of opticians and cutting-edge prescription lens technology. They will also use an in-house lab or partner with a high-quality independent lab in San Diego to carefully craft each pair of luxury glasses.

National retailer chains typically send frame and lens orders to facilities that mass-produce glasses, resulting in lower-quality lenses and less-than-optimal finishing. By contrast, a luxury eyewear retailer with an in-house lab, or who partners with an independent lab, can reduce turn-around time for eyewear delivery while ensuring a crafting process using the latest technology, all designed to promote quality and terrific customer care. 

Top Luxury Eyewear Brands

Choose a retailer that offers top luxury eyewear brands as well as unique boutique lines designed to make a statement. San Diego is famous for timeless, classic style, so rather than choosing inexpensive, trendy frames, most people in San Diego would rather select a beautiful pair of eyeglasses that will stand the test of time. Having the best selection of designer eyewear frames from which to choose for both eyeglasses and sunglasses is a great way to start shopping.

Eyewear Stylists 

A great retailer will employ eyewear stylists to ensure the style and fit of glasses best matches the unique personality and aesthetic of their clients. A stylist can help select the best type of frame for every face and ensure a quality fit, as well as recommending luxury eyewear brands that perfectly complement a San Diego client’s personal style.

High-End Crafting Technology

A luxury eyeglass retailer that partners with an independent lab can offer cutting-edge lens crafting technology that national chains may not be able to match.

  • Lens coatings. Anti-reflective (AR) coating on crafted eyeglass lenses helps to reduce glare that occurs when light shines directly on lenses. Glare can make it difficult for others to see the eyes of the wearer of glasses, and can be distracting on camera or video. Protective ultraviolet (UV) coating on lenses protects eyes by making sure that harmful UV light is bounced off the front surface of the lens.
  • Digital lenses. Digital lenses are the latest technology available for lens fabrication. Digital lens fabrication uses laser-surfacing instead of traditional grinding, removing any unevenness or defect on the lens surface, boosting lens quality and ensuring visual clarity. When paired with anti-reflective (AR) coating, digital lenses provide enhanced visual acuity, customized with a prescription based on a client’s frame and fit measurements.
    Digital lenses enhance peripheral vision, improve contrast, and provide more visual definition than traditionally-ground lenses. Digital lenses can also be crafted to accommodate single-vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses. Digital lenses offer high-definition vision, and clients should take care to choose a luxury eyewear retailer who partners with a lab that offers this high-end crafting technology.

INVISION’s List of America’s Finest Optical Retailers

A great way to find a top-notch luxury eyeglass retailer is to find a retailer that’s been recognized as one of America’s Finest Optical Retailers by INVISION, a magazine for American eyecare professionals. Now in its ninth year, the contest spotlights the best independent eyewear retailers in the United States and Canada, and even creates a great list of honorable mentions, increasing the chances of finding one of these retailers locally. 

INVISION does the work of finding independent optical retailers who exemplify spectacular design, creative marketing, and a unique, engaging story. Retail stores are selected based on interior and exterior design and appearance, web presence, marketing skill, and store biography and individuality. Winners and honorable mentions are featured in each year’s July/August issue of INVISION magazine and at

Online Shopping

Clients who prefer to shop online may want to find a luxury eyeglass retailer that offers high-end eyewear brands on an easy-to-use website. A good online retailer will ensure that the correct measurements are taken in order for frames to fit properly. Online measurements can be challenging, so working with an optician in person to get correct fit measurements and then using those to order frames online may be the best way to get great frames and lenses.

When ordering online, be sure that the selected retailer offers high-quality luxury brands and that the website is affiliated with the retailer, and not linked to a low-grade, mass-production lab. Mass-produced lenses and frames may not meet even minimal quality control standards for prescription power or fit measurements, which can greatly hinder the quality of vision. Choose a retailer with a verifiable store-front, and don’t hesitate to call the retailer directly with questions or concerns about frames, fit, or prescriptions.

Competitive Pricing

A great retailer can offer impeccable style and quality at an attainable price point. Choose a retailer whose broad range of high-quality luxury frames, trained eyewear stylists, and commitment to personal service complement the competitive pricing of luxury eyewear lines. High-quality eyewear that stands the test of time and conveys a personal aesthetic is well worth the investment, and a great luxury retailer will create a shopping experience tailored both to the client’s visual needs and aesthetic style.

Satisfaction Guarantee

A great luxury eyewear retailer knows that eye health is the most important part of any eyewear purchase, and will work to achieve the best vision enhancement possible for every client. To that end, finding a San Diego retailer that guarantees the work they do is a must when shopping for luxury glasses. Opticians should be available to work with clients to remake lenses for optimal performance in the event that clients find that their prescription or frames require adjustment.

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