Some of us depend on glasses to see and survive, while some use sunglasses to shade their peepers from the harmful rays of the sun. Regardless of your needs, a beautiful pair of eyewear is a way to accessorise and add another fashionable element to your outfit.
From celeb favourite labels such as Gentle Monster and Retrosuperfuture, to Singaporean labels such as New China Opticians that provide affordable options, here are nine brands to check out when you’re getting your next pair of eyewear.
You can always depend on the Japanese to deliver precision and quality, and Owndays has got its formula down pat. With in-house designs and a straightfortward price system that varies between S$98 and S$198, Owndays promises to deliver your glasses within 20 minutes from payment, making it great for people who are time- and cash-strapped. With over 20 stores located islandwide, an Owndays store will always be conveniently nearby. What’s more, their designs are modern and fresh, so you’re sure to find something that suits your style.
Owndays boutiques are located in places such as ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura and The Clementi Mall.
2. New China Opticians
Don’t be fooled by the quaint store located at the first floor of Peninsula Shopping Centre. Opened in 1925, the almost century old label stocks both vintage and modern designs, such as Korean-esque frames, and even boasts their own in-house label, Tony Hardy. Starting at $40 for a pair of spectacles with prescription lenses, this is the place to go if you really want to get a bang for your buck. Plus, you only have to wait for an hour to collect your glasses.
Available at 3 Coleman Street, #01-11, Peninsula Shopping Centre, Singapore 179804.
Since its establishment in 2010, MUJOSH, which positions itself as a fashion eyewear label, has since made a name for itself with its avant-garde and unique designs. With over 800 specialty stores in 15 countries including Thailand, China, United States and Japan, you can depend on the Hong Kong-label for statement yet wearable pieces, from geek chic round frames to cool cat-eyes, that any fashionista would gladly add to their wardrobe. Bonus: It’s favoured by style icons and celebrities too, such as G.E.M. and Denise Keller.
Available at Wisma Atria, Tampines 1 and Nex.
4. Gentle Monster
Often spotted on the likes of international stars and influencers such as Dua Lipa, Yoyo Cao and Kendall Jenner, South Korean label Gentle Monster is no stranger to many. Besides fashion-forward designs that vary from sci-fi visors to teeny tiny rectangular lenses that rest on the tip of the nose (and therefore have no sun protection quality), Gentle Monster is also known for their museum-like store designs. Take the Marina Bay Sands store for example, where features post-apocalyptic decor that parallels the intent behind their latest ’13’ collection. Head there for a a visual spectacle.
Available at #01-13, ION Orchard and #B2-103, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
5. Capitol Optical
What started out as three brothers selling glasses from a push cart to the trio opening their first store at Outram Park, Capitol Optical is now a recognised local label that stocks international labels such as Celine, Miu Miu, Vedi Vero and Christian Dior, amongst many others. Now helmed by the third generation, the business celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. With 17 stores islandwide, you can count on Capitol Optical to get the latest high fashion drops as they pride themselves on being the first to launch past Celine and Loewe eyewear collections.
Available at Jurong Point, North Point and Raffles City.
With all designs developed in-house, O + eschews trend-led designs for more classic pieces, they ensure that every pair you purchase will never fade in style. The brand also oversees all production processes to ensure high quality frames, albeit without the luxury markup.
Available at Mandarin Gallery #02-04 and OUE Downtown Gallery, #01-07 .
7. Paris Miki
Are we really surprised that a brand that promises excellent service comes from Japan? Created in 1930 in Himeji, Paris Miki goes by an ethos of “omotenashi”, where every customer is ensured the best service possible in its over 1,200 stores worldwide. The brand also stocks eyewear from high-end designers such as Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Anna Sui and Kate Spade, and has nine stores dotted around Singapore.
Paris Miki boutiques are located in places such as Tampines 1, Plaza Singapura and Liang Court.
While you won’t be able to purchase frames from high-end labels, you’ll be getting thoughtful, handmade designs from the Italian cult label, Retrosuperfuture. Touting a list of celebrity fans such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, the e-tailer is easy to shop at, especially for people who like to match their eyewear to their face shape as they categorise their frames by shapes. They even have a range exclusive to Asia.
Find out more at retrosuperfuture.com/
A favourite amongst Asian stars such as Angelababy and Park Shin Hye, Molsion prides itself on its minimalist aesthetics that feature clean and neat lines. But don’t brush them off for being a vintage-inspired label as Molsion has a variety of unique and trendy designs, such as the Redrum sunglasses that draw inspiration from Cupid’s arrow and have an almost hexagonal lens design.
Available online and at #02-31 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, and #01-12 Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place.
Local label foptics wants to disrupt the way eyewear is sold, especially with the heavy markup prices that companies charge. The brand was first founded by a Singaporean while he was still in his final year in university, as he realised there was a gap in the market for stylish but affordable glasses. He started selling on Carousell but soon moved on to his own site. foptics now offers international shipping and free registered shipping in Singapore for orders over $50. The fuss-free process involves heading to their website, choosing a frame and deciding on a type of lens as well as whether you need prescription lenses to go with it. They will then contact you about the specifications of your degree. foptics has also published their prices online for full transparency. Prices start from S$12.90, and designs are chic and modern.
Zoff promises a short turnaround time which means that you need not wait for days on end to get a pair of glasses (so useful if you’ve accidentally destroyed your last pair and have been bumbling around as blind as a bat). They’ve also developed a ultra flexible pair of glasses that’s durable and great for sports.
Available at Orchard Central, #B1-02/04; Suntec City Mall West Wing, #01-305; Clarke Quay The Central, #02-20
12. Visual Mass
Local label Visual Mass is the brainchild of two Singaporean optometry graduates. With their entire collection designed in Singapore and produced in South Korea, every frame is kept affordable, while retaining its signature trendy look.
Available at Orchard Gateway, #B2-30
13. The Rocket Eyewear Company
Siblings Ong En Ming and Ong Ker-Shing founded The Rocket Eyewear Company as a way to maintain a perpetual supply of sunglasses for their mother who constantly misplaced hers. We love their take on the classic P3 shape – a rounded squarish frame seen on the likes of Grace Kelly and James Dean. And yes, it’s named MTO after their mum’s initials.
Additional reporting by Valerie Wong