By Craig Patterson
Los Angeles-based luxury eyewear retailer Oliver Peoples has opened the first of two standalone stores in Canada at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and a second will open soon in the heart of Vancouver’s Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’. The company is targeting affluent shoppers with its choice of locations.
Oliver Peoples’ frames are “anti-logo” with prices that can be well into the hundreds, which differentiates Oliver Peoples from other recent entrants that offer more in the way of value pricing. Oliver Peoples’ frames are known to be worn by celebrities and the brand has an impressive following on social media. The company was founded in 1987 with a boutique in West Hollywood, and it is now sold in its own boutiques as well as in upscale multi-brand retailers that carry eyewear. Its designers are in Los Angeles and frames are manufactured in Italy and Japan. Oliver Peoples was acquired by eyewear conglomerate Luxottica in 2007.
The new Yorkdale store, which spans 742 square feet, is near luxury brands such as Montblanc, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels. The store opened to the public on Friday, September 28, in a retail space formerly occupied by Teavana.
The store’s interior is inspired by “Mid-Century California,” according to the company, with accent walls of suede sage, 1960’s ribbed walnut wood, contrasting brass detailing, and Verde Alpi marble. Stilnovo lighting fixtures illuminate the space, and Zanuso armchairs provide seating for guests.
Terrazzo marble flooring is featured throughout the store.
To mark the Yorkdale opening, the store is offering a limited edition OP-40 30th frame in tortoise acetate with ‘vibrant green lenses’ that the company says is inspired by the boutiques interior design.
The Vancouver store will open on October 12 at 1061 Alberni Street. The 687 square foot boutique is being constructed from modifying a retail space that, until recently, was occupied by Shefield & Sons Tobacconists. Oliver Peoples’ Alberni Street store is located at ‘centre ice’ on Alberni Street, bounded on both sides by Richemont-owned luxury brands. Directly to the west are locations for Van Cleef & Arpels and IWC Schaffshaussen which both opened in December 2017, and to the east Richemont has leased the former Blubird space where Montblanc and Vacheron Constantin is said to be opening in part of it, with more details to follow.
The Vancouver boutique’s interior will be similar to the Yorkdale store, according to the company — Giampiero Tagliaferri, Creative Director of Oliver Peoples, revealed that the store’s mustard coloured Zanuso style armchairs will add a pop of colour, and “represent the changing colors of fall foliage.”
To mark the opening of the Vancouver store, it will exclusively offer a limited edition OP-505 frame — it’s one of the first Oliver Peoples frames to have been released, and the customized OP-505 is featured in washed teal acetate, 18K gold metal, and mirrored goldtone lenses.
As with its first two Canadian stores, Oliver Peoples chooses premium locations for its stores and in some instances, it’s very clear that the brand is going after a wealthy shopper. In Houston, Texas, for example, the retailer has a store at the prestigious River Oaks District — one might otherwise expect the store to be at the busy nearby Houston Galleria (which also has plenty of luxury stores). In Chicago, Oliver Peoples is located amongst luxury stores on Rush Street just south of Oak Street and the retailer has opened stores on premium streets such as Sloane Street in London, Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Grant Avenue in San Francisco and Madison Avenue in New York City. Premium mall locations include top names such as South Coast Plaza in Orange County, King of Prussia near Philadelphia, Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara California, and others. Oliver Peoples has more than 30 stores internationally, according to its website, and distributes in more than 60 countries worldwide.
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