Robert Roope spent 50 years working as an optician until he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t hate being an optician per se – he liked giving people a pair of glasses they adored (director Stanley Kubrick was one of his clients in the ’80s) – but what he found unbearable was was how eyeglass design had gotten so dull and boring in the late ’90s.
“Everything had been taken over by the metal or plastic oblong,” Roope remembers in the back of his Black Eyewear store on Goodge Street in London. “It was completely depressing, painfully predictable, and about as far removed from the classic eyewear design of the fifties and sixties. So I decided to celebrate these frames myself.
A collector of vintage glasses for most of his life (he has over a thousand pairs), Roope started his business with six models of his own, all in black (hence the name of his brand) and them. people loved them. They were iconic, simple, incredibly cool, and offered an alternative to the mainstream. “What I discovered is that when it comes to glasses, you can’t reinvent the wheel. There are some rules you need to follow, like understanding the shape of the eyes. And you have to stick to it. Creating an extreme pair of glasses that breaks all the rules just doesn’t work. I create modern classics, I name them after famous jazz musicians, and they are popular because their design is awesome.
Taking inspiration from iconic eyewear / sunglasses wearers such as Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Malcolm X, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Orbison, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn (in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Roope’s range has grown since he founded his company in 2006 and he typically adds at least six new frames to his collection each year. And they have become extremely popular. A list of some of the famous faces where you’ll have seen her glasses includes Jodie Comer, Sophie Turner, Lady Gaga, Will-I-Am, Lily Cole, Simon Pegg, Mark Gatiss, and Katy Perry. Its frames have also been featured in magazines such as Vogue and of course GQ.
So it’s safe to say that when it comes to glasses and sunglasses, he knows what works and what doesn’t. So to make buying your next pair (or your first) the most enjoyable experience, here are her tips for choosing the right frame, inspired by the five mistakes people make when choosing glasses.
1. Don’t buy your first pair of glasses on your first visit to an optician
“If you’re new to glasses and looking for your first pair, don’t buy them right away. When people first come to me with a prescription, usually with a partner who wears glasses, I tell them the same thing: don’t buy a pair today, ”says Roope.
“This might not be the best selling point, but my advice is to take a look, try on pairs, snap photos on your phone if you want to and think about it. your glasses every day, so make the right choice. Once you’ve thought about it and slept on it, come back and make a final decision. If you don’t rush people, they’ll make a better choice.
2. Don’t choose your glasses based on a pair that looks good on someone else.
“A lot of customers come in and they get an idea of what they want based on the glasses they’ve seen on someone they love or admire,” says Roope. “Rather than coming in having already made a decision, take your time and be open-minded to a style that works for you rather than someone else.