The best independent eyewear stores in Hong Kong

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Arthur Tam rounds up some of the city’s coolest eyewear shops. Photography by Calvin Sit

Smith & Norbu

Bespoke, yak horn frames


For something truly unique, get a pair of bespoke, handcrafted yak horn frames from Smith & Norbu. The concept behind the brand was conceived when Belgian designer Benoit Ams took a trip to Tibet and noticed beautifully crafted items that were made from yak horn. Inspired, he began making eyewear out of the material from his workshop in Hong Kong. “The yak horn that we use is sustainable,” Ams tells us. Being environmentally friendly is a big part of the Smith & Norbu brand. “We don’t use any glue or acid to finish the frame because the runoff causes havoc to the environment,” explains Ams The other part of the brand concept involves their bespoke service where customers can choose the shape and material that they want and be involved in the whole eyewear-making process. All frames come with a stylish yak leather case upholstered with fine Mongolian horsehair and most frames average around $5,000-$8,000.

4/F, S404, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central, 2541 8118, smith-norbu.com.

Warehouse Optical

Select indie brands


If the brands you see at regular ol’ optical shops are simply too mainstream for you, head to Warehouse Optical to find more unique choices from brands like Lucas de Stael, Randolph Engineering, Eyevan, Freddie Wood and Masahiro Maruyama. The store opened in Causeway Bay last year and has since opened new locations in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok to reach customers in Kowloon.

Shop 23A, Yan On Bldg, 1 Kwong Wa St, Mong Kok, 3956 5265, and 1/F, 18 Pak Sha Rd, Causeway Bay, 2882 5488; thewarehouse.com.hk.

Hachill

Edgy designs


One of the few local eyewear brands, Hachill has been busy expanding outside of Hong Kong and across the rest of Asia ever since it won the HSBC Youth Business Award in 2014. Hachill’s name is derived from a combination of the Cantonese word for sunglasses – hak chiu (黑超) – and the English words ‘ha’ and ‘chill’. Their designs perfectly embody the elements of the brand name by being hip, colourful, fun, street chic and perfect for the modern fashionista. You’ll find an array of stylish glasses and sunglasses at reasonable prices of between $1,000-$1,800.

Flat C, 12/F, Lucky Horse Industrial Bldg, 64 Tong Mi Rd, Mong Kok, 3565 4917; hachill.com.hk.

Select 18 and Mido Glasses

Edgy designs


By now you’ve probably seen or at least heard of Select 18, since the shop is situated right across from trendy eateries Yardbird and Oolaa. But still, it would be travesty not to mention this iconic shop since it stocks a range of cool and affordable vintage glasses, as well as a number of hip indie choices, too.

Shop A, Grandview Garden, 18 Bridges St, Central, 2549 2589; bit.ly/select18.

Woo Ping

Vintage ’60s and ’70s frames


If you’re looking for a cool selection of eyewear from the ’60s and ’70s, Woo Ping is a one-stop shop for all of your needs. The shop has been around since 1974 and it’s still a hit with locals and hipsters alike. They carry relatively inexpensive deadstock frames (ranging from $400-$900) that come from Japan, and filling a prescription here won’t do too much damage to your wallet. Probably the best part of Woo Ping, other than its selection of cool retro glasses, are the lovely grandpa and grandma couple that run the place. They’re warm, friendly and extremely helpful.

278 King’s Rd, North Point; 2571 7810.

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