The process of picking out a pair of glasses tops your list of favorite activities. Falling in love with another pair when you’ve recently bought a new one makes you feel like you’re cheating on your lover. You constantly look at random people’s glasses and occasionally stop them and ask where they got their glasses from. If you’re smiling or nodding, welcome to the club. You are a certified fanatic.
And that’s why you will be very happy to know that a vintage sunglasses shop called Fashion @ Eye popped up in Karaköy recently, and by the looks of it, it’s here to stay. Located in one of the stores in the Fransız İş Hanı (two shops away from Bej Kahve and Kağıthane), this pop-up shop is owned and operated by a journalist-turned-PR professional-turned image consultant-turned academician-turned, as the Turkish media calls him, the eyewear guru.
The multi-talented and very friendly Hakan San is the son of an optician couple who are also enthusiastic collectors. After working at a variety of other jobs, Hakan kind of fell into that one thing that has made him happy since he was a kid: glasses. Three years ago, he resurrected his father’s collection, and started selling them at a number of events, like the 2010 Freshtival, and also began blogging about his passion (click here to take a look at Hakan’s blog). He even put up a stand in the Feriköy Flea Market but he closed it down after realizing that the market wasn’t the place for vintage sunglasses. His mother, who wasn’t happy about his PhD son selling glasses from a stand in the market, was, most probably, pretty relieved.
The glasses at this pop-up store, known as Fashion @ Eye, are sought after by you, me, famous TV stars, and anyone who is into the cool and the vintage. Due to high demand, the collection changes all the time (every two weeks, to be exact), so if you see something you like, you better buy it on the spot. And Hakan makes buying very easy, first with his expertise in what suits your style and face, and secondly with his prices. The most expensive piece in the collection right now is 450TL.
You’ll find very 21st-century-friendly old and original vintage sunglasses in his collection, mostly from the 70s and 80s. All the glasses have been upgraded to feature UV-protected lenses, and almost all of them have never been worn. Hakan rarely sells second-hand pieces, and if you happen to show interest in such a piece, he’ll let you know. For Hakan, glasses communicate one’s personality and view of the world in a very direct way. And he’s passionate about communicating personal style and individuality through fun pieces. So don’t be surprised when you see a plastic pair (with UV-protection lenses) for 50 TL next to Christian La Croix, Nina Ricci, Silhouette, and Porsche.
Keep an eye out for Hakan and his collection. He has great plans for the future, from opening a permanent shop in his current location to creating a limited collection with a Turkish designer.