THE EYES HAVE IT

The New Luxury Optical Boutique

At Saks Fifth Avenue

text and images by Marisa Butler

Thanks to leading specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue, wearing glasses has never been more fashionable. So when Saks Fifth Avenue, Biltmore Fashion Park opened its new optical boutique last month, I jumped at the chance to schedule an appointment.

Featuring a knowledgable team of licensed opticians, state-of-the-art technology and an exclusive selection of designer frames, the visit was sure to be a better alternative than the never-ending wait in a drab doctor’s office, followed by needing to make a selection from a dismal choice of frames.

Entering the stylish boutique, I was given a warm Saks welcome by Dez Garcia, Licensed Optical Manager. I immediately noticed the impressive selection of designer frames on display that included Gucci, Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Fendi, Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Céline, Stella McCartney, Prada, Bulgari, Oliver Peoples and Sama. So many choices, and all so chic.

“We have a great assortment,” Garcia smiled knowingly. “Most retailers carry mainstream brands and some designers, but we carry unique designer styles that you won’t find anywhere else.” He then escorted me to the adjoining examining room. As a daily prescription wearer, I am familiar with the standard equipment and procedure of an eye exam, but never before have I experienced the cutting-edge technology and equipment that Saks has assembled to evaluate vision.

Garcia led me through a series of tests to check for color blindness, as well as monitor my eye movements and depth perception. Using a high-powered lens, he also carefully examined the structures within my eyes. The findings from these tests immediately were forwarded to an optician who, via remote feed, introduced himself and performed visual acuity and refraction tests.

Not only was the process fun, it was thorough. I was continually reassured throughout the examination and my every question was answered. It was comforting to know that if even the slightest irregularity had been noticed, I would have been advised to consult with an ophthalmologist.

Once my prescription was set, the fashionista in me kicked in. There were so many fabulous frames…what’s a girl to do? Thank goodness Garcia came to my rescue. Not only does he have impeccable taste, but he was able to direct me to the shape, size and shade of frames that would most flatter my features. His fashion knowledge was impressive and, by explaining my personal style, he helped me to identify the frames that would best suit me 24/7.

When I returned to collect my glasses, I was greeted by name and again shown every courtesy. Garcia offered advise on how to keep my new specs in tip-top shape, adding that anti-glare and scratch resistant lenses were automatically included at no additional charge. He wisely cautioned me on the impact a change in prescription might have on my vision, balance, perspective, etc. and how best to deal with those adjustments.

The experience at Saks Fifth Avenue Optical Boutique was five-star; superior service, cutting-edge technology, knowledgeable staff, thorough medical screening, luxurious ambience and, of course, fashion-forward frames. Now Saks is officially my go-to from eyes-to-toes.

 Mirroring the Saks store hours, the boutique will be regularly staffed by licensed opticians. A licensed optometrist will be on-site one day a week. In addition to glasses, contact lens can be ordered. To schedule  your appointment either visit the boutique or phone the department directly at 602.955.8400.