When it comes to elevating eyewear to art, two Pearl businesses stand out. These purveyors of handmade frames from cutting-edge boutique designers can fine-tune your look, whether you rock fire engine–red vintage glasses, lounge behind chunky frames made of record vinyl, or prefer a willowy stainless-steel design. —Ellee Thalheimer
The Eyes Studio
339 NW 9th Ave, 503-219-0023, the-eyestudio.com
Dr. Tina Tsai’s eyes light up behind her chic turquoise Kilsgaard glasses as she discusses the frames she carries: “I could talk about glasses all day.” Some of her favorites include Etnia Barcelona, a Spanish line with bold colors and playful accents (think sea-green splashes on swirly tortoiseshell), and Germany’s Mykita, with its slick stainless-steel eyewear developed with an innovative no-screw hinge. In addition to stocking high-fashion frames, the spa-inspired Eyes Studio focuses on preventive eye care and provides a personal “vision wellness experience,” says Tsai, “where you don’t feel like just a number.”
1046 NW Johnson St, 503-944-5475, visageeyewear.com
“Our goal is to provide the best-quality eyewear in the world,” says Jason Enders, who co-owns Visage with his wife, Tennys. One of the earliest businesses in the neighborhood, Visage has been matching clients with the perfect frames since 1999. “Lots of architects and artist-types who appreciate design come here to find something unique,” he adds. With a priority on craftsmanship, Visage carries only independent designer brands. It’s the only store in Portland where you’ll find Chrome Hearts, a rock-’n’-roll line out of LA that captures a bit of Harley-Davidson (mahogany with piano varnish and silver details) flash. Other standout lines include Vinylize from Hungary, which creates bold eyewear from record vinyl, and Ahlem, a line by a young French designer who fashions frames from kaleidoscope-like materials and handpicked vintage acetates.