Kite Eyewear: Tried & Tested

New British optical brand Kite

Where? Tucked away on the second floor of Stratford mega-mall Westfield, Kite’s chic shop was a mini oasis of calm in the throngs of Saturday shoppers. Walls are lined with frames and there are iPads around a central bar where you can snap yourself in your favourites and share immediately on social media.

What? Launched by Asad Hamir, the 28th person in his family to become an optician (so he really knows his stuff), Kite was conceived as a ‘British brand with an international attitude.’ In practice, this means that the best bits of the eyewear industry from around Europe are utilized here – lenses from Germany, frames from Italy and design is 100% London-based. There are a couple of out-there shapes and shades, but Kite is more about the low-key and wearable – the round tortoiseshell Charlotte and slightly cat-eyed black-rimmed Broadway styles were favourites.

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How? If, like me, you haven’t had your eyes tested in an age, you will be led to the back of the shop, given a coffee while you fill out a questionnaire, and then your eyes thoroughly tested with high-tech kit by a fully-qualified optician. Once they ascertain the lenses I need, I’m led back into the shop and walked around the frames by the helpful staff - I choose the Broadway, which are which are then fitted to my face. Top tip: they have both men’s and women’s frames - it’s worth trying on both as you never know what will suit best. With my tailored lens prescription, the finished glasses take 2 days to arrive.

Until the end of April, eye exams are free. £145 for prescription sunglasses and opticals. Visit www.kitegb.com

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