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A Few Words With Caroline Abram

by Mark Norrell on 01/05/15

Anyone who visits my store will be directly guided to my collection of eyewear by Caroline Abram.  In my many years of working in eyewear I find this designer one of the greatest.  Her lines and colors are chic and proportionate and the handmade French frames will fit many that thought they couldn't wear acetate frames comfortably. 

“My pleasure . . . my everything, is about making—anything I can put together –I love ceramics, to work on wood — -even putting together Ikea.” Says Caroline Abram about designing eyewear.

Her love for color and her inspiration for different color combinations, she explains, is inspired by the women of her childhood in Dakar, Senegal, who hand make the beaded and glass chains and cases for her eyewear accessory company.

”I want happy frames, fresh and alive” like her cat eye glasses, which she describes as “cat eye with a sense of humor.”

, “I was looking at the eyewear in stores and I didn’t want mine to look like anyone else’s designs . . . So I created my own collection. That was six years ago and the only shape I was making was a cat’s eye, but years ago no one had cat’s eyes and now they’re in every collection.”

The woman that is her muse is the girl who wants everything and nothing—“in French we call it ‘contraire.’ She is independent and funny in everything that she does – perhaps a bit stubborn too. The designs include all the characteristics of women—with no age barrier . . . personality without exaggeration.”

Her approach to designing women’s eyewear focuses upon hiding those, as Abrams says, “lines on the face a woman doesn’t want noticed, like the line underneath the nose or the eyebrows that go down.” Her frames are designed to put these areas under cover and “give the face a lift . . . to create ‘happy lines.’”

She enjoys a retro vibe as well, as she calls some of her other important influences as “the sixties and vintage trends”—She and her mother are thrift store addicts, shopping and enjoying the search for treasures from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Now a world-wide name, her eyewear, exclusively made in France, is now shipped all over the globe. Always ahead of the curve, even in playful retro designs, many of Abrams frames evoke the glamour of the 50s and 60s made whimsical with an imaginative use of color– a hint of Jackie O. and Natalie Wood.

“Florida is my ‘country home’ – the American version,” she says with a laugh, “and my mother and I are crazy about thrift shops – it’s a real hobby. There are many of them in Florida, with items from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. I’m in this time dimension – I've always been a matching color lady, and friends kid me about that because I dress differently. I mix Miami and the colors of Senegal, far from the European way of life. My frame collection had to be a colorful cat eye – it was meant to be! I have variations on the cat eye – large and small. I like to use clear colors and bi-color, happy frames, fresh and alive. I think the collection is a reflection of me – cat eye with a sense of humor.”

Do's and Don'ts of Buying Glasses Lesson One

by Mark Norrell on 12/05/14

1. Do find an independent optician to work with.  Opticians are better at sourcing unique eyewear and will have a better idea of what to guide you to based on your personal style.  A great optician is like a great hair stylist or tailor, they all can make you look phenomenal!


Don't shop for eyewear with children!  As an optician I want you to focus on you without distraction.

2.  Narrow your decision down to just 3 frames.  This will help you determine which will be the most definitive frame for your style.  If you need to think about it over night, it helps to work with your optician with those 3 and not the entire inventory.  When you find a talented optician, they'll be able to guide you and will be honest when frames are unflattering and will lead you to the best in 3.

Don't take a picture on your phone to show friends!  There is no way eyewear can be fully appreciated on a cell phone screen.

3.  Put yourself together when you shop for new eyewear!  An optician wants to add to the whole you and that's the you that faces the public.  We want to see how you wear your hair and clothes so we can find you the best eyewear to compliment your style.

Don't shop for eyewear after a trip to the gym!