An outstanding shopping destination for fashion and stylish optical stores

Author: Clodagh Norton

Retail Inspiration
October 30, 2019

Rome’s selection of eyewear stores is surprising. As well as some of the most avant-garde opticians in Italy, the city is home to several high fashion monobrand stores.

New Opening: Summer 2019

Rome-based L.G.R opened their second store in their home city just a short while ago. The location in Via della Fontanella di Borghese, one of Rome’s luxurious shopping areas offers a perfect showcase for the artisan label whose offices are located just a few kilometres away. Both L.G.R stores are inspired by Ottica Bini, the store which Luca’s grandfather, Raffaello Bini ran in Asmara (Eritrea, Africa) between the 1930s and the 1970s. It was that shop in which Luca discovered some old and elegant frames back in 2005 and decided to take them to Italy and embark on a new business venture. Wooden furniture and special elements have been carefully and elegantly manufactured by Italian craftsmen while fabrics and the chandelier designed by L.G.R have been made in Morocco. The wooden displays in the Venetian Neo-Gothic style have been inspired by the windows of Ottica Bini. Sand, green and turquoise are the dominant colours, just like in the Eritrean store. The store is now showcasing the 2019 collections including bestselling models Orchid, Reunion, Explorer and Asmara.

“After Milan, opening a store in Rome was my priority, not only for commercial purposes, but also for personal reasons. I grew up in Rome. It is my home. We are determined to grow and in the future we plan to open other monobrand stores in Italy – Florence may be the next one – and abroad.”  Luca Gnecchi Ruscone

A World Of Colour And Design

Mondelliani boasts not one but three chic addresses in central Rome, where its eponymous collections and other fine artisan collections from across the world are sold alongside handpicked accessories such as bags, jewellery and hats. Currently the stores are stocking collections by theo, Mykita, LINDBERG and Garrett Leight and several other unique designers such as Hoet and Robert La Roche. Mondelliani’s own collections are now extensive with the latest additions including the reading glasses line OTTOVOLANTE, ready-to-wear reading glasses with an innovative design inspired by the forms of the roller coaster.
The new brand website launched this summer at

A Gallery Of Fine Eyewear

MONOCLE was restyled in 2017 and has become a reference internationally for its elegant interior designed by architect Andrea Eusebi. Owned by Gabriele Vergerio, the store is located in central Rome on Via di Campo Marzio and is a destination store for a variety of luxury eyewear collections which today include Jacques Marie Mage, Mykita, Kuboraum, Thom Browne and Dita. There are also other products on offer – including perfumes by Meo Fusciuni and Japanese design pieces by Claustrum. Designed to reflect the owner’s taste, the interior features materials such as Palisander and brushed iron with elegant use of mirrors and wood fittings.

For Artisan Expertise

Eyewear experts in Rome for over 20 years, Massimiliano Savo and his staff stock their stores with exclusive artisan eyewear collections and limited editions. The spirit of the Frank Lo store, which opened in 2012, comes from its focus on presenting eyewear as creative works of art made by hand by top international designers. The frames selected are made from buffalo horn, leather, marble, aluminium, gold, silver, wood and stone and only one of each model/colour is available in the store. As well as brands like Rigards, Spilt Milk, la eyeworks and LOOL, the shop also presents a collection designed exclusively by Savo and made by hand in Cadore.

Architectural Focus For Us Label

Los Angeles’ brand Oliver Peoples opened its first store in Rome in 2017. In keeping with the luxury fashion boutiques of the city, the store offers a unique interior which pays homage to Midcentury Italian aesthetics.
“For our Rome location, I wanted to pay homage to Midcentury Italian design,” explained Giampiero Tagliaferri, Creative Director Oliver Poples. I gre up in Italy surrounded by buildings and works of the great architects and Italian designers such as Ponti, Carlo Scarpa and Luigi Caccia Dominioni, among others.
”Elements of their work have inspired the interior. Scarpa’s work inspired the staircase which is made of a polished cement and was conceived as an important sculptural ement in the overall design. The flooring is also in the the style of Carlo Scarpa and is produced in small geometric tiles in white Carrara marble. “Since this is our first store in Italy, finding the perfect location was fundamental for this project. Piazza San Lorenzo is an ideal position, with its incredible appeal and magical atmosphere.
This opening is a milestone in our continuing plans for expansion in Europe,” said Rocco Basilico, General Manager of Oliver Peoples Group.

Family Business In The Heart Of The City

Located in Via Fontanella Borghese, Astrologo “strives for excellence through respect for tradition and quality.” Brightly colored frames by brands like Mykita, Cutler and Gross, Roger Dutch and Henau line the contemporary white displays, where Fabrizio Russo and his team, sometimes his father too, are on hand to help customers with their eyecare and frame choices. “The basic concept of the store is formulated in the idea of helping people find their personal image identity that will reflect their inimitable inner world”, explains Russo. “The primary objective of our experts is to help our clients create their own unique style, and our highly skilled opticians are aware of how important the right choice of eyewear can be.” The shop prides itseld on a vast variety of shapes, materials and styles - from classical elegant models to fanciful eclecticism – with new brands like Rounder Rounder and their exotic sunglass shapes in with the classics.

Feminine Chic In Via Dei Coronari

Patty Shelabarger’s boutique store in Rome is situated in a chic pedestrian street with pretty design stores, bars and cafes. The shop itself embodies the spirit of the designer, whose colourful exclusive frames are made in limited editions by artisans in Italy. Bicycles and other accessories such as shoes, with the same focus on creativity and colour as the eyewear, are featured in the shop which has a sister store in Silver Lake Los Angeles 3118 (West Sunset Blvd), in the city which has become the designer’s home.

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