Contemporary designer glasses that will have you seeing well, and looking good at the same time.
One of the ways that you know that you’ve begun to go native in Japan is that you start injecting some touches of Japanese style into your personal look. It might be a willingness to try out bolder color combinations with your outifts, maybe a haircut you wouldn’t have tried before, or a T-shirt with garbled English (hey, we’re not judging).
But most of us tend to be conservative when it comes to our choice in eyeglasses: it isn’t an easy move to step away from darker colors and conventional frame shapes. This is the case even in fashion forward Tokyo, as Noah Katsumata of Kamuro Optical, explains: “When we opened our first shop in 1996, Japanese opticians only had glasses that looked all alike, although they came with famous brand logos. Most Japanese people believed that eyewear was supposed to be unobtrusive. In fact, wearing glasses was not regarded as a positive thing, as people tended to think of glasses only as a purchase that had become necessary because of failing eyesight.”
Owner and founder Taigo Kamuro was inspired on his visits to European tradeshows by the bright colors and creative, playful frame styles that been produced on limited production runs. He brought back some of the new designs for his store in Ginza, and he was astonished by their popularity back home. People were dissatisfied with the tired and unimaginative choices available at the time, and they were looking for ways to have fun with the glasses they had to wear every day. Kamuro puts it simply: “Our customers were ecstatic.”
The next step was to find a way to get more people having fun with wearing glasses, even for those people who might have been a bit timid about wearing these new styles. Kamuro had a background in making glasses himself, so the company decided to start making their own designs, adapting the concepts of the bold European styles and altering them to better suit buyers around Tokyo.
Staff at the stores—a second shop was opened in Aoyama in 1999—also played a major role in helping to create the new styles. Because they spent most of their day listening to customers and helping them find suitable frames, they were able to provide input. The Kamuro style grew out of a balance: they featured quirky patterns and colors that stood out, but they were still comfortable and practical enough to be worn in business settings.
At first, Kamuro was making their signature line of glasses in limited quantities, and selling them only at their stores, but after several years of finding out what worked—and what didn’t—they launched their eyewear collection in 2005, bringing the whimsical style of Tokyo to the rest of the country (the brand has also become quite popular in other Asian countries.) Whether your tastes run towards the angular and spare, or playful and extravagant, you can find the right style for you or your family.
While you can buy Kamuro glasses at stores around the country or online, we recommend visiting one of their shops for a fitting or other services you might need. You can get your prescription for your glasses in-house, and staff at both the Ginza and Aoyama stores can provide assistance in finding frames. Kamuro also carries a wide variety of other Japanese brands in addition to their own in-house line. Once your glasses are ready, they can be adjusted on-site, to make for a perfect fit. They are also happy to do repairs on glasses or sunglasses that you bought from other stores.
So if you’re looking to make a statement with your next pair of glasses, you should look in at Kamuro Optical.
Jingumae 4-4-11, Nezu Pureisu Omotesando 1st floor, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to, 150-0001
Tel: 03-5772-2460 | Fax: 03-5772-2461
7-5-19 Ginza, Ginza Ryuroukaku 1st floor, Chuo-ku, Tokyo-to, 104-0061
Tel: 03-5537-5886 | Fax: 03-5537-5887