Irwin Eve
Paul Wellman

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for many eyes, beauty cannot be beheld without beautiful glasses to frame them. Thankfully, there’s Occhiali Fine Eyewear, the longstanding glasses and sunglasses boutique specializing in high-quality designer eyewear. I visited the store, which Independent readers have voted as having the best eyewear selection in our Best of Santa Barbara® issue, to see what makes them such an optimum optical shop.

For starters, there’s the inventory, by co-owners Irwin and Salli Eve, both licensed opticians who carry luxury brands such as Oliver Peoples and Francis Klein. “We love innovative brands,” Irwin said. Whether they’re stunners studded with sterling silver décor or prescription frames flush with the finest Japanese woods and titanium — “They take such pride in the craftsmanship,” Irwin said of Japanese designers and manufacturers — the Eves select shades and spectacles that are stylish, cutting-edge, and carefully made, befitting your eyesight needs. “We believe in technical competence. Our clients need to see well,” he said.

What’s more, they want you to look good — and will be frank when you don’t. “We’re really critical,” Irwin said, adding that he and his staff will work through multiple looks until they find just the right one. “The customer is at the center. We get a feeling of what styling [the customer] is looking for, who they are, and what they want to project. We try to be empathetic and get a sense of what they’re looking for.” They also like to push boundaries, having customers try a bolder look than they may usually reach for. “I want to take people a step beyond their comfort level. It’s a way to express yourself, and you want something good,” he said.

Eve said the fashion trends in eyewear for 2017 include chunky bold glasses, modern cat eyes, elegant detailing of glasses, frames made of exotic woods, retro styling, sunglasses with double wires — and round is back. So if you have your sights set on a new pair of glasses that will make you see and look better, Occhiali’s, with its stylish stock, could be your place. Give it a look.

Occhiali Fine Eyewear has two locations at 1046 Coast Village Road, Suite H, and at 7 West Canon Perdido Street. For more information, visit


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