We catch up with Marianne and Panos Nicolaou of innovative eyewear brand and opticians CrossEyes, based on Marylebone’s York Street.
Tell us a bit about the CrossEyes concept
The CrossEyes concept is built on honesty, dedication and smart design. Through honest and hardworking employees, and transparent prices, CrossEyes is able to create an environment where you receive the right guidance when looking for quality spectacles. CrossEyes has hundreds of different custom made frames, which ensures that everyone can find glasses suitable for both their look and personality. At CrossEyes, we do not hide the prices – we display them for everyone to see.
What makes CrossEyes unique?
All our frames are Limited Edition, we only we have one of each frame in each of our stores, so you will not find many other people wearing the same frame! Our frames are particularly popular, not just because of the chic Danish Design but also because of the materials we use – frames made of bamboo and sustainable acetate are amongst our favourite frames. Finally, the prices of the glasses are on the wall – all frames are the same price which keeps the atmosphere relaxed, as there are no hidden, unexpected extras. All our frames can be made in to sunglasses with a long range of tints to choose from – again, all for the same price.
You have another store in Clerkenwell – why did you choose Marylebone?
We have had our eye on York Street for a long time, and are very pleased that we can now claim this location as part of our portfolio. The store is within a listed building and will look great amongst the other boutique shops and restaurants on the predominantly Georgian street in Marylebone.
This part of Marylebone is a little bit off the beaten track, so it has an authentic London feel, with some great pubs and other hidden gems, much like Clerkenwell. Panos is also Chairman of the Local Optical Committee (website www.kcwloc.com). The committee is not for profit and has had some real success in the last 12 months. It’s (not for profit) work has meant that opticians and optometrists in Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham can now deliver more NHS services in the community and cut hospital waiting times.
What’s next for the CrossEyes brand?
CrossEyes will focus on giving great service in a relaxed atmosphere. We will put a lot of our energy into delivering great quality rather than messing about with promotions, discounts and the hard sell. We are investing to keep developing our frames, with new designs in store on a monthly basis and to bring the concept to other towns and cities in the UK. We are all about good quality, good design at a fair price, but we also want to have some fun!
Do you spend much time in Marylebone? Any local favourites?
We’ve only been open for 3 months, local favourites so far are; The Royal Oak, The Duke of Wellington, The Chapel Inn, The Grazing Goat, The Everyman Cinema, but there is plenty more to explore, ask us again in a years’ time!