Our Year in Review: 2021

Our Year in Review: 2021

Woah, what a year. For us at Seen, 2021 was a busy whirlwind of new and fantastic eyewear collections, new and improved services, and the dozens of fresh smiles of all you lovely lot as you try on your new specs and sunglasses for the first time.

As it's that time of year, we've decided to take a little look at all the highlights from 2021 and clip them down into this: a digestible, enjoyable blog format for you to enjoy. So grab five minutes, kick back and read our year in review.

We spent lots of time chatting to you!

Gemma and Sandy As Seen in Manchester

As you’re such an interesting bunch, we always enjoy turning the proverbial limelight on to you and finding out about the fascinating things you get up to for work and play and the reasons you fell in love with eyewear. This year, we welcomed some real corkers to our As Seen in Manchester interview series.

First up, real-life World Rally Championship driver, Gus Greensmith gave us the low down on what it takes to drive cars at insane speeds on tracks most of us wouldn’t consider safe to tootle along at 5mph on. 

We caught up with the fabulous Catherine Braithwaite and learned about her work in arts communications, from working with a small organisation that put on events at the Haçienda, to helping launch Tate Liverpool and most recently for Grayson Perry’s exhibition at Manchester Gallery.

We also sat down for a pint with Sandy and Gemma, two long time Seen customers who together have a mind-blowingly extensive collection of some really nice pieces.

Garrett Leight Delivered the 🔥

Garrett Leight 2021 best glasses

Following on from the brand’s 10th anniversary year last year, Californian supernova of cool Garrett Leight pushed forwards with new frames and colourways across two sublime collections that showed the brand’s got more than a few decades left in them yet. 

The Garrett Leight SS21 collection feature melded Garrett’s deftly sculpted vintage-nodding frames with blasts of clear colour and timeless details and materials. The most recent collection, AW21, took Garrett’s love for music as the starting point, creating a compilation of 'eyewear hits' which touched on everything from 90s grunge to 50s rock ‘n’ roll.

We upgraded our eye tests, introducing the OCT Scan…

OCT Scan eyetest Manchester


We’re all about offering you the best opticians experience you can get, from our top notch customer service to our curated collection of independent glasses and sunglasses. When the opportunity arose to upgrade our eye examinations with some new tech that would give you guys an unrivaled insight into your eye health, we knew we were going to have to jump on it. 

This May, we installed an OCT Scanner, a hospital-grade piece of equipment that produces a 3D scan of the inside of your eye. It’s an amazing piece of kit that can help us spot lots of eye health problems way before traditional 2D eye photograph. 

Read more about the OCT Scan and book your eye test with one for the New Year here.

Jacques Marie Mage limited edition collections

Jeff Goldblum glasses Jacques Marie Mage

It’s beginning to feel like a year at Seen wouldn’t be complete without being one of the few stores picked to launch superb, super-limited edition artisanal eyewear collections from the masters of artisanal eyewear, Jacques Marie Mage. 

As long time fans of Jeff Goldblum's eyewear collection (remember we took an in-depth look at it a few years ago), we were chuffed to see Jeff and Jacques had finally teamed up to give Jeff his very own JMM eyewear style and even more pleased to be lucky enough to stock it.

As well as the Jeff, there was also the Squeeze, a frame inspired by Manchester’s adopted daughter Nico and Kyosho, a collection that paid homage to the home of handmade eyewear, Japan. To cap it all off, the outstanding Last Frontier collection returned all guns blazing, with a selection of frames that brought together real turquoise and handicraft beadwork in truly spectacular fashion. If you liked that, we'd recommend keeping your eyes peeled at the start of next year...

We launched our own lenses 

Seen sunglass lenses

As it had the feel of a bit of a special summer this year, we decided to do something a bit special to celebrate. We launched our very own sunglasses lenses.

The debut collection includes six lenses in almost the full spectrum of colours and includes everything from gradients to polarised options. You can have the lenses installed on literally any frame of your choosing too to give them that little extra touch of uniqueness. 

Find out more about our debut sunglasses lens collection.

We helped loads of you find your perfect glasses and sunglasses

Year in review client polaroids

Without a doubt, wherever the year takes us, the highlight for us is simply being able to do what we do: help you find frames that you love. We really believe that eyewear is a powerful thing, that finding the right frames can help you feel more like you. So thank you trusting us with that responsibility!

If you're not already following us on Instagram, we'd suggest you give it a try. As well as the latest frames, we regularly post some of the sterling styling work the Seen Team do at our Manchester HQ. Give us a follow here.

Now we just have time to wish you all a fantastic new year. We have lots of mega-exciting news coming in 2022, so keep your eyes peeled. Until then, Happy New Year!!