As the lockdown swooped into effect in March, we all found we were going to have to quickly adapt. Some things we couldn’t do - seeing friends, going to the pub. Other things we needed to find new ways of doing. For us, as an opticians, it was tricky. Eye tests and in-store browsing were, of course, off the table. But we still wanted to be there for our clients, to help them pick out some well-needed new pick-me-up specs. How could we do it? We turned to the internet and came up with what we call Virtual Styling.
So, what is this Virtual Styling malarky? Well, it’s where we combine the collective brain and styling powers of the Seen Team and choose the perfect eyewear styles for clients based on some measuring and a number of photographs or video calls. We perform this futuristic feat of styling via messaging, emails, Facetime, or any other virtual medium the client prefers. Once we know facial characteristics, we delve into style desires and influences. The rest, I’m afraid, is the magic secret sauce that only the Seen Team know the recipe for.
In most cases during the lockdown we’ve been styling clients we already know, some very well, and it’s been easy to use our previous knowledge to make new decisions. There’s been a few cases of new clients that live afar wanting our service too, that have never even travelled to our Manchester Opticians. Virtual Styling’s been so popular, we’ve decided to continue to do it.
To paint you a clearer picture of the possibilities of Virtual Styling, we thought we’d talk you through two recent stylings, one with Anton and one with Steve. In these two cases, the clients not only wanted to expand their eyewear wardrobes with some of the finest independent eyewear around, they also wanted prescription lenses fitted too. We used editing software to accurately take measurements of where their eyes sit in the chosen frame allowing us to order lenses accurately and give the perfect visual result in the end.
Anton from Huddersfield
Anton and his partner Michelle have been in-store clients for several years. They travel over from Huddersfield whenever they need an eyewear fix which, in Anton’s case, is quite regularly!
Anton works in the music industry and runs the sound for live gigs and tours around the country with artists such as Paul Carrick. During lockdown, he couldn’t work or tour but the craving for new eyewear got too much and he got in touch to ask how we could help remotely.
In total, Anton received eight pairs of frames as part of the Virtual Styling.
We created a style brief and proposed some options including frames from Jacques Marie Mage, DITA, and Thom Browne. Once we got together a short - well, quite long actually - list, we sent the frames securely over the Pennines, and in his own time Anton tried them all on and sent us back selfies.
A few were unsuitable because of the way they fitted, but he liked most of them and a couple really stood out. It was then a case of Anton making the difficult decision, which was the only real challenge of this Virtual Styling. The frame chosen in the end was the Seberg by Jacques Marie Mage. Finally, we asked Anton for a direct, front-facing selfie wearing the frame and that allowed us to accurately position his eyes. We could then order his custom emerald green transition lenses and, once Anton sent the frames back to us, we fitted the lenses and returned them. Another happy virtual stylee.
Anton in his chosen pair, the Seberg by Jacques Marie Mage with custom lenses
Steve from Nottingham
Steve lives in Nottingham and, can you believe it, has never ventured to Seen. He has, however, bought several frames off our online store over the last couple of years and we’ve grown to know what he likes and wants.
Steve has a young family and an incredible sense of style. When the sun was beating down on us relentlessly during lockdown, he realised he wanted some sunglasses. Our brief for the Virtual Styling was to find a style that would suit lenses that weren’t too dark. He also needed to have some side protection, like wraparound sunglasses, but he something a lot cooler than your classic wraparounds.
Wraparounds but a lot cooler? You'll like the Ari frames by Jacques Marie Mage, Steve.
He was already aware of the Ari frame by Jacques Marie Mage and when we sent him some live pictures of the rover green model in natural daylight, it was the only contender he wanted to see in person.
We sent the frame over for Steve to try and he sent them back. He wasn’t sure. It was understandable, they’re far from the average frame. In-store, we’re able to guide someone through this but virtually you might need some more time to consider things - and that’s fine. Within 48 hours, he realised he absolutely did want them. We jumped on FaceTime to discuss what his lens requirements were. We wanted to get this right, and so a good chat helped us make that happen. We custom made green-tinted lenses with a 50% tint and when he got them, they were perfect. He couldn’t have been happier.
Book Your Virtual Styling Session
Inspired much? If you’re excited at the prospect of finding the perfect pair of frames in a virtual styling session and you can't make it to our store to see us in-person, book yourself in. All you need to do is drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a shout on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We’ll get back to you pronto and arrange to meet you on the virtual airwaves. See you there!