As the dust settles on 2020 and we slide cautiously and hopefully into 2021, we’ve decided to take a quick look back on how things went for us at Seen in 2020. Spoiler alert: this is actually a positive read. We did manage to enjoy quite a few highlights this year. 

Here’s the Seen 2020 year in review...

Seen Opticians Closed March COVID

We had to close the Seen store… 

Way back in March, the world started to feel like it was falling apart. Like all stores across the country, on March 23rd we were forced to close Seen HQ, unsure when we’d be reopening it. It was a weird time and seeing the Seen shelves empty was a strange and sad sight and not one we’re eager to revisit any time soon.

...but we bounced back and reopened a few months later.

After three months, 47 homeschool science lessons, and approximately 234 loaves of banana bread baked between the Seen Team, we were allowed to reopen again. While there were a few extra rules and regulations, we couldn’t have been happier to be back and see you all IRL.

As we’re classed as an essential service, we’re staying open through Lockdown 3.0! If you want to book an appointment, go and fill out this form.

We embraced the virtual realm

We always had a hunch that this internet thing was going to be big… In 2020 the powers of modern technology came into their own. With our physical store closed a good chunk of the year, the Seen team took over our website journal, sharing their lockdown survival tips, reminiscing about their styling successes and their favourite frames, and they went to town dressing up for the Seen Guide to Zoom Eyewear. 

We launched our virtual styling sessions too, allowing us to beam the collective eyewear styling super powers of the Seen Team into the homes of our clients all over the world. As we’re trudging into lockdown 3.0, now could be a good time to book yourself in for a session. Find out more about virtual styling in this informative journal post.

We teamed up with photographer Ginger Beard Photography

When Manchester city centre fell silent as the people of the city followed the government guidelines to stay at home, Seen customer and wedding photographer Ginger Beard Photography - aka Paul Wiliams - hit the streets with his Leica to capture a series of eerily empty street scenes. 

Wanting to do some good with the finished collection of snaps, Paul teamed up with us to sell prints and raise money for The Salford Royal Trust, a local charity and hospital. You can find out more and bag yourself one of the prints here

We welcomed TVR to the Seen shelves

We’ve always had a bit of a thing of Japanese-made eyewear, so when we heard about True Vintage Revival, a brand that exclusively handmade their eyewear in the eyewear capital of the world, Sabae, Japan, we knew they were going to be our cup of tea. Employing master craftsmen that have been making eyewear for donkey’s years, and making all their frames to the specs of original mid-20th century blueprints, their eyewear is, unsurprisingly, pretty spectacular. 

Read a bit more about True Vintage Revival here. If you want to find out a bit more about Japanese eyewear, you should read our guide to Japanese-made eyewear too. 

We got our hands on lots of super-limited edition frames from Jacques Marie Mage

A long-standing feature on the Seen shelves, the vintage lines and decadent details of Jacques Marie Mage frames are a firm favourite of us here at Seen. So we’ve been over the moon to have been one of the few lucky stores that got their hands on some of the super-special, highly-limited collections JMM released in 2020. 

We were the only UK-stockist of the American West inspired Last Frontier collection. We got our hands on the Jacques Marie Mage collab with milliner Nick Fouquet, the P.C.H. Aviator too. And we welcomed more than a good few other highly-limited JMM styles to our shelves, a couple of which you can spot in the excellent series of retro talk show vids they launched at the tail end of last year.

We celebrated 10 Years of Vision for Garrett Leight’s b-day

You might have missed this as it was just nudged out of the headlines by all that other stuff that was going on in the world, but 2020 was also the 10th Anniversary of Garrett Leight. As one of Garrett’s very first stockists all those years ago, and ardent super fans of his laidback classic frame designs ever since, GLCO have a special place with us here at Seen. To help him celebrate his birthday, we grabbed him for a chat to talk about the 10th anniversary frames of the Brooks and Kinney, Venice Beach, and golf style. Read the interview here.


We teamed up with Kid Acne to raise money for Manchester Cares

As it was, globally, a bit of a dud year, we wanted to say good riddance to 2020 by sprinkling some positivity out into the ether. In December, we teamed up with Sheffield artist/mc, Kid Acne to create a magnificent eyewear cleaning cloth to raise funds for Manchester charity, Manchester Cares. 

You can find out more about Manchester Cares here and pick up one of the remaining oversized eyewear cleaning cloths here.

We helped loads of you find your perfect glasses

But do you know what? The real highlight of 2020 for us was simply the fact that we were able to help you, our wonderful clients, find your perfect frames. So thank you for stopping by, be it virtually or into our Manchester Opticians, and letting us do what we do best. We’ll see you all in 2021...