15 James Street
In a tucked away basement store on Long Acre in Covent Garden, fans of the world’s coolest eyewear can try on Ray-Bans to their hearts content. Inventors of the aviator style, they first launched in 1937 when Bausch & Lomb medical equipment manufacturers were commissioned to create a pair of glasses to help American pilots to see better against the intense whites and blues of the sky. The success gave birth to the brand that’s so popular today, and their aviators remain a staple of their collections.
Ray-Ban is more commonly found stocked in other retailers, but this is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the label’s world. When it opened, it was the first of its kind in the world, and there remains only a limited number today. The space offers the widest possible selection of sunglasses and glasses, alongside technical information about their products, video screens with campaign footage, and space dedicated to events such as music gigs.
Wayfarer sunglasses are another staple from Ray-Ban. Popular for decades for being universally flattering, they have been the choice of style icons as diverse as James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Tom Cruise, Debbie Harry, and Johnny Depp. They were the first sunglasses to have a plastic, rather than metal, frame, an off-kilter choice that made it the uniform of outcasts and beatniks.
Consistently making innovative steps forward in eyewear, combined with an enormous celebrity following, Ray-Ban is the choice of eyewear brand for so many around the world. Long-time collectors and fans won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to explore their full range alongside exclusive, limited edition pieces.
While a basement might seem like a strange place to find your next new pair of shades, it feels like discovering a secret, underground club. The industrial-looking space features stripped wooden flooring, exposed brick and pipework and display cabinets assembled from metal frames that emphasise the edgy appeal of the brand.
Address: 15 James Street, London
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 7420 9330
Monday: 11am – 7pm
Tuesday: 11am – 7pm
Wednesday: 11am – 7pm
Thursday: 11am – 7pm
Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: 12am – 6pm