Melis AlphanISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
International eyewear guru Hakan San only has eyes for spectacles. The shop owner not only sells eyewear he collects, exhibits and writes. San’s future goal is to create a real Turkish eyewear brand which he would be proud to announce is ‘made in Turkey’ created by Turkish designers and Turkish manufacturers
Hakan San’s Labistanbul Cité Française, which opened in March, offers very rare first-hand vintage sunglasses as well as limited editions of several international brands. San also gives private eyewear consultations in choosing sunglasses.
Hakan San’s father Mehmet is one of the oldest and reputable opticians while his mother Sema is one of the first female opticians in Turkey.
As the children of such an expert eyewear duo it is not surprising that both San and his sister Harika are certified opticians with a have deep knowledge of the business who have pursued separate careers.
Although drawn to eyewear and optometry, San is also an academic with a PhD in communication sciences. He has taught English and communications at several universities in Turkey, worked as a journalist
and editor in both printed and television media and worked as a professional public relations and body language consultant to several Turkish politicians, businessmen and celebrities. When providing consulting services on body language San has always made eyewear his core point as he believes the eyes are the first organ we notice when we meet a person thus making the accessory one wears around their eyes very important in shaping our perception of them.
He writes about eyewear
In 2009 San started the blog fashionateye.blogspot.com to write about topics such as eyewear brands not sold in Turkey, his professional advice on choosing eyewear and sunglasses, the importance of eyewear as an accessory in regards to one’s personal image and several interesting academic studies and research done on eyewear. As his blog caught attention from around the world several international fashion editors, eyewear brands and fans began to contact him.
San began sifting through his father’s priceless vintage eyewear collection, which his father had built by preserving interesting and rare eyewear models he sold throughout his career, the same year he launched his blog. Discovering each rare and special pair of spectacles gave San the idea to exhibit the invaluable collection.
Together with his sister Harika, they found UV lenses which would fit into the eyewear. Their mother renewed all the models with new high class lenses and they began exhibiting them at prestigious venues in Istanbul, such as Nişantaşı Den Cafe and Tünel Que Tal Tapas Bar. The reaction from fashion editors, eyewear fans and the national media was much more than they had anticipated.
With high demand from eyewear fans who read his blog San decided to open a pop-up shop for the vintage eyewear collection in Asmalımescit. There he exhibited a more expanded version of his collection. After that, his vintage eyewear store [email protected]
appeared at festivals such as Freshtival and Bebek Şenliği.
In March of 2012 San opened a vintage and urban eyewear shop at Labistanbul Cité Française. In the store you can find very rare first-hand vintage sunglasses as well as limited editions of several international brands. San also gives private eyewear consultations in choosing sunglasses. In addition, he has been cooperating professionally with Turkish TV series for the eyeglasses that the characters wear in shows.‘Only in the world’
“When asked about being an eyewear guru, I believe I am the only eyewear guru in the world,” he said, “Since I am a certified optician, communications specialist, eyewear blog writer and a vintage eyeglasses collector, I have started to be recognized internationally.”
San’s future goal is to create a real Turkish eyewear brand which he would be proud to announce is “made in Turkey” created by Turkish designers and Turkish manufacturers. He is also planning to open a “Vintage Eyewear Exhibition” soon in Istanbul with the help of worldwide vintage eyeglasses museums, vintage eyewear collectors as well as veteran Turkish opticians.