Opened in the epicenter of Japanese youth culture Shibuya in 1988, Globe Specs has strived to be a new type of retailer that proposes fun, unconventional styles. Founder Tetsuya Okada regularly visits overseas tradeshows and independent ateliers to find not only the latest, but also rare vintage items for the Shibuya shop and its second location in Tokyo’s fashionable Daikanyama district. Their shop interior features antique-inspired furniture to give warm, inviting touches, such as a desk used in a French postal office and a mirror from a Japanese kimono shop. Their efforts to bring innovation to the retail environment and services have resulted in the Bestore Award from the Mido eyewear trade show in Milan for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018.

Globe Specs, An optical shop in Tokyo
4SEE Retail Report – Globe Specs, Tokyo

The two shops offer a wide selection of designs, catering to the broad range of clients that visit from near and far. Small, metal double-ridge, round-shapes, and classic panto in thick plastics, as well as thin frame designs, are especially popular for them. And, as the metal and plastic combination has become a staple of the moment, new models have emerged that creatively combine the two materials. Additionally, Robert Marc NY is a brand to watch, according to Tetsuya, with a new design team that has been producing variations never seen before.

As for advice when buying a new pair, he comments, “Customers tend to choose glasses that are similar to the ones they already own, so we try to recommend designs that will bring out their features more. Something that would enhance the images that are favourable in respect to their professions and lifestyles.”

Globe Specs, An optical shop in Tokyo
4SEE Retail Report – Globe Specs, Tokyo

Globe Specs

1-7-9 1F Jinnan, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0041, Japan
+81 3 5459 8377

Photo: courtesy of Globe Specs

This article originally appeared in the DISCOVERY issue // published in February 2020.