Founded in Seoul in 1996 by Zio Lee, the name “ZIO” was given as it also stands for “zero fault”, “innovation” and “originality”. Located in Daechi-dong, an affluent and academic neighborhood, it is also considered a residential area of Gangnam-ku. The shop features a museum-like appearance, with a minimalistic design surrounded by white cabinets and a center table with a large natural rock that accents the space. “We believe that the invisible is more important than the visible matters”, which is the reason for differentiating the shop design and concept from other typical optical stores, whereby instead of displaying the frames they are “hidden” inside the cabinets.”


Consultation is the key at Zio for finding the right pair for the clients, and as they sit together with a drink, the personality as well as the clients’ needs and wants are explored. “There is a range of clients, from the artistic types that are seeking a new look, to politicians that want to change their images,” comments Zio. “We do not present the frames all at once. We show them one by one to let the clients feel the soul of each frame”.

Popular brands at Zio include Mykita, Anne et Valentin, Jacques Marie Mage as well as Kaneko Optical. Another favourite of the shop is Factory 900, which is a Japanese brand that offers bold acetate frames that are comfortable and futuristic. “We introduce brands and frames which have strong identities and unique souls rather than simply having a strong reputation. That is why our clients have a deep loyalty to us.”



1st Flr, Hanrim BD, 336, Samseong-ro
Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 06186
South Korea
+82 2 556 5677

Photo: courtesy of Zio

This article originally appeared in the WILD issue // published in September 2019.