Introducing: Cutler and Gross, a Yorkville boutique for the bespectacled man and woman

Introducing: Cutler and Gross, a Yorkville boutique for the bespectacled man and woman

Cutler and Gross, 84 Yorkville Ave. (Image: Fraser Abe)

The place: Cutler and Gross, Yorkville’s newest boutique, already has loyal fans among international A-listers (Elton John, for example). Graham Cutler and Tony Gross opened their eponymous frame store in 1971 in London’s trendy Knightsbridge, and they’ve been a massive success ever since. White to the point of sterility, the small store houses a “museum” in the back for its rarer pieces, and unlike most other lens retailers, it features a full-size mirror to make sure your shades match your outfit. Those used to buying their frames at Shoppers Drug Mart or Sunglass Hut will balk at the prices (which can reach upwards of $700) but Cutler and Gross approaches glass making like bespoke tailoring. Each pair takes five weeks to make, entirely by hand, in a small factory (with only 15 employees) in Cadore, Italy. These aren’t the kind you want to lose on your next trip to the cottage or Hanlan’s Point.

The stuff: The museum showcases pairs made for celebs such as Elton John and Bono and the label’s ever-expanding line of designer collabs, like frames with Canadian-born, London-based Erdem’s signature floral fabrics moulded inside the acetate ($600), Margiella’s oversized bug-eye sunglasses ($620–$730) and a new selection of frames made by Giles Deacon. Out front, the selection is organized by colour—the average price for a pair of glasses ranges from $470 to $480, and sunglasses are sold for $500 and up.

The shoppers: Jeanne Beker loved the Margiella frames on a recent visit, while Dan Levy tweeted his disappointment at missing the opening. Internationally, aforementioned stars like Elton John (who allegedly bought so many products at the Knightsbridge location they had to design a special larger bag just for him) and Bono are fans. Expect to see these on socialite types (if Suzanne Rogers needed glasses, we don’t think she’d be going to LensCrafters) and their partners.

Our favourite things: The green tortoiseshell lenses ($470) bring a new dimension to the trend, while the smoked acetate Wayfarer-style frames ($470) look more stylish than those typical hipster accoutrements. Their 702 (all styles are simply numbered) aviators with leather arms ($500) have been popular for years.