The Good Life: The Mix: Q&A: Tammy Skvirsky

Four eyes go chic

You don’t have to completely overhaul your wardrobe for a fresh look — a new pair of frames could be all you need. That’s where Tammy Skvirsky comes in. At Optique, which has moved just a few doors down on Walnut Street, she carries on her family’s tradition of helping Philly’s bespectacled set — from conservative lawyers to pink-haired punks — find the perfect pair.

So how did you get into the business?
It began after my family emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1990. My father started working at an eyeglass boutique in King of Prussia, became a licensed optician, and bought his first store in the King of Prussia mall in 2001. I’m actually an attorney by trade, and sort of the accidental owner of our new store.

Do you have clients who don’t have bad vision, but still want glasses?
Sure. Glasses are like any accessory, and a lot of people like them because they make you look more serious or sophisticated. I always wore my glasses in the courtroom.

How do you help farsighted people try on new frames, since they can’t see what they look like in them?
We have a machine called a Smart Mirror, which takes photos of customers when they try on frames. Then you can put your glasses back on and see the photos, and try different options.

What trends are you seeing this year?
Anything retro or vintage-style. Lots of ’80s-inspired frames. Plenty of color. And big sunglasses — still. We carry a pair of “Jackie O” frames made by François Pinton, who designed her original pair.

What do you think sets Optique apart from the eyewear shops on every other corner in Philly?
We carry some really wild, unique things, along with plenty that are more classic. Sometimes we get something in and I think, “Who’s going to buy those?” Then someone tries them on and they look absolutely perfect. Plus, we’re not just about great, funky frames. We’re about helping people see out of those great, funky frames.

Optique, 1845 Walnut Street, 215-564-6666, and 510 West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, 610-525-2510.