T.O. eyewear brand opens a new location in time for their 20th anniversary

For glasses-wearers, eyewear isn’t just a necessity — it’s a fashion statement. 

“The first thing people look at when you walk into a room is your face,” Amin Mamdani, president of Squint Eyewear, says. “We communicate with our eyes, so eyewear is very important.

It’s this ethos that independent brand Squint Eyewear brought to the city 20 years ago with the company’s first location in Oakville, quickly expanding to multiple locations in Toronto as demand for premium, fashionable eyewear grew. And last month, Squint Eyewear moved to a new location in Summerhill. 

“We’ve strategically put ourselves where we feel there is a market — where we’ll find well-traveled clients who are professionals,” Mamdani says of the new location. “And from the neighbourhood’s buying habits, it’s clear that eyewear is something they would really care about.”  

Of course, it’s not just great eyewear that Squint Eyewear is bringing to the area; Mamdani says they’re focused on creating a shopping experience that emulates that of a European boutique — and they’ve got the European brands, including Paris’ Anne et Valentin and Italy’s Piero Massaro, and L.A’s lifestyle brand Chrome Hearts to show for it.

“We travel to Europe several times a year, to Milan and Paris, to peruse the collections and select the pieces that are the right fit for our clients,” Mamdani says. “We have a sort of wish list from our opticians as to what they want, and what their clients want. It’s personalized shopping to a certain extent.”

When you enter a Squint Eyewear store, you’ll be greeted by tasteful decor and employees who are all about the personal care and experience. Customers are served espresso or water to get them comfortable in the space and are given as much time as they need to explore which eyewear might be right for them.

Mamdani says Squint Eyewear’s opticians are trained on how to select the perfect pair of glasses for a client, evaluating prescriptions, face shape and the personal taste of each customer to find the right fit. 

“It’s not just about selecting eyewear,” he says. “It’s about why a pair might work or not work for a customer, and we provide them with a bit of eyewear knowledge.”

He says clients often come into the store looking at five or six different styles and leaving with two or three different pairs of glasses to create the look they’re after. 

Now, on their 20th anniversary, Squint Eyewear is celebrating by bringing even more limited edition styles into the stores. The brand has collaborated with five different international designers, who have had input on everything from the colour to the shape of the frames. Each collection has been dropping periodically — the latest being a sunglasses collection with Paris’ Face a Face.

Mamdani also hinted at a few more surprises coming over the next few months. “We’ll be rolling out events where we’ll be inviting our clients for celebrations,” he says. 

You can visit Squint Eyewear’s new Summerhill location at 1152 Yonge St. and shop their limited-edition collections.

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