The stylish eyeglass brand Artsee has opened a suitably stylish shop in the Goldman Sachs building, next to the François Payard Bakery. “We display frames like they’re a museum collection,” said Julio Santiago, who founded the brand 12 years ago with Oleg Rabinovich. This is their third shop; the first was in the Meatpacking District (it’s now on Sixth Ave., near Downing), and the second is in Miami Beach, in 1111 Lincoln Road, designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
The architects who did the Miami shop, Openshop Studio (based on Murray), did this one, too. The reclaimed pine light fixtures and wall cut-outs are permanent, while the pedestal tables can be moved around, depending on what’s happening—Artsee plans revolving art shows, installations, even fashion shows. Currently on view: the nighttime photography of David L. Nicholas. “You come and have coffee, we admire the art, we talk, and by the time we’re finished I have a tray of frames for you to try,” said Santiago.
All the frames are handmade: “They all have a story behind them, whether it’s the material, the shape, or someone it’s based on.” Materials might include wood, buffalo horn, film, or reclaimed vinyl records. (The film one is pictured below. Santiago said it’s a scene from Deep Throat; a man appears to be inserting a power drill into his own chest, leading to me saying, “I didn’t know anyone got drilled in Deep Throat!” Look, I never said this was a family site.) There are plenty of frames made from more traditional materials—including Artsee-branded ones made in San Francisco—as well as display models used in films such as Mannequin and Blade Runner. And Artsee can make custom frames if you bring in a photo.
Artsee is at 220 Murray, west of West St., 212-227-2400; artseeeyewear.com.