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Michael Holmes & Kay McFarlane

On the opposite side of the world is one of our favourite stores, Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear.
Michael Holmes and Kay McFarlane serve a population of just over five million in New Zealand, with just over 1.5 million in Auckland itself.

Interviewing Michael

One of the pleasures of designing frames is traveling the world and discovering incredible, independent stores and the people behind them. Every retailer faces their own, specific challenges. How do they approach them? …well, let’s ask!

Jason: How should the ‘retail experience’ feel, optics or otherwise?

Michael: Bricks and mortar retailers/optometrists have the ability to offer a truly exceptional “in-store” experience. We avoid branded, mass produced frames and specialise in providing beautifully crafted, quality frames by independent eyewear designers. This carefully curated instore (only) collection ensures the retail experience is personal, considered and always fun!

Jason: How do you stay fresh and relevant to a relatively small population?

Michael: We have just introduced our own range of high quality acetate frames, adding a local dimension to our in-store collection. New Zealand is a small population and one that often likes to support New Zealand business. Adding our own unique designs ensures we offer our customers a truly exclusive option.

Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear

“Bricks and mortar retailers/optometrists have the ability to offer a truly exceptional “in-store” experience. ”

- Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear interior

Image from Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear

Image from Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear

“The future of optics is in the hands of the consumer.”

- Michael Holmes

Jason: What is the future of optics for the consumer?

Michael: The future of optics is in the hands of the consumer. If the consumer chooses to support local and stay with their favourite optometrist stocking beautiful independent eyewear from around the world, independent optical businesses will continue to thrive.

If consumers are tempted towards online purchasing at cheap prices, the optical climate will change considerably in favour of poor quality, mass production and there will be a loss of quality and variety for the consumer.

As retailers we can only do our best but will this be enough? Ensuring consumers have access to a variety of high quality products in the optical industry requires a team effort between independent retailers/optometrists, suppliers and designers working together supporting independent local businesses so they can continue to offer products not readily available in the chain stores or online. There are many pieces to the jigsaw and time will tell.

What are Michael & Kay wearing?

Discover the frames that both Michael & Kay enjoy wearing.