This huge US-Italian chain arrived in Bangkok earlier in the year. Though its lineup of brands is nothing new—we’ve been able to get Ray-Ban, Oakley, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and the likes for some time now—their strong suit lies in service. For starters, you can return your purchases at any other Sunglass Hut store worldwide within seven days (blessed news for this city), while they’ll also heat-adapt frames in-store to match your face shape. Price-wise, we have found cheaper. While they’ll charge you B6,950 for a standard pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers, the same pair on Zalora sets you back just B5,159.
2/F, Central Chidlom, 02-293-7000. BTS Chid Lom
House of Glasses
This little kiosk on the third floor of CentralWorld is a safe choice for shades if you don’t really know what you want. You shouldn’t expect too many new names, just mainstream options such as Ray-Ban and Karen Walker plus a sprinkling of hipster favorites like Cutler and Gross, Sunday Somewhere and Ksubi.
This premium eyewear store now has five locations city-wide (Siam Paragon, Crystal Park, K Village, The Crystal Ratchapreuk, Navamin City Avenue). The selection focuses on highend brands from all over the world, including Chrome Hearts, Lindberg, Mykita, Oliver Peoples, Gentle Monster, Frency and Mercury, Linda Farrow and many, many more. If you need prescription lenses, the good news is they offer full eye testing services, too.
This eyewear brand is designed in Bangkok but made in Japan. Specs come in eight main designs starting from the wayfarer-esque Ryu (B3,950), the vintage square lens Smith (B3,250) and the fashionable clip-on (B3,800-3,950). Not only are the glasses nicely designed, they also come with friendly price tags—which also cover prescription lenses should you need them (they’ve partnered up with an optician). Finding glasses that don’t look whack for sub-B10,000 is a rare thing. These are not your Chatuchack fashion-frame rip-offs.
Thonglor institution Niche Nation has long been known as Bangkok’s go-to shop for premium eyewear from heavyweights like Mykita, Native Sons and Thom Browne. Its second store at Central Embassy shares the same clean and minimal design, with light-toned wood showcases displaying more than 10 top-line eyewear brands. For a discreet look, there’s Oliver Peoples, handcrafted specs with no discernible logo, and Dita, an American eyewear brand that’s handmade in Japan with luxurious materials like titanium and 18K gold. Price-wise, you’re typically looking at upwards of B10,000.
353 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-160-5825
N. Kanzai NEW
This new EmQuartier opening claims a high-flying celebrity clientele. Think luxurious names like Burberry, Victoria Beckham. Chloe, Tom Ford, Prada, Gucci and Bikkembergs—and the hefty price tags to match. Frency and Mercury go for B17,000-B52,000, Linda Farrow B25,000-B45,000, and Matsuda B10,000-B50,000. Thai exclusives include Fakoshima, Boston Club, Finest Seven, Yohji Yamamoto, A-Morir and Lura.
Sadly, Onion Store Aree is now closed, but Sorasak House's (the guitarist of indie-rock mainstays Slur) original cafe-cum-fashion boutique, Ekkamai’s One Ounce for Onion, still stands and is a great place to shop for old-school frames. Aside from mid-price cult brands (B5,000-13,000) like veteran U.S. manufacturers Shuron, Moscot, Gentle Monster and Kaibosh, the real highlight has to be the range of never-before-worn deadstock vintage specs (from B950)—expect lots of Clubmaster-like frames, tortoise shell and clip-ons. You can also shop online at www.onionbkk.com
One Ounce for Onion, 19/12 Ekkamai Soi 12, 086-388-3303