Optometrist Dr. Joel Halpern of Dover wanted to fill what he saw as a void in Delaware when it came to fashionable eyewear.


Optometrist Dr. Joel Halpern of Dover wanted to fill what he saw as a void in Delaware when it came to fashionable eyewear.

So, the owner of Halpern Eye Care opened up Chic: A Fine Eyewear Boutique in the Eden Hill Medical Center, with an official grand opening date of Sept. 14. The high end, designer eyewear boutique carries frames that are hard to find in ordinary eyeglass stores.

“I think there’s a population that wants name brands that, for one reason or another, they had to run to the city of Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., to get,” Halpern said. “And what we’re trying to do is cater to those people who want something different.

“Whether they have managed care insurance or not, they still want something different, something in the designer line,” he said. “So, the idea was to cater to people in the lower Delaware area. It’s the only one around that I know.”

Most practices are geared toward what people’s insurance will pay for, Halpern said, and are not going to carry a brand like Oliver Peoples, which is favored by many of the movie stars.

Among the other brands offered by Chic are Prada, Tiffany, Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Maui Jim, Versace and Lindberg.

That kind of selection has allowed the Dover store to draw customers from as far away as Hockessin, Halpern Vice President of Marketing Sharon Fields said.
“Chic Fine Eyewear Boutique offers unprecedented standards of service to ensure each customer feels unique and pampered,” Fields said.

Chic Manager Nancy Richard said it’s not just about picking out an appealing frame. There’s the person’s physiology to take into account when picking out glasses.

“I’m fortunate enough in that I am an esthetician,” she said. “So, I understand the faces. I understand the shapes. I understand skin. With glasses, they are an accessory now. What’s nice is we’re catering to that.”

Richard also measures her customers to ensure they have the right size – something many people take for granted.

 “Once you get the right size of your glasses, that’s going to stay forever,” she said. “It eliminates so much time. If you pick a size 49 and you’re a size 53, put it down. Don’t even try it on.”

So far, business has slowly grown since July, when Chic started stocking inventory, Richard said.

“Now, we just have to introduce it and let them know we are here,” she said.

Like some other designer eyewear shops, Chic does not accept eye insurance.