Independent French eyewear brand Anne et Valentin recently opened a fourth standalone store in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The design-y new space parallels its Prince Street location in Manhattan with a similar abundance of grained wood and the same Aardvark Interiors-designed walnut drawers in which glasses are stored.

In keeping with Anne et Valentin’s pre-established standards, prospective customers can expect to receive an automatic one-on-one consultation to help them narrow down their preferred frame style. There are over 1,000 frames in stock at any given time -- which could be overwhelming -- so the consultation is developed to save time and avoid the redundancy of repetitively trying on item after item.

Along with Anne et Valentin's branded glasses, there are a selection of other independent eyewear brands including Belgian-based theo, fellow French company Bruno Chaussignand and the West Coast-born Garrett Leight.

Established in the 1980s by a “neo-hippie” optician named Valentin and a woman named Anne who went on to became Valentin’s business partner, wife and "soulmate," the company's aim is to design glasses that reflect their customer's lives. Anne began sketching her own frames after having observed that she wasn't able to find any that suited her. As part of this design process, she re-examined what was important about eyewear and translated her findings into playful and quirky designs.

In 1984, the company sent these sketches to be prototyped and subsequently launched the first collection in Toulouse, France. Production is now done primarily in Jura, France using a combination of machinery and a 30-step hand-cutting and finishing process.

You can see all of Anne et Valentin's current eyewear here.

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