Arlington Optical celebrates 30 years with Davies event

Tom Davies, a British luxury eyewear designer, is making a stop in Columbus on Saturday, May 18, for Arlington Optical's 30th anniversary event.

Davies, whose eyewear has been seen on Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, will be there to style and assist customers as they shop for new eyewear. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 1756 W. Lane Ave. location.

Arlington Optical owner Tim McNemar said they'll also have English tea cakes and beverages, as well as a chance for customers to win some prizes, including a free pair of glasses, throughout the day.

We talked with McNemar about the Tom Davies brand and why it's worth it to spring for his designs. His edited answers are below.

-Taylor Rogers,@rogerstaylorj

You were the only optician in the U.S. to be invited to the Tom Davies Design School. What was that like?
The Design School was last April. It's a great collaboration of a lot of good opticians. What he did was he invited about 20 different opticians from all over the world. Our group was mainly Europe, Australia, a few from Vietnam and China. And we met in Shenzhen in China at his factory, and he had a design school that took us beyond our wildest dreams as to what we could do… Some of the pieces we collaborated on he would then see it and go, "Gosh, that's really great," and he would end up putting some of these pieces in his ready to wear.

What is the price range of Tom Davies glasses?
$350 to $1,700 for the horn. He has acetates that are cheaper. He has titaniums, too.

Why is this eyewear worth the price?
You can buy $300 to $500 glasses that are ready to wear, such as David Yurman and Prada and pieces like that, but what's nice about this particular product and spending the money is it's individually fit to the person. So it's bespoked or coutured to fit just like a fine suit. It's actually tailored, so when you try it on, it doesn't pinch the nose. It contours with your brow line. And it's really a work of art.

We heard you have a customer who's kind of a Davies addict. We won't name names, but how many pairs does this person own?
He has 13 pairs. We have others that have six and eight pairs. It's one of those things-if you like that shoe and you like that model, right?-(when you say) I'm going to buy another pair. And if it fits just right, if you use that fitting template, you can carry that on to the next design.

Photos of Davies' eyewear and storefront courtesyArlington Optical