Unless you’ve been living under an Instagram rock, you know how much of an impact Corey Shapiro has had on the Montreal scene with his mega business, Vintage Frames.
With everyone from P Diddy to Bruno Mars rocking Vintage Frames products, the company has become a global leader in the vintage eyewear industry.
So Shapiro decided it was finally was about time to open up a concept for the public that would offer the most diverse eyewear on the planet. And of course he did it in his beloved city, Montreal. We caught up with Corey to get the full scoop on this new endeavour – including where he sources his products and what’s coming next.
1. Can you fill us in on your new project and what the idea behind it is?
Vintage Frames Company was birthed in Montreal. On November 28th the company turns 10 years of age. For the past decade, the only way to access Vintage Frames was through the web, private appointments, or one of the elite accounts we sell to around the world. We thought it was finally time to open up a concept for the public. L’Archive will be the most diverse eyewear store on the planet. Boasting more than 5000 different frames on site at a time, we will boldly push the contemporary limits of traditional eyewear stores. Every single aspect of our Vintage Frames concept was rolled into one timeless store. The inspiration was to offer the Montreal community the same type of rare products and services we would for our celebrities.
2. The new store looks like something out of a Great Gatsby-style library meeting Studio 54; where did the concept for the design come from?
The meaning of an archive is history and knowledge. I think people sometimes mix up our insane daily antics that they may catch on the Internet with the mature historical relevance of our products. The Archive was designed with the maturity of our product in mind, allowing a calming atmosphere to truly understand the product’s value. Luxurious trimmings and chandeliers were an obvious match, tying in our high-street styling. The basketball court we used as our floor has nothing to do with basketball. It was a symbol that when you enter the Archive, you are on our court, which is separated from the rest of the park. As a Batman fan, everyone wants a bat-cave. The secret door to our office allows that extra excitement for my staff and I keeping our offices a constant mystery.
3. Clearly frames are the big deal here, how do you source your product?
My products are sourced from around the world. We don’t have a set sourcing procedure as much as we have a quality control system. Old factories, old distributers, and old stores are all dug up around the globe to be able to put together this kind of diverse selection. With a continuously revolving stock of this magnitude, we need to be constantly on the hunt. We study various geographical buying and selling patterns to figure out the most likely vantage points to use as a starting point for our digs. The adventures of digging are what keeps me on my toes! The misconception is that our frames are “vintage,” meaning used. Every single frame we sell is classified as “dead-stock” un-used vintage.
4. You have some very special and rare pieces in store, what are some of the most notable frames that collectors would swoon over?
Our store will change on almost a weekly basis. Every day we will have some of our Hall Of Fame Collection, which is comprised of frames from my celebrity clientele. Since the stock is really so diverse, every person that enters will gravitate to something different. Not everybody cares about a Rick Ross or Lady Gaga frame. While some may be attracted to specialty acetates and lenses, others might care more about shape or name. The cool thing about what we have done is being able to put something special for everyone under one roof.
5. Do you offer product for everyone or are the prices way above average?
The prices in L’Archive vary. We made sure that our prices were diverse enough to be competitive with any eyewear store despite our product assortments ultimate exclusivity. Our range of prices will start at about $100.00 and go all the way into our diamond customized products in the high thousand dollar ranges. We have a customization lab allowing our clients to completely personalize the frame and lenses to their liking.
6. Talk to us about your in house brand a little…
Vintage Frames by Corey Shapiro is a brand that we produce and distribute to high-end boutiques worldwide. I am happy to say that some of the largest elite stores on the planet have been an integral part of the support and growth of the brand. This gives me a chance to push the envelope as far as design and attitude so that my frames jump off the shelf at the consumer. A combination of vintage procedure, acetates, and sizing are used to design my line. The Vintage Frames by Corey Shapiro Eyewear line will be exclusive to L’Archive in Montreal. The general price point is between 150-300 dollars.
7. With Notorious Barbershop, your soon to open Juice Bar, and now L’Archive, you’re shedding some major light on the St. Henri neighborhood. Why do you see so much potential here?
Many reasons contribute to our home base of St-Henri. One of the nicest things about the area is the sense of community. Every business has a genuine like for the area and for bettering its positioning in Montreal culture. My partner in Notorious Barbershop and I invested into a large amount of real estate in the area a couple of years back, this is obviously a huge reason why we are so set on being in the area. From a business stand point, it’s much easier for me to micro-manage businesses that are in one area.
8. Working all over the world has surely instilled you with the travel bug, why do you still choose Montreal as your home base?
Montreal is a great hub city. I was interested in moving for many years, but the caliber of lifestyle I want to live is much easier to sustain in Montreal. I would prefer dipping in and out of the other cities where my businesses are versus living there. My family is also in Montreal and for the most part alive and well. Family is very important to me, and I couldn’t see myself leaving them alone. A city so rich in culture is very unique to find no matter where you have the opportunity to travel.
9. When does this new project open to the public officially?
Vintage Frames Company L’Archive officially opens on November 28th at 10am. The location is 4411 Notre Dame West and we are looking forward to seeing everyone come by and support! Opening day we have a vey special release of our MTL hat we are re-issuing for our 10th anniversary. We are very excited to share our vision with the city.
10. Any other news on the horizon we need to know about?
In the early new year, P-Thugg and I will be opening a rather specialist cold-pressed juice bar called Juicyyy Lab, also located on Notre Dame West. It will be the latest installation into our lifestyle group where we can complete our circle. The touch of Notorious, the sight of Vintage Frames, the sounds of Chromeo, and the taste of Juicyyy Lab. For this project we have enlisted outside specialists from around the world to consult on this project to ensure we offer Montreal the most superior health experience we can.
All images by: Karolina Jez