The Vision Council and RX, co-organizers of Vision Expo, have announced Black Optical as the winner of the Fourth Annual OPTImum Retail Award, which celebrates independent retailers and showcases their products, stores, visions and stories. Past winners include Gogosha Optique; Todd Rogers Eyewear; and Edward Beiner Eyes Forward.
Black Optical was announced as the OPTImum Retail Award winner during a celebratory event at Vision Expo East 2022 on Friday, April 1, following the EYE2EYE Series panel, Onward to Independence. The other 2022 finalists – Eyes on Sheppard (North York, Ontario); Ocean Optometry (Halifax, Nova Scotia); and OPTYX New York (New York, NY) – were recognized as well.
To see the photos and stories for each finalist, click here.
“Black Optical was founded 15 years ago with the core value of caring for everyone as a guest in our home, all while reinventing what it means to be an eyewear retailer. This includes being an early adopter of e-commerce, virtual styling, tele-optometry, bookable appointments for opticianry fittings, while continuing to introduce the world's best eyewear to our discerning clientele and optical community at large,” said Gary Black, Founder and President of Black Optical. “It is an honor accept this award on behalf of our amazing team.”
Black Optical has five locations across Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Tulsa, OK: and St. Louis, MO. In 2021, Black Optical launched exclusive capsule collections with eyewear brands Jacques Marie Mage and LAPIMA, along with accessory designers Toto.Design and Makr Carry Goods. To stay engaged with its staff and clients during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Optical created a series called Black Optical TV as a resource for fellow opticians and clients and also enlisted leading eyewear designers to share music they found comforting in a Spotify series called “Lockdown Sound.” Coming out of the pandemic, Black Optical expanded its virtual styling services and integrated an app that allows its team to create, send and collect payments via mobile texts. During this time, Black Optical also invested in contactless technologies. An active participant in its local communities, Black Optical is involved in the Day Center for the Homeless and Tulsa Care's Red Ribbon gala, which raises awareness to care for citizens affected by HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis.
Black Optical was selected as the contest winner by a committee of top industry leaders. This year’s committee members include: Julia Gogosha, Gogosha Optique, 2020 winner; Christian Roth, Designer + Co-Founder of Christian Roth Eyewear & Optical Affairs and the first Council of Fashion Designers of America member in the eyewear category since 1990; and James Spina, 20/20 Magazine editor-in-chief and senior vice president. Additionally, members of the vision care community were invited to vote for the final winner from March 1-14, and votes were taken into consideration with the judges’ scores.