Vision Care Product News

SEP 2017

Product information for optical people.

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Page 39 of 99

Modern wood floors and warm lighting create an instantly wel- coming environment as I walk into Levato Eyewear. A front dis- play case shows off owner Don Axelbrand's personal collection of vintage frames, and he encourages me to try some on. Axelbrand, who has a youthful energy and nearly 40 years of experience in optom- etry, is immediately ready to joke around—although he takes his profession and service to his Ridge- wood community quite seriously. A native New Yorker, Axelbrand became a licensed optician in 1978 and went on to teach dispensing and manufacturing as well as man- age and operate several optical busi- nesses. Aer working as an optician in Bergen County for 15 years, he purchased Levato & Gaudiomonte Opticians in 2000. Over the past 18 months, he has been transitioning its name to Levato Eyewear, based on the fact that "Gaudiomonte" doesn't exactly roll off customers' tongues. "People would come in saying, 'Levato and Guacamole' or 'Levato and something with a G that I can't pronounce,'" he said. His team comprises frame stylist/ manager Jessie Martinez (pictured above with Axelbrand); frame styl- ist/social media manager Hannah Gomez; and optician/lab manager Ingrid Insignares. Levato Eyewear carries frames for the whole family; his littlest patients oen stay with the practice until they're old enough to drive there themselves. "We make it a family environment here—we want to know who you are," Axelbrand said. "Whatever you need, we're here for you and it's really personal." e conservative town of Ridgewood is a combination of old and new money; many residents commute to NYC, and there is a robust downtown with many shops and restaurants. A curated frame selection from brands such as Alain Mikli, BOZ, Dolabany, Innotec, John Varvatos, iGreen, Gold & Wood and Oliver Peoples for adults; Jelly Bean, Lily Pulitzer, SwissFlex, Nike, Social Eyes and Converse for kids make for a fun browsing experience. While I personally love many of those brands, they simply don't fit my smaller face and nosebridge. Axelbrand directed me to the Ann Taylor Petite Collection from L'Amy America. Although I've worked in the optical industry for nearly three years, I still have a need for classic brown tortoise. We narrowed (pun intended) the choices to a rectan- gular-shaped pair (ATP808) and a more trendy, youthful rounded style with nosepads (ATP404). ey both fit beautifully and would've had a place in my eyewear ward- robe, but I ultimately decided on the latter. I can't wait to show them off in the fall! 38 September 2017 Petite-Fit Road Test Eyewear&Fashion VCPN's Executive Editor Michele Silver visited two completely different optical shops in northern New Jersey to find stylish options for her smaller features. She not only found great glasses but also uncovered the great histories behind the owners and their businesses. L E V A T O E Y E W E A R 2 1 O A K S T . , R I D G E W O O D , N J L E V A T O E Y E W E A R . C O M VCPN

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