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Oliver Peoples is the latest eyewear retailer to focus on the Prudential Center

Kortenhaus Communications

The Prudential Center is becoming spectacle central. First came Warby Parker, bringing natty, well-priced eyewear to the masses, with frames as low as $95 and a name inspired by Jack Kerouac’s journals. Now it’s Oliver Peoples, with men’s and women’s luxury specs and sunglasses designed on LA’s Sunset Boulevard and handcrafted in Italy. Their O’Malley tortoise frame gained popularity when Bret Easton Ellis wrote about it in “American Psycho” as the eyewear of choice for Patrick Bateman.

As such, Oliver Peoples aims for a cosmopolitan clientele.

“Our customer is one who appreciates a luxury shopping experience, for which we are well-known. When we designed the [Boston] store, we imagined the fashion forward and professional Bostonians that appreciate our commitment to craftsmanship and quality,” says Oliver Peoples design director Lise Tyler in an e-mail.


They also aimed to channel Boston with their boutique. Stacked books frame the store — we’re a scholarly crowd, it seems — and the wood flooring is modeled after the same pattern as the basketball court at TD Garden. OK, who says we can’t be smart and sporty?

When Oliver Peoples launched in 1987, it became known for muted, old-school tortoise frames, a contrast from so much geometric, flashy 1980s eyewear.

These days, there are modern touches. You’ll find eyewear in seasonal colors like “dark sangria” and “beige silk,” some with upswept cats’ eye designs. Prices fall in the $370 range — for those “American Psycho” O’Malley frames, for instance — but climb higher, depending on style. This year, the company has partnered with swanky Parisian leather goods brand Berluti on limited-edition sunglasses with leather detailing.

Unclear which frame suits? On-site optical specialists can advise on the best frame for your face’s shape. And remember: Don’t buy in haste.

“Eyewear often is labeled as a trendy item that people don’t invest properly in, when really, it’s one of the most important investments that one could make,” Tyler says.


Kara Baskin can be reached at