Alexander Daas eyewear boutique opening in Del Mar Village
Luxury independent eyewear brand Alexander Daas will open up a new beachside optique in the Del Mar Village this month. This will be designer, optician and CEO Alex Feldman’s third boutique, with other locations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The optique will be located at 1414 Camino Del Mar, between Durante’s Menswear and Sundancer, in the former home of Julie’s Beachwear which moved into a larger space on Camino Del Mar.
Alexander Daas will feature high-quality eyewear from all over the world with full-service prescription services. The store also features the Alexander Daas collection, designed by Feldman.
Feldman likes to joke that it was the frames that transformed Superman into Clark Kent: Eyeglasses and sunglasses are a way to put your best face forward, express your unique style as well as enhance your looks and vision.
“Glasses can really completely change who you are and what you look like,” he said.
Feldman is a second- generation optician and you could say a career in eyewear was always in his sights. He grew up in the Bay Area where his family has owned an optical shop in San Franciso’s Marina District since 1979. He was always involved in the business and interested in frames and playing with them.
“I would help out as a kid and cut my first pair of lenses at 12, I had to force my dad to let me do it,” he said.
In college at UC Santa Barbara, he studied cognitive neuroscience and bio-psychology, gaining a better understanding of how the eyes work and visual perceptions. At one point he even considered being an ophthalmologist but he was too interested in eyewear and design.
After college, he took over the family business in San Francisco and eventually launched his own line, Alexander Daas (daas, a Hebrew word for knowledge, had a better ring than Feldman, he said).
As Feldman didn’t come from a traditional design background, he used the knowledge he had gained about materials and lens quality and what was needed in the market. He identified a significant gap for high-end eyewear specifically for those with narrow-fit faces and smaller PDs (pupillary distances or the space between your eyes). Historically, those with small PDs have had to resort to using smaller kid-size frames.
“It grew really quickly,” he said of that first collection which filled a void in the market at that time, which was trending toward all things oversized.
Several years ago, Feldman had a showroom in downtown San Diego but moved his operations to Los Angeles in 2008 as demand grew in the television industry, working with studios in eyewear styling and props.
The LA shop is located in Larchmont Village, a “quaint” part of the city known as a “no-paparazzi zone”, where celebs can shop in peace. Alexander Daas frames have been spotted on many celebrity clients.
Feldman relocated to Carmel Valley a year ago to be closer to family—his wife, Stephanie, grew up in Carmel Valley and their children, Zachary and Ashton, now attend Ashley Falls, where she also went to school.
The new local location is something of a vision come to life.
“I’ve always wanted to be in Del Mar, it’s a perfect complement to all of our stores,” Feldman said. “The people, the weather, and the relaxing environment are inspiring. Being near the ocean brings a certain calm to the creative process. I can’t wait to become part of a new local community.”
The Del Mar optique will carry a full assortment of top, high-quality brands from around the world including Celine, Barton Perreira, Blake Kuwahara, Lindberg and more. Feldman said Alexander Daas is one of the few opticians to have their own state-of-the-art labs to craft lenses into the frame with high quality and precision, rather than sending it out to mass production or an insurance lab.
“We do incredible lens work,” he said. “Frames are important but the lens is even more important.”
The opening of the new Del Mar store this month will also coincide with the launch of Feldman’s new eyewear collection “Daas by Alexander Daas” which pays tribute his family— each piece is named after his children and their many cousins.
First-access stylings and quick vision tests can be booked at alexanderdaas.com
Get the Del Mar Times in your inbox
Top stories from Carmel Valley, Del Mar and Solana Beach every Friday for free.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Del Mar Times.