Let’s talk with the winner of the Bestore Design Award 2019

During MIDO 2019 the Bestore Award – the competition that selects the best optical centers in the world – has proposed a great novelty, doubling with two categories: the Bestore Design, that is directed at the shops which are characterised by the way in which the lay-out, materials, design, furnishings and general atmosphere contribute to creating a fundamental shopping experience and the Bestore Innovation that will assess all the aspects linked to the evolution of customer service, customer and supplier interaction, communications management, the history of the store and its professional, human and emotional aspects. An international jury proclaimed the two winners during the fair: Infint Eyewear of Buenos Aires won the Bestore Design and Kite of London the Bestore Innovation. Here is our talk with Kite Hassan Dhanji, one of the owners of Kite.

Why did you decide to enter the Bestore Award?

We feel the award is representitive of some of the best industry designs and practices and therefore given its prestige and our efforts to be the most innovative, design-led and clinically driven eyewear company we felt it the right fit for us.

What do you think about this award?

As proud winners we think our application highlights how we feel. The prestigious nature of the award emphasises the effort and investment we’ve made at Kite in innovating and instigating change in the world of eyewear.

Did you expect to win the Bestore?

We have a lot of amazing competition and so it would be very presumptious to expect to win the award however we feel we’ve taken innovation in our store to the next level and therefore we felt we had a reasonable chance of winning.

What does winning the prize meant to you?

It is a reward for achieving a level which hasn’t quite been reached before in the world of eyewear in terms of store innovation and therefore it’s a vindication of our efforts to be leaders in innovation and design in the world of eyewear.

Where did you draw your inspiration from when you decided to open this store?

Experience. The whole Kite team unilaterally felt the optical industry needed distrupting so we drew up a conceptual experienced based store with eyewear which could ephasise our passion for fashion led clinically driven frames.

How do you express the word “design” through your store?

Whether it’s our landmark store with the award winning design of our Eyebar – which is made of a specialist construct meaning the wood grows and evolves over time – or the expressive design of our frames the Kite experience oozes design. Our store was designed by Asif Khan – an award winning designer and architect with the Eyebar specifically showing off our ability to style patients one to one to enhance our customer experience.

Why did you choose to focus on innovation?

We felt the store really had to emphasise our desire to disrupt the eyewear world. Therefore we chose to express this through innovating in the design features and layout of the store. This meant designing the Eyebar which feautres individual booths for customers to take a seat, have some coffee and have our stylists present a range of eyewear options for the customer.

In particular the design of the Eyebar allows the stylist to reach all available eyewear within each booth. This means the stylist is always present with the customer and can focus on styling and dispensing. Each booth features a moveable mirror which is magnetised and therefore fully adjustable to the customers preference.