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Ollie Quinn bringing Canadian eyewear fashion to the Pike/Pine ‘neighbourhood’

Coming soon: Ollie Quinn (Image: CHS)

Some 60,000 eyeballs — 30,000 attendees with approximately two eyeballs per person — will roll through E Pike for the 2017 Capitol Hill Block Party this July. There will be a bit of side-eye — and plenty of near and farsightedness.

Ollie Quinn, the Canadian-born provider of eyewear fashion, will join the increasingly crowded field of shops hoping to serve those many, many eyes with its new Capitol Hill boutique planned to open by the end of this month in a long-empty retail space with a clear view of the Block Party’s main stage at Pike and Broadway.

“We want it to be a space that people feel drawn to and are comfortable lingering in, which is why we have a community working space built within where community members can come to study, create or chat,” a company spokesperson tells CHS.

“We use top quality materials with the feel of a friendly neighbourhood boutique, and enjoy open spaces without barriers between the team and guests.”

The new eyeglass shop will have an optometrist available for exams and feature Ollie Quinn’s signature mobile office-friendly design with “a large co-working space within the store” and “a funky optometrist office.”

“Our in-house design duo, Courtney Molyneaux and Matthew Nicholson are young West coast designers who create boutiques that showcase the OQ style, but more importantly, complement their surrounding community,” the Ollie Quinn rep tells CHS. “The Seattle boutique is designed with the Capitol Hill community in mind with bolder, bright colours and a slightly more eccentric style than our other boutiques.”

The under construction Ollie Quinn shop was formerly home to High Voltage, the music gear store whose unsuccessful one year of business represented yet another version of the death of Pike/Pine for locals to worry about. High Voltage shuttered in late 2015. The space has been empty ever since.

Ollie Quinn, meanwhile, joins big time fashion eyewear player Warby Parker in a recent wave of eye-focused retail investment in the Pike/Pine neighborhood.

What’s the rush? “Eyewear is in that exciting phase where it has become a fashion accessory as a necessary health care item,” the Ollie Quinn rep writes. “Frames are now considered an expression of who you are and what you stand for. Seattle, and Capitol Hill in particular, has become a leader in forward thinking ideals and expressive, individual style. People understand that cultural trends set in Seattle will likely be emulated globally.”

Pike/Pine may very well have died. But its global marketing opportunities are just getting started.

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