Selima Salaun has been a fixture on the New York City retail scene even before she opened Selima Optique, her first shop, in Soho in the early nineties. Known for her bubbly personnality and whimiscal French fashion sense she has applied her creative eye to her business and managed to make wearing glasses fashionable. Not a small feast when one might think of it as more of a dreaded necessity than a playful addition to one’s wardrobe. But why should it not be both? If you need to wear glasses have fun with it and make it a signature style! If in doubt drop by one of Selima’s boutiques and either she or one of her expert staffers will demonstrate how.
While she may have the look of a fashion designer Selima is actually a licensed optician and optometrist. Combining her craft with her sense of style her shops offer the most eclectic collection of eyewear I have ever seen. I can testify to that as the proud owner of handmade frames I bought a couple of years ago when I needed to replace my old ones. I went to the Bond street shop and the staff was fantastic. I was able to take my time trying on different shapes and colors, making the whole process rather playful while not feeling pushed into making a quick decision I might regret later. To this day I love wearing the ones I chose.
Today Selima has a total of four shops in New York City alone: the original one is Soho, one in Noho (on Bond Street which now boasts a cafe at the back of the store), one in the West Village and one on Madison on the upper east side. But it does not stop here, and if you find yourself in Paris you can visit Selima in either Le Marais or on Place des Vosges where she also has two shops. Lastly if you happen to travel to the west coast you can find another Selima outpost in Santa Monica.
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1. What do you love most about your job?
The social aspect; I love meeting wonderful new customers.
2. If you did not live in New York where would you live and why?
It would have to be Paris; it is my all-time favorite city. I love everything from the food to the fashion to the architecture. It is a magical place, and much of who I am as a designer comes out of my time spent in Paris.
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
I love to play with my animals: Giovanni, Gigolo and Salsa are my three rescued dogs, and I have two rescued cats as well, Napoleon and Josephine. I LOVE to discover a new city each year. I wish I could do more but I do not have enough time.
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
Traveling to the beaches of Tunisia with my family.
5. What is your favorite holiday destination and why?
It is usually so cold in New York for the holidays, so I love to travel anywhere on the beach where it is warm and tropical.
6. Book or e-reader? Why and what are you currently reading?
Books definitely; I love to collect them as well as read them. I generally read more than one book at a time, but at the moment I am re-reading one of my favorites: First Love by Ivan Turgenev.
7. Which social media platform do you use and how did they impact your business?
We use Twitter and Facebook mostly. It’s the fastest way for our clients to know what is currently happening at Selima Optique. I think social media in general has allowed a bigger audience for our brand.
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
True luxury for me today, and at any time really, is craftsmanship and classic design. Something that will last a lifetime.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
My two children Theo & Zoe; I would not be where I am today without them.
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