Ghent, Belgium

Loft

When asked about their distinctive strength, the Loft team proudly refers to its powerful portfolio of young, creative designers and their unique, handmade prescription glasses and sunglasses. This in combination with a personal and laid-back approach is the recipe for success in this ambitious Ghent-based store. 

EXPLORE COLLECTION

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The Boutique

With his mother being an optometrist, Loft owner Tom Buysse was rather likely to take a step in the same direction. The idea of founding an optic boutique started as an inside joke between him and his co-worker Lisa, whom he became friends with during his optometry studies in Brussels. Since the opening of the store at the beginning of 2016, the two have developed a knack for treating clients in a relaxed yet respectful manner, always taking the time to sit down at the table and truly get to know their customer. Not having a prominent counter in their store has been a deliberate choice, as they wish to create a homey atmosphere rather than a commercial one. 

Henegouwenstraat 89, 9000 Gent. 
Tue - Sat: 10.00 - 18.00.
People are often apprehensive about buying an artistic pair of glasses because they believe they will get tired of it. The truth is if you buy something rather boring, you will soon feel the need to replace it with something new and interesting. 

The Team

How do you guide a client in choosing the pair of glasses that truly suits them? 
First and foremost, we invite them to sit down with us and enjoy a glass of fresh lemonade or a cup of coffee. In the meantime, we explain our general concept during a short introduction. We rarely ask a client what type of glasses they are looking for. Instead, we show them a selection of five or six pairs in different styles which they can try on. With a dedicated camera, we photograph the client while she or he tries on the different pairs. Afterwards, they can compare all of them on screen and eliminate certain styles. During this whole process, we ask several questions about the client's personal dress code. Is their current outfit a reflection of how they are generally dressed? Do they wear a lot of jewellery? What's their profession? It all goes far beyond just telling them which pair looks good and which pair doesn't. 

Could you tell us about the selection of designers you are working with? 

At Loft, we are very set on offering designs that are uncommon and exclusive, we're simply not attracted to products that are being distributed in large numbers. Which is why we partnered with five key designers who are purely focused on designing handmade eyewear. Every one of those artists has a specific identity. We have Mykita, a Berlin brand that is slightly hipster but in the most refined way, and on the other hand there's Anne & Valentin which is rather artsy with an edge. It may be hard to believe, but none of them really care that much about trends. Clients are often still complimented on glasses they have already been wearing for two years, this proves that despite their characteristic look, our products are timeless. 
What's your perspective on the evolution of 3D-printed eyewear? 
We are keeping an eye on a project that allows you to have a 3D scan made of your face and print a fitted pair of glasses, a great solution for people with atypical features. As far as the creative design of 3D-printed eyewear goes, an aspect of great importance to us, the possibilities are still limited. Male clients are often intrigued by the technical side of a 3D-printed pair, but women usually attach more value to the uniqueness of a design. Nonetheless, it's an interesting evolution that is yet to be continued. 

What does the future entail for Loft? 
We are an ambitious team. Once we feel assured that Loft has reached its full potential, we have the intention to open other stores in widespread locations. On the condition that we stay true to our core values and don't get ahead of ourselves. We would never allow the human side to get lost in our business. As Lisa and I are here nearly every day, clients are getting to know us and we get to know them. You can't risk having a client visit the store a couple of times and stumbling upon a different face every time. If a customer returns after a year, regardless of whether or not they bought something, we must be able to recognise them and remember which glasses they liked. If I were a client myself, that's exactly how I would like to be treated. 

The Boutique Collection


See the highlights and curated key pieces from Loft's collections
The boutique