If eyes are the windows to one’s soul, choosing the right shades to represent your personal style come with heavy responsibility. Enter Karina Leigh. The owner of luxe eyewear boutique C By Karina in Beverly Hills, California has more than 20-years in the business of buying and styling some of Hollywood’s most paparazzied eyes (Kanye West, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Hillary Duff and Nicole Ritchie to name a few). And after Lady Holiday met with the stylish babe, we’re calling Karina your go-to girl for the perfect pair. cont’d…
“I never wore glasses, but I learned everything about them,” says the down to earth darling who went to school to be an optician. Her first pair of sunglasses came from her father at 12-years-old (who she also credits as her mentor who taught her that above all, patience and positivity pays off)—“They were antique gold round Gaultier’s—they’d actually be totally in right now,” she exclaims. And as for her grown-up style? “I see my self as a vision of Coco Chanel meets California girl.” Which explains why her most cherished items in her closet are her Chanel Classic 2.5 jumbo purse and Mother jeans.
Karina’s haute boutique on Beverly Drive fills eyewear prescriptions and stocks all the top lines: Linda Farrow—her own eponymous line and her exclusive collabos with design luminaries including, Alexander Wang, The Row, Oscar de la Renta and Kris Van Assche. She’s picky about hand selecting runway picks from Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Alexander McQueen. She also offers local L.A. designer, Benjamin Eyewear, Oliver Peoples, up-and-coming Garret Leight (son of the founder of Oliver Peoples), Thom Browne, Barton Perreira and Persols. She’s one of two retailers of Lancier (as in Land-Sea-Air), a super high-end men’s eyewear line for the man who has everything. Then there’s her very own line, C by Karina and an all-star collection of hard-to-find, never worn vintage. Perhaps her most covetable pair is an Alpina black and gold oversized aviator-style from the ’70s. But, she can hunt down any vintage frame you want thanks to a Rolodex of very connected collectors around the globe—just ask Kanye who turned to Karina to help him track down a special pair of Cazal’s for the Grammy’s.
What we found so alluring about Karina’s style is how approachable she is—“First and foremost I’m most passionate about being the best mother I can be. Then bringing my clients the best of the best in eyewear. If you have confidence you can pull anything off and I’m here to help facilitate that,” she says. And she’s good! Lady Holiday walked out the door confident in her special ordered pair of Linda Farrow’s snakeskin sunglasses in white, $795, (which is also C By Karina’s “Shades of Summer Poolside At The Resort” ladies pick) and Mr. took home a pair of vintage Mod 867 Cazal’s with transparent and pink frames and blue gradient lenses, $575, that beckon compliments everywhere he goes. He loves them so much he can’t wait for her upcoming vintage trunk show (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details), which he’s already requested first pick on the coveted Alpina’s.
Photography by Aaron R. Thomas.
C By Karina’s Shades Of Summer: Top Summer Holiday Eyewear Picks For Men & Women
Poolside At The Resort
Hers: Linda Farrow brown snakeskin sunglasses, $795.
His: Lancier gold sunglasses, $1,200.
The Urban Weekender
Hers: Linda Farrow for The Row tortoise sunglasses with leather detail, $459.
His: Garrett Leight X Thierry Lasry limited edition round sunglasses with white clip, $485.
The Jaunt To Paris
Hers: Dita tortoise cat eye sunglasses, $350.
His: Thom Browne sunglasses with side shields, $1,000.
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