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"I'm just a kid from Baltimore who got a pair of Porshe's, and then became obsessed with sunglasses," says Davon Ford, creative director and sales manager of True Vintage Miami, a brand spankin' new vintage eyewear store on Washington Avenue. "I started with one frame and next thing I know I've purchased almost 1000 frames at this point."
True Vintage opened just last Thursday, and joins the handful of stores that are helping to turn around the retail rep of one of Miami's most touristy streets. Inside you'll find over 500 different vintage frames from the 1950s through the early 1990s, before, as Davon puts it, "the mass exodus of [eyewear] designers when they went from [manufacturing in] Europe and the Americas to doing things mainly in China and the downfall of quality."
There are vintage frames from well known designers like Gucci, Ralph Lauren, YSL, and Chanel, and then there are also the kinds of brands that would get a true eyewear aficionado's heart racing, like Alpina, Killy, Persol, and even Julio Iglesias. (Yep, the Spanish singer had his own brand back in the 80s).
The store is small, but has the look and feel of an art gallery, with a massive dotted eye mural disrupted by cubbies with frames on display. Prices can range from $250 all the way up to $1500 for rarities and shades you may not find at other eyewear stores in town. It's situated on a part of Washington Ave. with minimal traffic, a strategic move that allows you to stop, peep through the window, and possibly stroll inside.