{Industry Insider-Julia Gogosha-Clark}

We’ve had the pleasure of working/playing with Julia Gogosha Clark for the past four years so it was a no brainer that she would be first up in our new feature of Industry Insider. As the Owner and Operator of Gogosha Optique in Los Angeles, CA since 2008 and an industry veteran, we couldn’t wait to pick her brain on everything from where eyewear has been to where it’s going and of course we asked what her favorite frame was. {Hint-If you know her you won’t be surprised by her answer} Here we go…..

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1. Tell us about the young precocious Julia who wore glasses

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was five years old. From the ages of 5 to 13, I always had two pairs of glasses at the same time. They were 2 for $100 from the mall chain store d’jour, and both pairs were equally hideous. I took them off every opportunity I could.

I was 14 years old when I found the first a pair of glasses that I liked, or they found me…they might as well have had a halo of light surrounding them. It was like the entire trajectory of my life had changed. I discovered that the medical device perched upon my nose is now also a tool of expression that truly represented me. It’s a transformative experience based in authenticity.

2. What is your background in the eyewear industry?

At 18, I began apprenticing for a local eye doctor in the prestigious neighborhood of Birmingham, MI where I fell in love with every facet of the “industry” and absorbed information and knowledge like a sponge; I wanted to learn as much as I could. Dr. Koppin taught me about fittings and the nuance of service.  Within six months, I was going to New York on buying trips to develop relationships with designers to curate collections.

Now, almost two decades later, I’ve attended more than 50 optical shows, as a seller, buyer and speaker. I’ve lived in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles, working 10 years as what the industry refers to as a “road warrior”.  I traveled 100,000+ miles a year, mainly by car for 10 years representing designers I believed in, establishing and developing partnerships with the highest caliber of optical boutiques in the North America for companies DITA, SELIMA, ANNE et VALENTIN, THEO, KIRK ORIGIANLS and OLIVER + CLAIRE GOLDMITH.

Each of these experiences have a cumulative impact on how I work today.  I’ve spent half my life listening and reading people’s self expression through gestures as well as speech.  If you pay attention, you know exactly what someone is trying to say.  It’s my job to be a reflection of them, a sounding board, council, and a style Sherpa.

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3. What do you find most inspiring about the industry?

It’s multi-facetedness, Is that a word? Equal parts analogue, digital, commerce, design, humanity and technology.  It’s ever changing, ever evolving, but the core values remain the same.  Every day I learn something new that aids me in being better the next.

4. How has the industry changed since you began?

The Fundamentals never change, but the method by which the world communicates and gathers information has changed permanently.  The industry is constantly evolving and adapting.  At the heart, the industry as a whole is an extension of a medical field, while I have always chosen to champion and advocate the creative sector of the eyewear industry.  More and more young opticians are entering the scene making the independents more visible to the bespectacled pubic.

5. What factors do you consider when selecting brands for Gogosha?

There are so many wonderful frames on the market, but very few brands that share the same values as GOGOSHA.  It is no longer enough to have nice designs.  A personal point of view, flawlessly executed with quality materials, effective communication of the brand and it’s message and a standard of service the compliments our own.  These values make for the perfect partnerships between the brands we chose to carry and the store brand.

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6. How do you pick the perfect pair for a client?

Having a “palate” of frames to chose from for the client’s individual needs, wants and desires.  First we must listen and observe.  Then we work with the composition of the client’s features and narrow down frames based on their aesthetic.

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7. What do you love most about frames?

They are an extension of self, not only to see clearly, but to express yourself with intention.  A wardrobe of frames is more important than your actual wardrobe.  An expressive or classic frame can make a statement when just wearing jeans and a white T.

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8. What is currently inspiring you sartorially?

The glorious women of the world who make style choices that speak to who they are.                Past, Present and Future.

9. I know better than to ask you if you have a favorite pair, so do you have a current pair in heavy rotation or is it different every single day?

Current rotation includes sunglasses by vintage acetate frames from Ahlem and Thierry Lasry to sexy kitten shades by Graz and spy-vs-spy inspired Mykita, optical frames range from Rapp ltd in one-of-a-kind colors, my go-to classic SALT frames, asymmetric vintage Theo eyewitness, minimalist Mykita etc… I usually rotate 30 pairs at a time or so, with 10 or so being the of the moment favorites.

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10. What are you most looking forward to in frames and fashion for 2015?

Choice Choice Choice.  The only rule is the frames look best when they respect the features and suite the person.  Natural with a surprise is always my favorite.

Huge thank you to Julia for always being so gracious and fantastic. If you are ever in need of frames, go see her at either of her locations.

 3208 1/2 W Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

8238 West 3rd. Street Los Angeles, Ca 90048


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