Alain Mikli

By









NEW YORK—For Alain Mikli (http://www.mikli.com/desktop.php), finding art inspiration was as simple as looking down the street. The company’s two New York boutiques incorporated art from nearby Madison Avenue galleries into window displays.



SOPHIE RAUBIET



Mikli’s red frames match Hugh Millard’s paintings for a Madison Avenue window display.
“The idea is to attract more customers or even more awareness of the brand,” explained Sophie Raubiet, vice president of U.S. retail for Alain Mikli boutiques. While most people, she noted, usually only notice an eyeglass store when they need glasses, Mikli’s group tries to stand out. “We’re trying to make them turn their heads toward our window in a way that they wouldn’t do if we only had eyeglasses in the window. We want customers to notice us in an unexpected way and attract a clientele that we never did before,” she said.

Raubiet added that the company uses the eye-popping windows not only to lure in passersby but also educate them about Alain Mikli frames. “Once inside, they look around and see glasses and we can make them aware of what we do. It’s about branding more than marketing,” she explained.



Pierre-Henry Guerard’s creations accessorized with Alain Mikli frames.
More recently, Alain Mikli’s art focus has expanded to its New Jersey location (their third in the U.S.), where The Mall at Short Hills also houses several art galleries.

For now, each boutique does an art collaboration every six months and keeps the window display up for a month after the opening night party. “You always want something going on in your store,” Raubiet said.

Raubiet pointed out Alain Mikli’s long-term collaborations with a range of designers and creators. In the past, Alain Mikli teamed with Hugh Millard, whose paintings were used to showcase Alain Mikli’s red frames, and Pierre-Henry Guerard, who supplied ceramic sculptures of heads on which Alain Mikli frames were displayed.