Zak., the new brand that changes how to look at medical eye care and eyewear.
In most eyewear consumers, if not for an eye prescription, all they look for are merely sunglasses. That’s it. Medical eye care is often overlooked or pushed aside. Most of us don’t see the effects of technological advancements to eye fatigue and eye strain due to increased screen time on digital devices. This is the reason why we push off medical eye exams and labs and focus on the more pressing issue which is to just get prescription glasses as fast as possible. This is mainly because going to labs, having an optometrist check, and getting eyewear all at the same time could be a daunting process.
Luckily, Zak. is changing all of that. Over dinner a couple of years ago, the idea of Zak came into view when Dr. Zakheim and his daughter Kyly Zak Rabin were discussing the prevailing demand for a one-stop place for medical eye care and fashionable eyewear. “As we brainstormed, it became clear that the disconnect between affordable and luxury frames was not the only area of fragmentation,” Rabin says. “Given the varying eye-care services, eyewear product options, and lab turnaround times, a person typically gets an exam at one place, glasses from another, contact lenses from yet a third provider or online, and their more ‘unique’ frames from somewhere else. The antiquated optometric model doesn’t seamlessly marry medical, retail, and the modern consumer.”
Launching their first location at Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, Zak provides complete eye care and eyewear experience to its clients. From prescriptions, eye exams, affordable eyewear, to fashionable high-end eyewear brands like Yuichi Toyama and Native sons, they got you all covered. Zak, an optometry center and eyewear shop welcomes its customers with its cool, modern fixtures and natural wood paneling. Its decor and ambiance are designed to contradict the traditional depressing gray walls and fluorescent lighting of your average big-box optometrist.
As customers walk inside, fresh carrot juice is offered to accompany you while browsing the selection of spectacles, which includes top of the line brands and Zak’s affordable in-house line, which they call “the white T-shirt of eyewear.” They offer three frame and lens color options in six simply named shapes: the Really Round, the Round, the Square, the Rectangle, the Cat, and the Pilot. Aside from the eyewear they offer, they can also provide you your contact lens needs as well as insurance-backed eye exams like digital retinal imaging, glaucoma screenings, and cataract screenings. Rabin also adds, “Theoretically, you can come in for an eye exam, get fit with contact lenses, and have glasses made in about an hour since we stock a number of prescription lenses in-store.”
Having worked in the start-up world before launching Zak in August of 2018, Rabin focuses on appealing a higher percentage of millennial consumers. “Many people don’t understand or value the medical necessity of an eye exam,” Rabin says. “It’s not just a function of how clearly we see. An annual eye exam can often detect systemic diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or even neurological or auto-immune conditions that don’t necessarily present symptoms.”
What Rabin’s father experienced years ago of detecting a brain tumor and diabetes over just a regular eye exam was enlightening for Rabin. Rabin’s father told her how the irregularities in a simple routine eye exam he notices saved a patient’s life. She is also quick to point out that in this present time, our eyes are more subject to fatigue and strain caused by irregular sleep patterns affected by our tech devices. At the present moment, as Rabin puts it, “If you track your daily steps, get acupuncture, or practice yoga, why wouldn’t you pay more attention to your eyes?”