Visual Stylists Fit Frames at Les Branchés Lunetterie

(Fitting Frames, Second in a Series)
By Paddy Kamen

How many opera singers also fit frames? Soprano Anne-Marie Faniel is one of a kind and, along with her husband and business partner Patrick Bolduc (optician), she has built a chain of three stores in Quebec under the name Les Branchés Lunetterie, in St-Jérôme, Montreal and Old Quebec City. The starting point of the stores’ philosophy is to offer the lowest possible prices on designer frames, along with high quality lenses sold at honest markups, says Faniel.


Beyond maintaining a stylish image as a professional singer, Faniel also worked as a hairstyling and makeup artist for television and magazines while training as a classical singer at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal from 1985 to 1992. She has brought all her artistic gifts to bear in the visual styling essential for proper frame fitting. “Above all, I want my clients to be fully aware of their unique beauty,” she says.

Because Faniel is also committed to her career in opera, she trained other visual stylists to work with clients, always keeping in mind her key principles of metamorphosis and aesthetics. “Every face is unique and can be enhanced with eyewear. We work with hair colour, skin tone, eye colour and facial features. I firmly believe that everyone can be as beautiful, colourful, funky and stylish as they want to be, no matter their age, gender or the style they embodied in the past. Everyone has the right to look stunning!”

In addition to carrying the latest trendy frame stylings from around the globe, Faniel has also created her own eponymous collection. These too, are unique, as she explains: “I began to design frames a long time ago but I wasn’t able to find a manufacturer who would work with recycled materials and cotton acetate until 2008. That’s when Faniel eyewear – my artistic, ecological and hand-made collection – was born. We premiered our unique collection at Silmo 2010 and it continues to grow. We are selling them exclusively in our own stores in Quebec but we’re happy to distribute them in other provinces.”

Faniel and her staff aim for highly personalized service, wanting every customer to have an experience unlike any they have previously had in an optical shop. “Human, honest, personalized service is an essential part of the experience,” she notes. “I want our customers to realize the look they truly want, deep inside, beyond all past judgments they may have had about themselves. When they leave our stores, I want them to feel proud of their glasses and of their unique beauty.”

As for Faniel’s singing career, it is still going full force. She recently released a new album – Vincerò – with songs written expressly for her by Quebec producer-arranger Marc Provençal. Faniel will tour globally to promote the album, with a Montreal concert scheduled for November 30. Arguably the most artistic optical professional in Canada, Faniel gives of her creativity to her art and her clients equally.