Global Partners: Tetsuya Okada, A Journey from Banking to Optical

Global Partners: Tetsuya Okada, A Journey from Banking to Optical

Tetsuya Okada is the founder and owner of popular eyewear shop GLOBE SPECS. After college, Okada worked in a large bank but then transferred into the optical retail business, where his company grew immensely. At the MIDO exhibition, the world’s largest optical trade fair held annually in Milan, he earned the “Best Store Award” in the world for optics for 2 consecutive years in 2017 and 2018. In 2020, Okada had 2 stores in Tokyo and an incoming branch in Kyoto.

GLOBE SPECS not only serves as an agent company for 40 Japanese and global optical brands, but has partnered with LA LOOP for over a decade. Okada’s store is the wonderland for anyone who wants glasses or sunglasses, regardless of age or profession.

Below is a short interview we conducted with Tetsuya Okada on his experience in the fashion industry and partnership with LA LOOP:


Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in the eyewear industry in Japan?


Since my whole family was engaged in rather a firm side of work, I also considered should be on that side and started my career in a major banking company after graduating the college. But this certainly wasn’t the right decision as you can simply imagine. Definitely, I was more interested in fashion but I did not feel like going into real fashion business probably because of my family tradition. So I was wishing to combine fashion and very firm side of work in possible way, and considered eyewear industry might become such occupation in the future, which was totally uncertain when I entered the industry in 1982. But I did decided to enter this world and decided to make the eyewear industry as the part low fashion industry sometime in the future.

What drew you to eyewear?


Not really. I was probably more into to clothing business, but it was not possible for me to choose clothing as my occupation when I was young, as I mentioned above. I’ve chosen eyewear industry as my occupation than my favorite fashion accessory.

How would you describe your customers?


Everybody.


Pre-covid I know you traveled extensively to work with designers and find products for your stores in Japan. How has this period of non-traveling impacted you?


Being not possible to travel abroad certainly restricts my view and creative mind to seek for excitements for my clients. I am very eager to go outside of Japan as soon as I’m vaccinated and be ready to become International again.


What have you learned during the last 15 months?


I now know how important it is to visit various cities all around the world and also as to receive all the stimuli from creative people in living in different countries. On the other hand, COVID periled had made me aware some things we were taking if for granted was actually not so necessary. So it was a good opportunity to reset our state of mind to more appropriate direction as well.

How do you enjoy spending your time when you are not working?


I enjoy playing tennis and I love to meet interesting people in various fields. 

How would you describe your style?


Progressive classic.

 

Tetsuya is wearing the Antique Silver Box Chain