Illesteva is an eyewear brand with a Toronto flagship. Most of what’s on offer here is for sun with no prescription, but there’s a decent selection of optical wear as well. As well, they offer other handmade accessories like bags and umbrellas.
All glasses are designed in New York and handmade in Italy using hand-mixed custom acetate, which means no two frames are exactly alike. The brand began out of a desire for classic eyewear that had a vintage appeal but fashion-forward style.
The space follows through on an ultra-cool vibe, very minimal and simple. Clearly demarcated sections of styles, which have names like “Rudy” and “Leonard.”A back area one day hopes to play host to a sort of back patio where customers can try on sunglasses in natural sunlight.
Celebs are often spotted wearing these frames and even occasionally collab on designs.
Sunglasses run around $245 - $410. The “Milan” design is their second most popular (behind the Leonard), which at $410 comes in black, tortoise, and white tortoise. The nose bridge actually varies in width on different designs for a slightly larger or narrower look.
Leonard “mask” sunglasses ($260) take the front silhouette of the Leonard design and turn it into the entire lens made up of just one piece of material. These babies come in rose, red, green, royal blue, yellow, brown...the list goes on.
The “Leonard II” ($395) is a slight tweak on the original Leonard design, chunkier and larger overall.
Lenses, frames and arms can always be swapped to customize your perfect look to suit your face and style.
You can go for something mirrored and colourful, or something more timeless, and the same goes for frames ranging from tortoiseshell to funky colours like yellow and purple.
Appropriately named “Boca” frames ($300) are even more eccentric, something I imagine whimsically picking up before a warm vacation.
Exemplifying the constantly up-to-date nature of the store, another style of Bocas comes with metal arms instead of acetate, playing with proportion even more and breaking up the chunkiness of this frame.
Even more out there are the Porto Cervo sunglasses ($260), which really help you achieve that vintage hippie look.
Following the name trend this all-leather backpack ($750) is called Charlie and features a unique splatter pattern.
Shoulder bags ($570) mostly come in neutral colours: white, black, creams and pinks.
They even have fanny packs ($240) in leather with an easy-open toggle and cute fringe.
The helpful staff, airy interior and oodles of drool-worthy sunglasses make this a great stop on a West Queen West shopping trip. Not to mention, like shoes, sunglasses always fit.