St Albans optician designs and creates glasses range for jazz legend

Robert Roope.

Robert Roope.

First published in St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An optician who has been based in St Albans for 32 years is delighted to have designed and created a glasses range for 'one of the greatest saxophonist’s in Europe.'

Robert Roope, who owns Robert Roope opticians in George Street, designed the range in dedication to jazz musician Courtney Pine.

Courtney Pine had been playing down the road from the opticians when he heard about Robert’s Black Eyewear range on the radio and decided to look online and then later visit.

On his first visit, Courtney ended up buying two pairs from the range

Being a jazz fan himself, Robert was delighted to design the range.

Robert, 69, said: “I have always dedicated models to jazz musicians so I am very pleased that I had the chance to work with one of the greatest saxophonist’s in Europe.

“I wanted to design a pair of glasses that would suit Courtney and approached Courtney to see if he was interested.

“I am delighted to say he loves them.”

Robert has now designed the ‘Courtney Pine’ range which bears the musician’s signature and Courtney will be wearing them on the back cover of his album, House of Legends.

Courtney said: “When I looked on the website I knew I had to go and meet Robert, find out more about what he does and try the frames.

“I realised he was a huge jazz fan and when I visited we ended up talking for hours – that’s what happens when jazz people get together.

"We had so much in common.

“Until I came across Black Eyewear, I was always a ‘shy’ glasses wearer, wanting them to look invisible, but as soon as I saw Robert’s frames I didn’t want them to be, I wanted something really unique as well as fashionable - not wear just another ‘Clark Kent’ style.

“And Robert’s designs pay respect to the frames he makes, as we pay respect to our music.”

“I tried five or six frames but refused all of them, but then Robert put his hand in his pocket and and pulled out the pair.

“They are so different, so unique.

“When I put them on we both smiled at the same time and knew exactly they were the way to go and I definitely knew that I wanted to wear them on the album.”

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