Where is it?

6 St Ann’s Arcade

St Ann’s Square


M2 7HN

0161 835 2324



Tucked away behind St Ann’s square, Seen is an Aladdin’s cave of independent brand eyewear and more recognisable names alike. Entering the store is like stepping into a glasses wearers’ dream; the walls adorned with brightly coloured, quirky frames stacked next to their more conservative cousins, with everything in between perched in front of their plush candy coloured chairs.

The idea for this venture began life in 2004 in a bar in Perth, when optometrists Tareq and Conor concocted the plan to open their own store in the heart of Manchester, where they were able to put their own vision into practice. Both had grown tired of the lack of customer service offered by other opticians, and decided to start their own client led shop, thus Seen was born.

Seen Opticians Manchester

Co- founder Tareq, maintains their ethos is a simple one: “We understand eyewear and how to get the right frame for the right face, and that’s the key to it”.

Focusing on high quality products the store has gone from strength to strength, recently celebrating its seventh birthday with a plush refit of the store and another employee to help handle its growing reputation.

What does it sell?

Seen stocks a diverse range of products, from the brightly coloured German brand Mykita, to the vintage style Oliver Peoples - a favourite of American Psycho anti-hero Patrick Bateman. Rather than stocking the same as the bigger department stores, Seen has built relationships with a number of designers since opening such as Jason Kirke (who helped to turn their vision into reality) and the intricately designed, family run Theo.

Seen Opticians Manchester

Rather than listing their products online they prefer the more personal touch, regularly updating their long standing customers of their newer brands through email newsletters. They regularly experiment with new designers, letting their customers judge them with everything being chosen by someone in store. This ensures their stock is ever changing, built on what their clients wants, as well as offering long standing brands which include the largest stock of Ray Ban’s in Manchester.

Why go there?

Seen offers a decidedly different approach, being service led and product based and choosing brands based on their ethos. These include a number of handcrafted brands such as the Made in Chelsea favourite Kirk Originals and Dita, whose designs are made from precious metals with exquisite details for those looking for a more unique pair. When entering Seen, it is not only these distinctive and striking designs that stand out, but their stellar customer service, where everyone’s individual needs are catered too whether it’s the friendly or formal approach.


Tareq sees the future of Seen as continued growth, enabling them to be more experimental with their choices of brands with current trends moving towards metal frames. With the new team member, they envision a shift back to service, making every visit a memorable one. With warmer weather fast on the way, the store is also currently stocking up on sunglasses ready for the summer sun rush.

Seen Opticians Manchester


Seen is a welcome break from the high street’s 2-4-1 lead opticians, offering a one to one approach, giving the tardis like shop an edge. The designs at Seen are truly timeless, leaving my own pair rather outshone by their trendier offerings.

While the prices may seem steep at times, it is a case of investing in a good quality, hand crafted pair of glasses to wear with pride. The styles and brands give it the feel of a high end department store section, but the customer service is perhaps the best I, as a glasses wearer, have ever experienced in an optician.

That said my other experiences have included being chased round a well-known chain store by some elderly shop assistants intent on me buying oddly coloured, outdated, giant specs. But that’s another story. I'll be sticking with Seen from now on.

Follow Alex on Twitter @lexypike