Meet the humans we’ve crossed paths with in Brussels and beyond, the kind of encounters that help us get out of bed every morning. 63 portraits of 71 people and their 71 pairs of glasses. Do the math, all together it makes 142

EYES

Zoe and Naser

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Zoe and Naser, are both collectors in their own way. Self-confessed hoarder Zoe used to love going to summer flea markets with her mum when she was young, and since she now works as a set decorator and prop buyer, she can get paid for her finds.

Naser adds some minimalism to their partnership. He likes living with as little as possible, but as a photographer he loves to pick up various different cameras to experiment with. For Zoe’s latest project,  where she curates and sells ‘wonky’ second-hand clothing, his clean photography helps soften the chaos.

You’ll find them in Parc Josaphat, for its magical trees and perfectly constructed romanticism...

GLASSES

Model Securista ASS. / Saphira 4302
Period 1970s
Manufacturer n/a / Optyl
Digging Type on site (distributor) / closed-down optician

Lea

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Like any self-respecting Saint-Gilles dweller, in normal times, you'd be sure to bump into Léa (1994, Saint-Germain en Laye) at Le Flora . She first heard of Bidules on game night, whilst cheering for Royal Union Saint-Gilloise - oh, how we miss those nights with friends and chance encounters.

The first pair of frames she chose from the store were the Bourgeois 2045 (1990s, Morbier), which she lost, coming back to pick up two more pairs - in prescription and sunnies. As here with her L’Amy (1980s, Morez).

Ow, since we are here, any chance you've spotted this custom bike around town? We heard it's also gone missing. Help a girl out.

GLASSES

Model 2045
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Tuur

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Hybrid architect, Tuur popped into Bidules after seeing Roger Raveel's retrospective exhibition at BOZAR just across the road. His Selecta mod. Jack (USA), 1960s frames are a total match - and even though they’re his first pair of glasses, he's rooting for a lifetime of companionship.

With a background in architectural studies, he’s often intrigued by objects that combine functionality with aesthetics (that sounds familiar!). In the unlikely scenario that his apartment were on fire, you'd find him running outside with his 'Il Conico' water kettle from the Italian post-modernist architect Aldo Ross! On second thought, it would probably be more useful to extinguish the flames...

He grew up in a small rural village in the Flemish Region - so he’s proud of the life he’s carved out in Brussels. You’re sure to bump into him in RILE the avant-garde book store, or FIRMA, a co-working space he works from for young creatives and designers.

Next time you swing by the store, he also recommends checking out the side entrance of the Ravenstein Gallery to the right of us - it has some beautiful ceiling frescos.

GLASSES

Model Jack
Period 1960s
Manufacturer Selecta
Digging Type Trough a fixer

Sophie

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Sophie dropped by the store after spotting us on her way to get tattooed (s/o STIB), and we’re so glad she did - the sixties curves of these acetate Lafont Symphonie (Morez, 1990s) are the perfect fit to her joyful smile.

Always one to be a little different - she loves to collect vintage or exotic fabrics, and remembers her mother telling her that people in the past were wearing the same old things as we do now... 😎

A lover of Ixelles, you’ll find her picking up some good advice along with her cheese at Declerc Delicatesse, or strolling down Chaussée d'Ixelles on their way to/from O'Roots, best syrian food in town!

GLASSES

Model Symphonie
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Lafont
Digging Type door-to-door

Josse

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Software Developer Josse (1994, Leuven) has a passion for fashion - and living in Brussels, he swears by the ‘hipster holy trinity’ - Cinematek for movies, the Brasserie Verschueren
for drinks and of course, the flea market at Jeu de Balles. It’s a goldmine. You’ll find him obsessively on the lookout for garments of the past - from wide 70s graphic ties, to even wider flared trousers and kitschy cufflinks. He’s taking a sewing course, hoping to do more tailoring, and is super proud of the outrageously wide, seventies-inspired ‘Northern Soul’ trousers he made.

Having always been a little embarrassed of his glasses when he was younger, he now sees his OWP as a major privilege to have an extra accessory. Though it’s not always so convenient - once, his glasses fell off in the middle of a crowded dance floor, and facing the choice of either spending the rest of the night as a blind man or grabbing them back from the floor as fast as he possibly could - which is quite a challenge when deprived of your eyesight - Josse chose of course the latter.

GLASSES

Model 7233
Period 1980s
Manufacturer OWP
Digging Type N/A

David

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David (1988, San Antonio, TX), is an artist based in Brussels and Amsterdam. From saunas inside a Fiat Multipla, to air filtering NASA plants, his installations combine performance, sculpture and writing, telling stories through objects.

He spent a lot of time talking with us at the shop, he was curious, we were curious, you know how it goes. With that hat, we knew we needed to find him something a little bit different, and a little bit sassy - like these transparent pink acetate pantos from the 1950s (Jura, FR).

Later, he told us he'd made a sculpture to hold his glasses whilst he sleeps. We've never seen it, but we love his fanaticism for small objects, of course

GLASSES

Model Unnamed Pantos
Period c.a 1950
Manufacturer Unknown
Digging Type Kinda door-to-door

Hugo

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Hugo (1993, Beauvais) first came to us wanting some glasses that were less noticeable and smaller than the ones he had. Ok then.

After a few discussions (where we attentively watched our tongues), we eventually introduced the speech therapist to these light Kinto 2000 made in Belgium in the early... 2000s.
Luckily for us he didn't need any more words - as soon as he put them on it was a perfect match.

Later, he confessed to us that these glasses are actually so discreet that often he can’t find them. Not guilty!

GLASSES

Model KINTO 2000
Period Early 2000s
Manufacturer Netoptic
Digging Type On-spot

Julien

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Julien takes his glasses very seriously - like these Opaline 5046s, made by our homies at Netoptic (Lot - BE) in the 1980s. The illustrator discovered Bidules on his way downtown to pick up art supplies downtown.

Despite living in Elsene for almost a decade, there’s still something about his old neighborhood’s football team RWDM that moves him. Just like us, he loves to geek out - but instead of frames, for him it’s collecting memorabilia and vintage football shirts.

When the restrictions relax, you’re sure to find him in Sint-Gillis, at Nuovo Brussels , his favourite italian restaurant or at Le Dillens . Oh, and his friends built a brewery together - so you’ll also find him at their bar for top notch craft beer at L'Ermitage.  

GLASSES

Model 5046
Period 1980s
Manufacturer Neoptic
Digging Type On-spot

Jordan

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No, these frames aren’t just for Jordan’s look - he’s been wearing glasses since he was seven. It may have taken him a while to embrace his style as a teenager and find the right frames, especially when it came to the opposite sex, but he soon found his flex.
A trainee tattooist studying graphic design, he launched his TRYBAL tattoo project earlier this year, practically overnight. He creates hand-poked or machine tattoos - take a look at his recent Ghibli anime flash.
When he swings by the store his style is edgy yet clean, he likes to push the boundaries of the vintage pieces he wears in a way that deflects from their main purpose. A few of his friends recommended Bidules thanks to its DNA.
On this shot by Victor Pattyn Jordan wears his Welt Pantos, made by Castellani (Dommege di Cadore, circa 1980).

GLASSES

Model Welt
Period 1970s
Manufacturer Castellani
Digging Type on-spot

Fanny

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Co-owner of Chez Richard on Place du Sablon, Fanny (1990, Uccle) discovered Bidules through a foodie friend (Chez Franz we see you!).

She’s worn glasses since she was ten, and finds it amazing that friends she sees everyday often don’t recognise her without her frames on! Funnily enough, she loves it when people say they prefer her with glasses. So do we, so do we.

When she’s not at the restaurant, during the warn days, you’ll find Fanny taking a nap or having a picnic in Tenbosh Park in the sun. If you see her around, remind her to take good care of her bicolor 1990s L'Amy (Morez) and that we can't wait to hit the terrasse again.

GLASSES

Model Lizon
Period 1980s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type Kinda door-to-door

Louise

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Louise (Blois, 1984) is a huge collector. Or maybe we should say hoarder. It’s probably in her blood - since she took over her father’s (still growing) matchbox collection when she was just a kid. Over the years, she’s built up collections of phone cards, plastic bags, toothbrushes, key rings, keys, glasses, cat's whiskers, frozen insects, stone rocks, shells...

Well, we can’t judge her for collecting glasses now, can we? Back when we were hiding in our Anderlecht lab she was super curious about Bidules so she came by to find out more about our trips and glasses. We’re sure we owe her a lot for spreading the word with our good old stickers.

Louise's worn glasses since the age of 8 - think François Derome's slightly oval glasses, with green and purple spots, it was the 90s!- and remembers being super proud to show her (albeit, uninterested) friends.

Her frames are now as much a part of her as anything - when she first started dating her boyfriend and thought she’d try contacts, he didn’t even recognise her, and suddenly backed away when she tried to kiss him, thinking he was facing a very enterprising stranger!

On a sunny day, you’ll find her in the lush and quiet medicinal plant garden of the Maison d'Erasme, or in Parc de la Pede, Nerpeede Valley, where she spent her lockdown. Dreamy.

GLASSES

Model Selecta
Period Sextette
Manufacturer E.Koch
Digging Type Through a fixer

Jules

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Chef, winemaker and anti-sulphite dealer, Jules (1989, Burgundy) is sustainable af. He’s currently studying self-sufficiency in farming and winemaking, and last time we met he could'nt help speaking about his friends at Usages Vtmnts, creating unisex local ethic handcrafted clothes.

He’s been wearing glasses since he was a kid, but his last frames met a grisly end. On a three-day hike, he crouched down to admire a flower and had so much suncream on that his glasses slid off his nose, and he ended up crushing them with his giant walking boots. There were still two days left of the hike, so he had no chance of enjoying the views...

Jules is always on the lookout for cool humans and (food-related) deep conversations, so we’re sure you’d get on just fine. 

GLASSES

Model 7002
Period Late 1980s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A
Digging Type On-spot

Aisha

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If you don't recognise Aisha (1992, Montréal) from her name, maybe her face rings a bell. If not, wait to hear her endearing accent or one of her sets. You got it. She's the one who was behind the deck for our 1 year anniversary party - better known as Gayance.

She's heavily involved in the music scene from Canada to Belgium, whilst embracing her power as a Black woman, working hard to empower others on the fight against injustice and misogynoir.

She came to us looking for glasses that would match her flamboyant personality, "but, y'know, also glasses to help me check out cute dudes from a distance without having to squint". Better be warned.

GLASSES

Model Concorde
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Quentin

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Quentin’s eyes met our NOMAD in the store’s window, and since that fateful moment, we could’ve introduced him to a thousand frames, he wouldn’t have changed his mind.

Love at first sight, they said.

But it was a risky attraction, as this particular NOMAD (early 2000s, Morez) custom isn’t for every face. Luckily for him, it perfectly matched his haircut. Even when he bleached his hair orange.

We swapped them for - 109€ and - his Sint-Gillis top 3 spots :
- Parlor Coffee - 'The best coffee shop, best baristas, best milk foam in town'
- Belladona Bar 'The sexiest place I know.'
- 'Walking Rue Vanderschrick at the end of a summer’s day'

GLASSES

Model NOMAD
Period early 2000s
Manufacturer N/A
Digging Type through a fixer

Maarten

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Let us introduce you to Maarten (1984, Aalst), one of the pillars of Rotor DC , a Brussels-based non-profit firm engaged in promoting and facilitating the reuse of building components as a strategy on the path towards a more resource-efficient materials economy. No surprise then that most of our shop furnitures are Rotor productions. Did you know the partition walls we use as glasses displays previously stood in a meeting room of the mythic De Ligne building designed by Marcel Lambrichs in 1971 ? Now you do (check our Instagram for pictures). When Maarten finally showed up to match his glasses with his convictions, we let him go with a pair of 1970s Welt Pantos, originally handcrafter crafted by Castellani in Domegge Di Cadore (IT). The upcycling circle finally went full.

GLASSES

Model Welt
Period 1970s
Manufacturer Castellani
Digging Type On-spot

Jean-pierre

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Ok, ok...Jean-Pierre (Uccle, 1956) may look a bit stern in this portrait. But you know what they say, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The management consultant told us that the personal project he's most proud of is raising his two (now adult) children. And, he even confessed that the main mission for his rust-colored 1950s reading glasses would be to lead his eyes down the delicious path of a fancy restaurant's wine list.

That makes him way more friendly, doesn't it? Let's hope he's able to treat his frames to a trip out to a restaurant soon.

GLASSES

Model Unnamed
Period 1950s
Manufacturer Unknwon
Digging Type Kinda door-to-door

Nora

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You’ll have to forgive Nora (1992, Strasbourg) for her hatred of glasses as a teen. Well, to be fair, they didn’t quite work with her ‘look’ of greasy hair and braces, and were a little too encouraged by her parents to ever be cool... She came to us seeking a pair of frames a little less like her father’s, and luckily, these days she doesn’t have to ditch them around the corner from her parent’s house anymore. Now she wears her own oval Fidela frames (Morez, late 90s)A fashion design student at La Cambre, she uses style to challenge the contradictions of her personality, balancing religion, female liberation and her Kurdish heritage. As an artist, she embraces the community, and loves to see her friends live out their passions to the full, so she’s given a few to follow : Lucie Vanesse, who opened Madeleine Couture her sewing school in Forest whilst studying her Masters in Art ; Juliette Fuhs architect and scenographer at the environmentally responsible at Atelier Craft in Paris, a creative practice that revolves around art, architecture and design ; Anna Diallo in Berlin who released her first EP Femme Alpha under her artist name Seleminga. Then make sur to check out Hug The Rug, Nora’s 2020 collection.

GLASSES

Model Oval
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Fidela
Digging Type Kinda door-to-door

Arnaud

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We can be pretty sure that every day we’ll see Arnaud (1975, Paris) riding up the street on his bike, risking his life to wave us an energetic hello.

He’s probably the customer we see most - even if it’s just through the window, but this BX1 systems engineer doesn’t collect glasses. For now, he’s stayed faithful to his trusty 60s aluminium Burris Manhattans, half gold-filled and half brushed aluminium.

They're not the kind of treasure you find every day, and not what everyone would dare to wear, but neither is he a guy that'd be afraid of bright and bold lines.

GLASSES

Model Manhattans
Period 1960s
Manufacturer Buris
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

African Diplomat

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It only took us 5 minutes to know we shared at least 3 things with Cedric (1992, Abidjan) : our unconditional love for digging, a connexion with Shungu and a irrepressible excitement when our eyes meet a pair of titanium Bugatti frames produced by ODO (Jura, FR) in the early 2000s. Most known under the guise of African Diplomat, this Brussels based record collector and radio host at Bruzz Radio immediately fell in love with these shading lenses and sharp lines. Fair enough.

GLASSES

Model N/A
Period 2000s
Manufacturer ODO
Digging Type Through a fixer on-site

Benedicte

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After graduating from art school, Benedicte (1990, Rossem) upped sticks to London, carving out her career in fashion publishing. She loves Brussels for its international vibe and the anonymity it brings, and she's now Head of Design at IndianDribble , a creative branding and marketing agency.

Since her whole family inherited pretty 'shitty eyesight' (her words not ours) they're all blessed with multiple pairs of Bidules. The first time she met us she liked our 'no-bullshit attitude' (her words not ours) so much that she left with two pairs. Oh, and she's since picked up another.

We don't love hearing how your last frames met their fateful end, though hers is quite a story - she got caught up in a busy street during a riot in town, and the glasses in her pocket were lost forever. Ouch. It's stories like these that make us realise that we really should've collected up all of the crazy tales we've heard over the years for a cartoon by now.

On this one Benedicte is wearing her FIDELA Laser (1990s, FR)

GLASSES

Model Laser
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Fidela
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Victoria

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Don't be fooled. Behind that casual attitude and her KINTO 8011 frames (80s, Belgium) hides a power woman. Victoria is the co-founder of the Canada-Mathare Education Trust (CMETrust), an entirely volunteer-run charity. Back in 2005, this now marine biologist Pew travelled to Nairobi, Kenya for an internship at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters. She began volunteering in a primary school in Mathare. When she returned to Canada, she asked herself what she could do to continue supporting Mathare’s youth and help them facing the many issues related to poverty and lack of education. After some discussions and reflections, CMETrust was born, providing secondary school scholarships for Kenyan youth since 13 years.

Victoria now runs the business from Belgium and is simultaneously engaged in another battle : trying to raise empathetic, resilient kids. We already met her 6 years-old girl, while she joined her mother for the Nutcracker ballet at BOZAR. All we can say is that she's on the right track to become as strong as her mom.

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8011
Period 80s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type on-site

Vincent and Florian

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How romantic is it to play video games all night long on a comfy couch with your brother, huh? Ok, enough for the cheesy part.⁣⁣

We already knew Vincent as a friend of our former optician, who naturally sent him to the store. While we cooked up this guy with our questions, trying to figure out what kind of frames would suit him best, he gave us a good reason to see him again: Vincent works as an assistant chef at Oldboy. Chances are you already saw him sweating his ass off in the open-kitchen of this South Asian street food Eldorado.⁣

Some family dinners later, he finally convinced his younger brother Florian to come by and take what appeared to be a needed eye-test. For his very first pair of glasses, the 3D designer went for this gold Fidela 739 (Morez, FR - 1990s), different in shape from the KINTO 2004 (Saintes, BE - 2000s) his brother wears, but going together as their grey hoodies do.

GLASSES

Model Fidela 739 / KINTO 2004
Period 1990s / 2000s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR) / Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type N/A / on site

François

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Francois is one of the founders of hushrush, a bike messengers company. It’s all about smart, passionate people who truly know and love Brussels by heart.

François is a glasses rookie, but broke countless sunglasses in bike crashes. No surprise he once entered our store when he was on the road, somewhere between a pick up and a drop off. One day, you’ll probably run into him during on the streets or bicycle path. If you’re lucky though, because this guy is faster than light.

GLASSES

Model Concord
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Dries

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When he first swang by the store, Dries was heading home after a lunch at the BOZAR restaurant. In all honesty, besides his activities for l’Escritoire, it seems like Dries is heading in or out of a restaurant every time we meet. You should hear him talk about wine and deli meats to understand that the guy doesn’t consider the art of the table as laughing matter.

By the way, if you’re ever in the Upper Meuse Valley, go have a drink at the Cerf Vert, the bar he opened on the Dinant Riviera. 

GLASSES

Model Cazal 1xxx
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Cazal
Digging Type some optician old stock

Fedra

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After we crossed Fedra's determined eyes, we weren't that surprised when she explained she was team leader at BOZAR. Therefore she's also the woman next door. As we speak, she isn't working on her PHD in photography but must rather be trying to attract as many birds as possible in her garden. When she came across the shop, she really needed a new pair of glasses to spy them peep into the trees.

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8015
Period mid-1980s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type on site (2014)

Marine

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Marine told us she is used to lose her glasses while dancing in clubs. The thing is that it didn’t happen one time, but three. Each time, she groped in the dark and found the pair back, still in one piece. If you've ever experienced such situation (and you did, didn't you ?) you must know that this girl has luck.⁣

When the graphic designer came to find her new partner in crime, she finally left the shop with our beloved palladium filled Bourgeois. We secretly hope she will love them as much we do to prevent this pair from hitting the dancefloor once again.

GLASSES

Model 4043
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Bourgeois (Morez, FR)
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Stefano

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Stefano is our neighbor, but he’s also the executive chef of the VICTOR Bozar Café. We’re now used to see him come by the shop several times a week during his break, to tell us a story or try on a few pairs of glasses.

One day, he asked us to slow him down on his cravings for glasses, so we asked him to slow us down on our cravings for Orechiette alla Norma. A healthy, neighbourly relationship all in all.

GLASSES

Model 3043
Period 1980s
Manufacturer OWP (W.Germany)
Digging Type ex-distributor

Yaqine

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Story

When Yaqine passed by Bidules, we immediately clicked. And to be honest, we never completely knew if we preferred talking photography or glasses with her.

The only true challenge was to find a pair that would fit her prescription and light enough to be worn 24.7. Because there’s no Yaqine.Raw without glasses. Let’s be clear, her life is no stroll in the park – rather a remake of Roadrunner on film. Things go fast for the one who founded Visual Poetry together with the singer and rapper Martha Da’ro and won the Best Music photographer award at the Redbull Elektropedia awards 2019.

GLASSES

Model Façonnable 3xxx
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer N/A
Digging Type some optician old stock

Robin

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Story

This illustrator from Tournai may well have been born on the day the Japan Airlines Flight 123 to Osaka crashed, but that’s not the point. ⁣When we met again with Robin for his portrait, he was working on a monumental animation project. But even static, Robin’s work is quite something, go see for yourself on his website.

And if you stumble upon him, ask him to tell you about the time he watched his glasses drown in the Scheldt after what seems to have been a river joust. That’s all we know for now.

GLASSES

Model Concord
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Florence

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Florence came to us before leaving on several construction sites in Nepal for non-profits. We couldn’t mess it up. Last we heard of her, she was preparing yet another trip around the world. All this to say that her Bourgeois frames will travel places! But isn’t that the point of it all? If you’re reading, don’t hesitate to come by the store for a full check-up before packing your suitcase.

GLASSES

Model Saxo
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Bourgeois (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Louise and Corentin

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Picture this: Corentin had missed the target as he tried to nonchalantly throw his glasses on the bed, while Louise's glasses could no longer withstand the temperatures of the ovens of the restaurant where she reigns supreme. On their way to a Parquet Courts gig at the Botanique last summer, they stopped by the store. We almost had to throw them out, the concert had been sold out for a while, and the riffs of the 4 New Yorkers are definitely our thing.

After swallowing the pill, we sat down at the table: on the menu, two discreet pairs packed with character nonetheless, made more than 30 years apart in the same Jura valley. No hard feelings.

GLASSES

Model Lesca / N/A
Period 1990s / 1950s
Manufacturer N/A / N/A
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Tiina

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Story

We could introduce Tiina in a thousand ways, but here’s one : Tiina left Finland aged 17 for a semester abroad. Following administrative issues, she spent one year in Verviers and never left Belgium since then. Voilà.

We were lucky enough to collaborate with her on many projects and we owe her a lot. If you stumble upon her at C12 or somewhere else, remind her she has to take us fishing on ice and ask her if she finished her website.

GLASSES

Model Garret
Period early 1970s
Manufacturer L’Amy
Digging Type closed-down optician

Calvin

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Calvin was one of the first to enter the store with a pair of glasses he digged himself. It was just a few weeks after the opening, and he wasn’t sure we would accept to restore his Lacoste S7 and edge lenses for it, as the frame didn’t come from our own stock. 

Back in the days, Lacoste frames were manufactured under license by L’Amy in Morez. So it was quite the reverse though : to be honest we were just jealous to not have discovered those double bridge metallic frames ourselves

GLASSES

Model custom Lacoste S7
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR)
Digging Type N/A

Valeria

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Story

Valeria lost her previous glasses during an extended weekend in Barcelona, while on a perfect summer trip in the Balkans. They experiment countless planes, trains, buses, tent sleepovers and even a hippy bay in Albania, but they didn't survive a commercial disco club in Barceloneta. If they hadn't run away from her, she wouldn't have encounter her new pair.

By that time, we also heard she got a baby. Congrats !

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8047
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type on site (2016)

Diego

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Story

See the guy sitting on boxes full of vinyls in the middle of his empty flat? That’s Diego. The first time we met? He was mixing between two butchers grinding meat at the first Boudin Room. And there was nothing weird about it, nothing. The first time he came by the shop? He introduced us to ASMR. And there was nothing weird about it, nothing. And this all makes sense when you know this electronic music producer has spent as much time behind the decks as over the stove.

If you stumble upon him, ask him to show you a picture of him as a toddler, lying next to Bidule, the family dog.

GLASSES

Model Symphony
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Jasmine

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Story

We won’t lie, sometimes we simply fail to get enough informations while racking our brains and memories to write a proper bio months after the encounter. That’s the game, and we prefer to say it straight rather than to make stories up about someone. Fake news are bad, you should know that.

The most important : Jasmine once entered the store and left with her perfect match, a hexagonal gold Symphony in that case.

GLASSES

Model Symphony
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Willy

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Story

We met the film director in Berlin back in 2017, during the Adidas Skate Copa. He swang by our first workshop in Anderlecht a few weeks later. We chatted for 3 hours, he chose his glasses in 3 minutes.

Since then, alongside his films, he has put together particlelife.com, an online platform gathering his friends' photo work, mainly around skateboarding culture : “The main criteria is that I have to know the photographers in person and that their images I select ‘do’ something to my gut feeling.”We’re head over heels, plain and simple !

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8015
Period mid-1980s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type on site (2014)

Richard Arne

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Story

It’s on a rather drunk kayak session in Dinant that Richard confessed having lost his previous pair of glasses. Gone forever deep inside the water. Riding a kayak without glasses on a Belgian river isn’t that bad, but riding his 1971 Peugeot in the streets of Brussels can be more of a problem.

This is when the student in design and furniture and barkeeper at the Flamingo in Brussels thought it was time to pay us a visit. We found him the perfect pair. Cherry on the cake, it matched his hair.

GLASSES

Model N/A
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Cadore (IT)
Digging Type through a fixer, on site (2018)

Michaël

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Would you be surprised if we tell you Michaël’s first visit to the store was mainly initiated by a Belgian rapper ? He was in between two spoons of Kellogs when he discovered us while checking Caballero’s Instagram Stories. Not sure about the composition of the breakfast though, maybe this tall administrative agent is more of a crispy bacon & beans kind of guy, but that’s how we love to picture the scene.

GLASSES

Model Marc
Period 1980s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR)
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Louise and Charlotte

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Fitting a duo is always kind of a challenge for us. We were just getting used to couples when the Vander Gucht sisters showed up.⁣ We loved meeting the two of them together, and rummaging through our stock trying to make up a duo that works together as well as separately for this nursery-school teacher and her younger sister, student in Agogische Wetenschappen at the VUB.

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8011 / RF41
Period mid-1980s / 1990s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A / Paragraphe
Digging Type kinda door-to-door / on site

Ana and Pedro

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The cofounders of Studio Opla were our architects-next-door before we moved to the city centre. Over the bunch of quiche slices we shared at La Kantine Du Canal, we felt for their perspectives on architecture and lifecycle of materials, not to mention all the Portuguese food spots they recommended us. ⁣

One day, we sneaked into their office and dropped our selection of frames on their desks, without a word.
Apparently, it was a homerun.

GLASSES

Model N/A / KINTO 8011
Period mid-1980s
Manufacturer N/A / Netoptic S.A
Digging Type kinda door-to-door / on site

Fabien

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Born in Braine l’Alleud in 1991, Fabien doesn’t beat around the bush. Chances are you know him for his electronic music productions under the guise of Le Motel. Well, we do too. Besides dropping beats, he’s also a graphic and motion designer, and lent us a strong hand on some of our digital projects. But this is not all there is behind this mischievous smile. The guy also recently launched his own record label, Malorca Records. 

GLASSES

Model Symphony
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Bruyneel

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We won’t lie, sometimes we simply fail to get enough informations while racking our brains and memories to write a proper bio months after the encounter. That’s the game, and we prefer to say it straight rather than to make stories up about someone. Fake news are bad, you should know that.

The most important : Bruyneel once entered the store and left with her perfect match, a thick black Symphony in that case. And look how happy they seem to be.

GLASSES

Model Symphony
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Loïc

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Loïc is more of the mobile type. With Highway Holidays (tour supply & logistics), he’s managing the most punk travel agency of the Kingdom. Given that he rides at least as many miles as a Belarusian truck driver, his love for sunglasses was quite understandable -- and we loved that.

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8011 (custom)
Period mid-1980s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A
Digging Type on site

Vincent

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Graphic designer and editor holding the reins of Bichel Edition, we don’t know how Vincent manages to find the time to sleep. We first saw him during summer 2018, when he was working on the edition festival Salon Mirage or on the onboarding of an artist in residency at the Micro-Factory, or both. Last time we met, it was to tighten the screws of his frames that had experimented a rough time on his curious nose.

GLASSES

Model VDH
Period 1990s
Manufacturer N/A
Digging Type through an ex-distributor (2015)

Amélie and Valentin

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Meet Valentin and Amélie, respectively born and raised in Vendée and Normandy. They both turned up at the shop and I remember we talked about comics, had a good laugh; Valentin was sporting orange glasses from his teenage years because his former frames had just given up the ghost, while Amélie still holds the record for the smallest pupil distance ever measured at the shop. You don’t care ? Fair enough.

If you stumble upon these two, whether for the release of their fanzine Vague Pression (novels, comics, drawing) in spring or in a bookshop around Flagey, ask Valentin how he lost his last pair of glasses. All he could tell us was that it involved a nocturnal paranormal event...

GLASSES

Model Rex / Concord
Period circa 1950s / late 1980s
Manufacturer N/A / Bourgeois
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Charles

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Story

When he is not howling with the Union Boys, Charles acted as optometrist-in-chief at the shop and helped us overcome the most technical challenges. Hard to believe we met barely three year ago. Back then, he was working with our competition and sneaked in our workshop one night to get himself a pair of custom-made sunglasses, on the sly. We talked for an hour, he asked why we didn’t open a shop. I answered that I never met the optician to team up with. He never left.

Until the day he finally did for the sweet sun of France. If you stumble upon him, ask him to tell you about the Belgian cup quarter finals (2018).

GLASSES

Model Gerald
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Bourgeois
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Luca and Emily

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After a summer day in 2018, the team was having an afterwork drink in front of the store when Emily and Luca showed up, coming out of Whitney’s premiere screened at BOZAR.

We let them inside to take a peek around and as ecological warriors, they were quickly convinced by the dead stocks upcycling ideology. They would come back a few days later. First him, shortly followed by her.

GLASSES

Model Figures Libres / RF41
Period 1990s
Manufacturer Bourgeois / Paragraphe (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type kinda door-to-door / on site

Shitika

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Story

We kind of love obsessive people and weird collectors. So when we met this rocks and minerals nerd, it triggered our curiosity. When we then discovered she listens to endless ambiant music playlists while thinking about her jewelry constructions, we felt in love.

Therefore we decided to join forces and obsessions with Shitika and she became the mind and hands behind our HYBRIDS series. For the past months, she has been an amazing workmate, and we can honestly say this Jewelry Designer from the Antwerp Academy got gold in her hands.

GLASSES

Model Flexylor
Period early 1970s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR)
Digging Type closed-down optician

Pierre

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Here is a man that is rather difficult to describe, as his personal french pop project is already called Pierres au pluriel. Many Pierres, then, inside this comedian/french teacher/musician. Many Pierres, but one reason he headed to the store for the first time.

"April 28, 2018, approximately 3am. Most people who celebrated my 25th birthday went on to continue their night somewhere else. The last ones are gesticulating in my flat, when an arm touches my face and brings my glasses down. Fumbling in the dark, I find them lifeless under my foot. The morning after, a piece of Patafix plays the matchmaker between the left temple and the frame, and we continue as if nothing had happened, waiting for something better. For two months. Before giving up and heading to Bidules." More Pierres and more stories ? Go have a listen at his latest project.

GLASSES

Model N/A
Period circa 1950
Manufacturer N/A
Digging Type kinda door-to-door (2018)

Patrick

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It’s hard to tell what there is behind Patricks’ fascinating blue eyes. But we know for sure what there is in front of them, because this may have been the best fit in Bidules’s history. 

Wearing by anyone else, this frame would have seemed severe, almost irrelevant. But not on Patrick. We remember a hurricane entering the store, trying on one single frame, and being directly convinced. After he left, we had the chance to meet him another day during 5 minutes at the bottom of his work building to take this portrait, then the guy disappeared forever.

GLASSES

Model Alexandre
Period 1970s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR)
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Fabian

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We remember very well when Fabian first showed up at the store. Quite intrigued by the ultrasonic cleaner, we put his watch in. In the meantime, we learnt about his passion for kilims and Iranian Kurdistan. A passion he pursues through Pardis Tapis, a project he co-founded. Needless to say that hearing how they travelled to the most remote villages in Iran on the lookout for vintage kilims, their stories and the legends surrounding them, directly connected us.

GLASSES

Model 2520 (12ct plated)
Period 1980s
Manufacturer Securvista
Digging Type through an ex-distributor

Adrien

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French stylist and fashion-editor based in Belgium, Adrien seems to be constantly in the middle of a project, whether it is magazine shoot or catwalk madness. No need to say he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t often drop by the store. But when he does, the opening hours become harder to respect. And to be honest, we can’t say it doesn’t please us.

This creature from outer space is wearing our most cosmic frames, a prototype crafted in Morez in the 90s for a famous brand we can’t reveal, makes all heads turn.

GLASSES

Model Thierry Lsr
Period 1990s
Manufacturer N/A
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Giacomo and Yuva

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Yuva and Giacomo are all about getting people together by creating interactions around livestreams, rendez-vous, parties, art, exhibitions and more. Wait, did I just pitch his project Plein Sud? Whatever, that’s how we saw this tall Brusseleir when he passed by the shop last summer.

When he’s not busy dedicating his everything to Brussels’ nightlife culture, Giacomo is spending so much time at the shop we may have to blacklist him. First, because he loves glasses at least as much as we do, and second, because he has the worrying penchant to sit on them.

GLASSES

Model RF41
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Paragraphe (Oyonnax, FR)
Digging Type on site, operating factory (2014)

Loulou and Nedda

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We may have told you already how challenging it is to find frames for couples or siblings, so you can easily imagine the pressure we were under when these two came in : Nedda and Loulou, mother and daughter, pictured here all smiles in their garden in the suburbs of Antwerp. What a pleasure for our glasses to once again cross generations !

GLASSES

Model Kenzo / Odotype
Period 1990s
Manufacturer L’Amy / Odo
Digging Type kinda door-to-door

Anatole

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Anatole discovered the shop on his way to Beyond Klimt exhibition at BOZAR with his mom. When he entered, we had a long chat about the way we work and upcycle here. It was the perfect match, as he is attracted by fashion design and spends his free time creating material garments and wearable structures.

He sees his Carrera 5973 as the ever-faithful working partners. Always on his nose when he creates and writes, they help him polish the instinctive representations of his imagination.

GLASSES

Model 5973
Period 1994
Manufacturer Carrera
Digging Type some optician old stock (2014)

Alexandra

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Born and raised in Hasselt, Alexandra is now based in Brussels and works as a photographer and photo editor for De Standaard. When we met, she was busy reorganizing and digitalizing her archives – making a photobook of each and every one of her hard drives. For having had the courage to throw yourself into this painstakingly tedious task that some are postponing for a lifetime (including us), we wanted to express our wholehearted admiration.

GLASSES

Model KINTO 8011
Period mid-1980s
Manufacturer Netoptic S.A (Lot, BE)
Digging Type on site (2014)

Didier

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Some of you may know already that on Saturdays, since we can’t head to a bar, we’re starting the aperitif with our clients and try to tempt them with a glass of wine or a beer from the Brasserie de la Senne. Coming out from another optician, more or less convinced, Didier didn’t see that coming. After making sure he wasn’t on tram duty that night, the STIB driver quickly found himself with a pair of glasses in one hand and a drink in the other.

GLASSES

Model 7068
Period 1980s
Manufacturer OWP (W.Germany)
Digging Type ex-distributor (2016)

Emilie

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How not to remember the day we met Emilie and her red, rusty truck? It was around noon. The artist, gallerist, musician an artist was exhibiting drawings made by Philip Vormwald during Art On Paper at BOZAR. But we only learnt that later on.

What happened is a storm: after double-parking, Emilie barged in the shop and told us she’d been needing new glasses for 10 years. 10 minutes later, she had unearthed a pair of Pantos that fitted her like a glove and she went on to grab herself a sandwich.

GLASSES

Model Unknown
Period around 1950
Manufacturer could be Buris
Digging Type through a fixer (2018)

Yvan and Alban

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Pictured here are the Murenzi brothers, wrapping up YellowStraps latest project. At the workshop, their first EP Whirlwind Romance had been on repeat in the “Bidules - Workflow” Spotify playlist since 2015. Needless to say we were more than thrilled to gear them up with glasses. Their upcoming project is called Goldress, and knowing what frame Yvan chose to come home with, we’re not that surprised about this gold color mania.

GLASSES

Model Symphony
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Estelle

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That’s the story of a customer who didn’t want to buy glasses, thought about getting a pair, ended up leaving with two, lost one of them and finally came back to buy one more. Nothing too unusual so far. But the most important detail of this story is that Estelle has left with the last pair of our Garrett (L’Amy, 1980s).⁣

And honestly, as every goodbye, that wasn’t easy.

GLASSES

Model Garret
Period early 1970s
Manufacturer L'Amy
Digging Type closed-down optician

Zita

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When she came by the shop to chose her first glasses, the Political Sciences student told us she was applying to go on an Erasmus. Then we met again as she was serving the best ice cream scoops at Gaston for her student job. Even if we still don’t know where she would be travelling, we hope she got her plane tickets since then. And that she still loves ice cream.

GLASSES

Model RF41
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Paragraphe (Oyonnax, FR)
Digging Type on site, operating factory (2014)

Antoine

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You may have seen this guy already, having had a few drinks too many already, while he was preaching the word with his analog synthesizer under the mysterious name of Monolithe Noir. We met Antoine at the vinyl shop he was working at. He wanted to try glasses on. The sun was shining and we were sober. He made us discover Connan Mockasin and we got a parking ticket in the meantime.

GLASSES

Model RF41
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Paragraphe (Oyonnax, FR)
Digging Type on site, operating factory (2014)

Hervé and Enéa

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We easily remember that sunny afternoon when we met Hervé for his portrait. It was just after he walked his faithful partner Enéa in Egmont Park (Ixelles).

While he was quietly rocking his very own round Mikado (1990s, Morez) as he is used to, we once again experienced the challenge of shooting a dog and trying to keep the Greyhound still. Challenged faced.

GLASSES

Model Mikado
Period late 1980s
Manufacturer Thierry S.A (Morbier, FR)
Digging Type through a fixer on site

Filomena and Salomé

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Finding the best possible frames for Filomena - here sitting by Salomé’s side, her G-daughter aka Blu Samu - was one of the highlights of 2018. A mom's hug to remember and the kind of encounters that make us wake up every morning.

Of course, we’ve seen Salomé at the shop a thousand of times since that day, as she seems as addicted to glasses than she is to hypnotizing rhymes.
Salomé, say hi to your mom for us and keep taking good care of her!

GLASSES

Model Ninon
Period early 1970s
Manufacturer L’Amy (Morez, FR)
Digging Type closed-down optician (2018)

Benoît

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Benoit prefers to define himself as a creative rookie. If the Brussels based videomaker, designer, musician and photographer looks familiar, it's maybe because he's never far from Roméo Elvis, producing video clips and working closely with the crew. Our paths have crossed many times since the day we met while he was playing with the atmospheric pop band Ulysse. If you want a taste of his many projects, go have a look at his website.

GLASSES

Model RF41
Period early 1990s
Manufacturer Paragraphe (Oyonnax, FR)
Digging Type on site, operating factory (2014)