Redef-EYE-ning art with fashion

Dutch innovators, Hink Huisman and Anneke Verkaik join forces to unveil eyewear boutique that pushes spectacle design to the forefront of fashion. Tuesday, October 16 saw the opening of Anna, a boutique style store, showcasing the latest in avant-garde spectacles.


Kelly Clarke

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Published: Fri 19 Oct 2012, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:48 PM

Located on 2nd of December Street — one of Dubai’s oldest yet most fashionable streets — Anna was born from the creative workings of Dutch optometrist and owner of Top Vision Optics, Anneke Verkaik and Hink Huisman, CEO of brand identity giant Image Creators FZE.

“I reached out to Anneke a few years ago and advised her that her logo was a little bit tired,” said Huisman. “The store was over 21 years old and although one of the best optical stores in the area as far as looks and appearance is concerned, I thought we should try to set it apart from all the others and have a total overhaul.”

Work on Anna began in early 2012 and Verkaik made it clear from the outset that she wanted to create a high end, fashionable store. This is when Huisman put forward the reposition from ‘middle of the road’ shop to ‘one of a kind’ boutique.

“Most people like to live in a comfort zone. Anneke and I like to stretch limits,” says Huisman. “Anneke goes for the more funky, arty, upscale designs,” he adds.

Verkaik is well-known for associating with companies who make very edgy eyewear and Huisman wanted to channel this artistic element of the brand into the overall redesign. It was important that the art aspect of the project would not be limited to just the spectacle design alone.

What sets the store apart from others in its field is evident from the get go. When approaching Anna, your eye is immediately anchored towards an extraordinary sculpture situated on the pavement in front of the store. The Tulip Throne — crafted by world renowned Dutch artistic duo, Huub and Adelheid Kortekaas — sets the tone perfectly for what Verkaik and Huisman envisioned when they first set out on this venture. A wow product demands a wow entrance and this definitely hits the spot.

Anna is all about creating an experience for the buyer. It caters to the needs of fashion forward thinking people, while exposing them to the splendours of fine art.

Anna, meaning ‘Me’ in Arabic, has the largest collection of frames on offer, with over 4,000 in stock, but to maintain that boutique style feel, only a small number of highlights will be on display.

Huisman adds, “This helps to create an exclusive atmosphere and showcases the artistry of the unique frames on offer.”

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