|BEFORE: Liz Cherkasova, blogger for Late Afternoon, typically wore rimmed eyewear like the pair shown here. The defined look steals the show and actually takes away from her beautiful eyes.||AFTER: Liz’s new rimless eyewear allows for a lens shape that both compliments her face and makes unique touches possible, like the intricate lace pattern etched into the periphery of the lenses.|
|Offering customized rimless eyewear can lead to more second-pair sales, as patients will tend to view them as fashion accessories. Pictured here: Cherkasova shares her bespoke second pair that bears her name on Instagram.|
|FIGURE D||FIGURE E|
|BEFORE: Lust for Life blogger Olivia Lopez’s bulky, rimmed pair of glasses are crowded by her hair, Âobscuring her face.||AFTER: Olivia looks so much better in her new rimless eyewear, as her bangs are not fighting a full-rim frame.|
|The new Titan Contour with custom lenses compliments the look of Walk in Wonderland ‘s Sheryl Luke.|
When some of L.A.’s most prominent fashion bloggers were invited by Silhouette Eyewear to the super-swanky Four Seasons in Beverly Hills one recent afternoon, even they couldn’t have known that they would emerge the trailblazers of what’s sure to be the next big fashion trend: Bespoke eyewear.
When the fashion gurus arrived at SilhouÂette’s spacious suite, they were greeted by Silhouette’s Marketing Director, Kristen McLaughlin, Richard Wilhelm, owner of Luxe Laboratory, and his team, who were equipped with several high-tech optical lab machines. The subjects were then invited to help in the creation of their own customized eyewear, and not just in a “choose your frame style and color, then fit with demo shape lenses” sense. Each guest actually took part in designing a pair of glasses unique to their personal style. Not one pair of glasses in the world will be identical to any of theirs. The advances in lens-cutting technologies makes this kind of lens customization possible, creating new possibilities to highlight the craft of an eyecare professional (ECP).
The evidence is everywhere: From tailor-made suits, to smartphone cases, to social media pages, and more, customization is the latest emerging trend. People are tired of mass-produced looks and yearn for clothing and accessories that demonstrate their personalities. Silhouette’s rimless eyewear is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the personalization movement: Rimless lenses aren’t constrained to fit within a pre-defined, mass-Âproduced frame. Once lenses are freed from the shackles of rimmed eyewear, the only limit to its design is the imagination of its designer, as evidenced by the remarkable works of Richard Wilhelm and the Luxe team.
Simultaneously, the trend in eyewear for big, bulky glasses that began around 10 years ago has finally wound down. The hipster-geek-chic that resulted in thousands sporting the same thick, plastic, Buddy Holly-esque frames is over and thin, lightweight glasses are once again on the rise. Rimless eyewear adds a plethora of Âopportunities to take the lightweight trend and marry it to the customization trend. That both are hot right now makes for a perfect storm that an adventurous ECP can take advantage of. And why not? What was unthinkable in terms of filling an eyewear order just years ago is now possible today, and it’s all thanks to advances in technology, but only if the lens lab you partner with is highly skilled and shares your fashion-forward vision.
These are exactly the attributes that led ÂSilhouette to choose Luxe Laboratory specifically to produce their bespoke rimless eyewear creations for this event. In a world of monotony, Âdistinction is defined by Luxe Laboratory. The quality and precision of their work, along with the creativity and innovation they have expressed through their artistic designs, does more than simply speak for itself. In fact, when the Luxe team got to collaborate with leading contemporary rimless brand, Silhouette and the style-influencing bloggers, Âmagic happened.
The SoCal bloggers who were gifted the chance to create their own eyewear were amazed at the creations possible with a rimless lens. Liz Cherkasova, who runs the fashion blog Late Afternoon (at lateafternoonblog.com) and graces the cover of this edition of VCPN, drew inspiration from her own style. A lover of lace, Cherkasova gave the mad geniuses from Luxe a lace pattern from one of her favorite garments, which they used to etch that same design into her lenses! A longtime wearer of full rims, not only did Liz feel the difference of Silhouette’s lightweight, rimless eyewear, but she also understood how rimless adds to her beauty by letting more light into her face, instead of having her gorgeous features obscured by rimmed eyewear (see Figures A and B). With the new realization that fashion eyewear can be matched like a fashion accessory, Cherkasova crafted a second pair, this one bearing her name on the lens (Fig. C).
Other fashionistas experienced similar results. The glamorous Olivia Lopez from the blog Lust for Life (lusttforlife.com) was able to create a pair of rimless eyewear that complimented her hairstyle, instead of clashing with it (Figs. D and E). The fashion-obsessed Sheryl Luke of Walk in Wonderland (walkinwonderland.com) looks stunningly elegant in her new, customized Titan Contour eyewear (Fig. F).
Such wild designs are possible because rimless eyewear is unenÂcumbered by the pre-defined, ho-hum, me-too shapes required by full-rim frames.
On the surface, these impresÂsive creations may seem like novelties for the runway and impracÂtical as product offerings in a small eyecare practice. The truth, however, is much different.
PLAY ‘ABOVE THE RIM’
So how can you use this knowledge to help your practice? Since everyone wants to have a look that is uniquely “theirs,” the endless possibilities afforded to an ECP by rimless eyewear are a big business opportunity. This is the iron that the independent ECP must strike while it’s hot. Traditional opticians have been losing market share to discount online retailers that offer generic products at incredibly cheap prices. How does an ECP compete with such reckless commoditization of eyewear? By offering premium services that the online undercutters, as well as the big retail chain outlets, just can’t match. This means that bespoke, rimless eyewear could be the cornerstone in reinventing your practice from indistinguishable, to a hip, high-end fashion boutique for glasses. You’ll be known not only for creating the best-quality eyewear, but also for offering a one-of-a-kind experience that patients will come back for again and again.
Even a simple design at the corner of the lens, such as a diamond or looping pattern, makes a patient’s eyewear “just for them.” This helps to build your practice’s reputation in your area. When people comment on your patients’ one-of-a-kind glasses, they will relate their positive Âexperiences choosing and designing their rimless eyewear. The family, friends, co-workers, etc., of your patients will, in turn, also become your patients, and your practice will become known as the place to go for unique, high-end, fashionable rimless eyewear, where each pair is custom made to each patient’s taste. With all the possibilities presented by bespoke rimless eyewear, the only limit is your imagination.
A special thank you to the Luxe Laboratory Team of Anaheim, CA for making the outstanding lens customizations possible. Visit them at Luxe-Laboratory.com.