Silhouette, SPX Art Kids, Style No. 4242
Lafont, Pour Les Enfants, Otarie
McGee, Vera Bradley Kids, Ada
A&A, Pez, Peanut
ClearVision, Dilli Dalli, Hotshot
Ogi, Ogi Kids, Style No. OK104
Safilo, Carrera, Style No. 7605
WestGroupe, Superflex, Kids Style No. SFK-132

When they’re made with the right materials, kids’ frames can stay intact and effective for longer than most parents probably expect.

It’s no secret that contact with children causes an immeasurable amount of wear and tear on, well, on everything. However, gone are the days of stressing over a temple pushed too far in the wrong direction after some rough-and-tumble play or an ill-placed frame on a couch. That’s right-the latest and greatest in young kids’ eyewear is durable and fun. And from memory metals to acetate to stainless steel and more, several brands are making their mark in this category right now.

Take Tura’s oio eyewear collection for starters. This line is a great example of frames that can gracefully tolerate the everyday demands of belonging to a child. The idea of glasses breaking no longer has to be a concern-of kids or parents. In addition to box spring hinges and custom sizing, this memory-metal-driven collection features TITANflex materials, so they can handle an active lifestyle.

The McGee Group’s Vera Bradley Kids line is a solid choice, with four styles for younger girls to choose from. “The Vera Bradley Kids frames feature European spring hinges, which offer optimal durability and flexibility for girls on the go,” says Amy Moore, senior design director. The styles in this collection also have adjustable nosepads.

And girls aren’t the only ones who have fun with children’s eyewear. Case in point: A fun and fantastic world of fictional characters is met with modern style and kid-appropriate materials in collections like Nouveau Eyewear’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eyewear. “We saw demand for more sophisticated styling in youth frames. But at the same time toughness is vital to parents,” explains John DeLuna, vice president of marketing. “Durability can’t compromise style, and children want to wear a frame that both looks great and stands up to their demanding lifestyle.” This collection’s Ninjutsu style features a memory metal bridge for added stability.

For a more grown-up look, but with the strength kids’ eyewear requires, A&A Optical’s Pez Eyewear is worth considering. What’s more, the brand offers a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. “We are so confident in the materials used in the frames, whether it is monel, stainless steel, acetate, or double-injected rubberized temples, that we put the industry’s best warranty on the frames,” states Robert Liener, president and CEO.

Rimless frames and high-tech, innovative materials are not just for innovation-savvy grown-ups these days. Titanium frames and styles made with proprietary materials like Silhouette Optical, Ltd.’s SPX, a plastic alternative that offers comfort and flexibility, hold a firm spot in the children’s eyewear market as well. Kristen McLaughlin, marketing director, gives details on this approach in terms of the company’s SPX Art Kids Collection. “The screwless and hingeless design eliminates the need for constant adjustment, saving parents a lot of time,” she says. “The styles in this collection are nearly invisible and so light, kids forget they’re wearing them. Also, because they’re rimless, they grow with a child’s needs with size, shape, and Rx.”

Here’s a breakdown of the pre- and elementary-school-appropriate styles from the brands we’ve already mentioned, as well as several additional collections.

Company: A&A
Collection/Brand: Pez
Material World: The acetate Peanut frame features geometric prints and colorful flowers. Colorways include black, blue, purple, and red.

Company: ClearVision
Collection/Brand: Dilli Dalli
Material World: Designed for younger wearers, this collection offers the IntelliFlex™ multi-action spring hinge, intended to flex both vertically and horizontally.

Company: Kenmark
Collection/Brand: Original Penguin
Material World: Boys starting at about 8 years old will appreciate the custom acetates and metal frames.

Company: Lafont
Collection/Brand: Pour Les Enfants
Material World: Ideal for kids between 4 and 7, Lafont Pour Les Enfants have redesigned spring hinges and slightly oversized lens areas that extend above the child’s eye. And Lafont’s flex system allows for kids to practice putting their eyewear on themselves.

Company: Marcolin USA/Viva
Collection/Brand: SKECHERS Kids
Material World: Acetate, metal, spring hinges, and rubber temple tips work together to offer wearers resilient, comfortable, and flexible frames.

Company: The McGee Group
Collection/Brand: Vera Bradley Kids
Material World: The collection boasts multi-layered acetates, metal frame fronts, and combination frames.

Company: Nouveau
Collection/Brand: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Material World: This collection’s Ninjutsu style has a memory metal bridge.

Company: Ogi
Collection/Brand: Ogi Kids
Material World: Lightweight yet strong, Style No. OK104 is made with monel and finished with acetate temple tips.

Company: REM
Collection/Brand: Converse Kids
Material World: Two-toned acetate frame fronts with TR-90 temples define Style No. K011.

Company: Safilo
Collection/Brand: Carerra (kids)
Material World: Style No. 7605’s stainless steel frame has acetate temples and flex hinges.

Company: Silhouette
Collection/Brand: SPX Art Kids
Material World: These rimless, screwless, and hinge-free kids’ styles are made with hypoallergenic SPX material.

Company: Tura
Collection/Brand: oio Memory Metal Collection
Material World: The styles in this collection are made with TITANflex materials and box spring hinges, making them durable and resilient.

Company: WestGroupe
Collection/Brand: SuperFlex Kids
Material World: From acetate to stainless steel, and with silicone temples as well, this collection gives kids (and their parents) a few options among heavy-duty materials.

Rachel Bozek is a writer and editor who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.


A&A Optical
ClearVision Optical Co.
Kenmark Optical
Marcolin USA/Viva
The McGee Group
Nouveau Eyewear
Ogi Eyewear
REM Eyewear
Safilo USA
Silhouette Optical, Ltd.

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