The retro styles offered by several eyewear-only brands are the often-hidden gems of the optical industry.
When patients enter an ECP’s office looking for new frames, they often go straight to the brand names they recognize from the stores at the mall or the labels on their jeans. And yes, these brands are the real deal, with top-of-the-line quality and in a range of styles and color options. However, this isn’t the only way to find eyewear.
When we drill down into the trends making their mark today and find ourselves looking at retro styles in particular, several collections and styles from these house brands rise to the top.
Jakob Talbo, sales director, Bellinger House, describes the company’s Entourage of 7 collection as “timeless cool.” The ophthalmic Carlos, Grace, and Greir styles each pay homage to a classic, time-tested style. “With Entourage of 7, we honor both the vintage traditions and embrace progress,” he says.
ClearVision Optical’s Clint in the ClearVision Collection takes wearers for a true walk down memory lane, with its oversized front and thin temples. This retro navigator, which is available in XLFIT™ sizes, was first introduced 17 years ago, and is available in brown, gold, and gunmetal. Cathy Kaye, ClearVision’s senior brand product manager, notes, “While several new styles in the ClearVision Collection have been designed with a retro vibe, many of our older models are as popular today as they were when they were introduced. Clint is popular with the younger crowd looking for a standout, oversized style.”
The cat-eye shape is without a doubt a leading retro mascot of today. Eastern States Eyewear’s Exces Princess Style No. 125 features this iconic eyeshape in two sexy, leopard-themed colorways: one with a print on the front and the other with a print on the temple. Jason Shyer, managing director, Eastern States Eyewear, states, “Tiny rhinestones on the endpieces add to the vintage feel of this style, which will be great for ladies looking to get their inner Hepburn on.”
The Reflections Collection from i-dealoptics keeps its promise and offers a true reflection of the past in distinctive shapes and colors. Michel Feldman, president, explains, “The collection features distinctive shapes and colors. By combining quality materials with texture, pattern, and bold details, these retro-inspired looks are elevated into modern, contemporary designs.”
Bringing the ’50s together with today, Persol’s Icons Collection from Luxottica maintains the brand’s “old Hollywood” sensibility while bringing a modern flair to its styles. Milena Cavicchioli, vice president of marketing, Luxottica NA, says that the Persol Icons “tap into consumers who relish and appreciate timeless style.” Style No. 3105S was originally designed in 1955 and since then, hasn’t missed a beat.
VANNI (distributed in the U.S. by Design Gallery)
Ethan Goodman, Design Gallery President, and Giovanni Vitlaoni, president, Vanni, share their philosophy on the retro styles from their company: “Vanni designs focus on materials, harmony among shapes, and the power of color.” The Hydra collection embodies this through the use of liquid-water-esque colors inspired by semi-precious stones.
One element that often doesn’t get its due credit in the retro conversation is texture. Ogi Eyewear takes texture seriously as evidenced by Style No. 4206. “The subtle ornate texture of the precisely inlaid silk is what brings this metal style to the next level,” says Katy Verbrugge, graphic design and marketing, Ogi.
Revolution Eyewear brings a retro look to magnetic clip-ons with Style No. Rev740. Gary Martin, chief executive officer, says, “Our history of creating high-quality products with creative flair is what we are most proud of.”
Safilo marks its 80th anniversary with the Marc Newson Capsule Collection. The designs are based on what the company describes as a historical model, paying homage to the original shapes from Safilo. Luisa Delgado, chief executive officer, Safilo Group, explains that the designer has blended the richness of the past with the present.
Past meets present in Tura, Inc.’s Legends Collection, with cat-eye shapes, ’90s-inspired, color-blocked metal frames, and flat metals. “While the frames are vintage-inspired, each one is updated to suit the lifestyle of today’s Tura woman,” notes Jennifer Coppel, vice president, brand management.
Nostalgia isn’t just for grownups! WestGroupe’s SuperFlex Kids collection offer retro-inspired designs for the youngest consumers. The square shape, matte finish, and gradient coloring is what gives this frame a touch of cool vintage nostalgia.
Rachel Bozek is a writer and editor who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.
|WHERE TO FIND IT:|
|Bellinger House USA, LLC
|ClearVision Optical Co.
|Eastern States Eyewear
|Vanni (distributed by Design Gallery)