Think that extended fit can’t be stylish? Think again! The newest choices in larger sizes for men and women are just as cool and trendy as their smaller counterparts.
The fashion industry has been catering more than ever to specialty sizes. Extended-fit frames, which suit larger-than-average head sizes, have been widely received by opticians and patients alike. “Eyecare professionals (ECPs) are the ones who brought this need for alternative fits to our attention. They have responded very well to us offering these expanded and unique fits for their patients; it allows them to satisfy a very real need in their respective marketplaces,” said Cassandra Slepian, marketing/sales support for Alternative & Plan “B” Eyewear.
HAVING IT ALL
Alexa Faeth, senior marketing associate for Zyloware Eyewear, explained that patients with larger heads no longer need to compromise. “When designing these styles, we focus on the needs of the wearer-not only do they want eyewear that fits them well, they also want it to look fashionable and cool!” The company offers extended-size collections from Stetson (Stetson XL coming in August), Randy Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal—and boy does Shaq know a thing or two about being big! There are seven Shaquille O’Neal athleisure styles with longer temples—four metal, two acetate and one injected plastic. Celebrating 10 years on the market, the Randy Jackson Eyewear collection offers four metal and one acetate/metal combo with snap-in nosepads.
The 28 frames in the XLFIT collection from ClearVision Optical Co. are designed for larger men who crave fit and style. Each XLFIT frame comes equipped with double-action spring hinges, wider PDs, wider nosebridges, longer temple lengths and a wider head fitting. Three new models for spring/summer include Steve Madden Troopah and Steve Madden Lummber, both ophthalmic, and IZOD 769, a sun style.
Chlögan Eyewear has a different approach in that it offers larger sizes throughout all the collections. “We don’t believe in brands dedicated to larger sizes. That is like clothing stores having separate sections for larger sizes rather than having all sizes on one rack from XXS and up,” said Mitch Zimberg, CEO. “We offer sizes 44 to 64 in all our collections—this widens the demographics.” Each handmade frame is treated with a wood-like finish, creating the effect of a trendy wood frame but offering the convenience and comfort of fully adjustable acetate.
John DeLuna, director of marketing for Nouveau Eyewear, pointed out the three key features for creating frames for those who need extra headroom. “Men need extended endpieces to relieve pressure on the sides of their face, extended or bowed temples to balance the frame and they may need a slightly wider bridge.” The Van Heusen Big Man Fit collection was started more than 15 years ago as a result of both ECPs and patients demanding a wider temple space and broader bridges. New to the collection this season are styles S364, S369, S370, S371, S372 and S373.
Taking a cue from the success of Big & Tall retail stores, Modern Optical International launched its Big Men’s Eyewear Club (BMEC) collection in 2008. Today, the collection boasts more than 70 styles ranging in size from 52mm to 62mm and featuring longer temples measuring up to 160mm. This season, six new styles will join the ranks.
The Caterpillar ‘XL Fit’ collection with eyesizes up to 61mm from Inspecs USA is specifically designed to keep frame proportions intact. There are 13 models each in two to four colors at 58mm+ (35 SKUs) and more than over 50 SKUS at 56mm+ (22 models). Temple lengths go up to 150mm with specifically contoured profile and spring hinges to eliminate unwanted contact points.
Sports Illustrated made fashion history when it put plus-size model Ashley Graham on its coveted swimsuit edition in February 2015, which made waves on social media about body acceptance. The eyewear industry has followed suit. “The success of plus-size fashion has paved the way for the body positivity movement which is the inspiration for our GB+ collection,” said Ken Weissman, president of Modern Optical. “We wanted to create eyewear with trend-savvy designs so women of all sizes and ethnicities would feel beautiful and confident.” Eight new styles launch this season.
ClearVision Optical Co., has also heeded the call for women’s plus size, the fastest growing fashion category for women. The Style ‘n Fit collection will debut three new frames with double-action spring hinges, proportional nosebridges, larger eyesizes, and custom tip shapes. The newcomers include Gliitsy from Steve Madden and style nos. 4028 and 4031 from Jessica McClintock.
The Grace Queen collection from Alternative & Plan “B” Eyewear was launched a year ago with eye sizes ranging from 53mm to 55mm and offering longer temples while still maintaining delicate, feminine details. Six debut models have been designed in titanium with vibrant colors and sexy animal prints.
Ultimately, ECPs want their patients to look and feel great about their eyewear choices, Weissman stressed: “They’re so grateful to offer attractive, quality frames to meet their patients’ sizing requirements without sacrificing design or quality.”
Kaitlyn Robertson has been writing for over a decade with a majority of those years covering the optical industry.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Alternative Eyewear AlternativeEyes.com • 888.399.7742 • CustomerService@AlternativeEyes.com // Chlogan 844.246.6511 • ChloganEyewear.com // ClearVision Optical Co. 800.645.3733 • CVOptical.com • CService@CVOptical.com // Inspecs USA 727.771.7710 • InspecsUSA.com • Sales@InspecsUSA.com // Modern Optical 800.323.2409 • ModernOptical.com • CustSvc@ModernOptical.com // Nouveau Eyewear 800.292.4342 • NouveauEyewear.com • CustomerService@NouveauEyewear.com // Zyloware Eyewear 800.765.3700 • Zyloware.com • Sales@Zyloware.com