|Ron’s Optical’s Style No. 379NAT is a sewn case with a delicate trailing flower design.|
While they’re no longer made of precious materials (see “Material World,” page 88), eyeglass cases are still valuable accessories to promote along with eyewear. Soft eyeglass cases are made from fabric with a supple lining sewn inside. A sturdier option is a hard case that has hinges in the back and is lined to offer great protection from dropping or even sitting on the case. Still another selection is the semi-hard case, made from fabric with a soft lining but with a hard insert in-between the layers to offer some added protection.
A family-owned business, LBI Eyewear has a variety of best-selling cases. The women’s Luv Ya is a popular slip-in case that’s both feminine and lightweight. Luv Ya is available in several colors and features a repeating heart pattern. Another women’s case, Lady’s J, comes in light and dark blue, rose, gray, and burgundy. This semi-hard case is versatile and simple enough, style-wise, to go with just about anything. For men, the LBI Men’s J semi-hard case is hard to beat. It’s offered in black and brown and hits the mark with a basic masculine appeal.
|THE CASE OF THE LIFE-SAVING CASE. Could an eyeglass case save a life? Well, it appears one did just that in 1912. Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by John Schrank while preparing to deliver a speech. A bullet hit his breast pocket, which contained a copy of his speech and a metal eyeglass case. The papers and metal eyeglass case took the brunt of the bullet and saved his life. Roosevelt delivered his speech, while bleeding, and then was rushed to the hospital and recovered.|
Founded more than 30 years ago, Ron’s Optical is certainly not lacking in the eyeglass case department. The company carries a wide assortment of cases for every taste and budget. One of its most popular cases is a basic clamshell hard case called 19 Classics. This simple case comes in a variety of colors that are great for both women and men and has a low price point. See something shiny? Model No. 32Matrix is an upscale women’s case that is a modern, unique shape, available in several jewel-tone colors. A favorite in the women’s semi-hard case category is Style No. 379NAT. This sewn case has a delicate trailing flower design and comes in orange, brown, tan, and green earth tones. And for the men? A definite frontrunner is Model No. 316C, an original sewn slip-in case with a metal clip offered in assorted browns and black.
A secret for eyeglass case success from Hilco: look at the trends in the fashion industry and incorporate those concepts into your designs. Another driving force in the eyewear and accessory market, this company has noticed that one of the widespread changes in cases has been the movement toward bigger styles to accommodate the fashionable sunglasses currently on the market.
|Hilco’s Sorbet fashion case is available in three swirly colors.|
|Some women use Cinzia Designs’ Big Button eyeglass case as an evening clutch bag to hold their essentials.|
So what’s in at Hilco this season? The Sorbet fashion case looks as yummy as it sounds. This large, hard case comes in three swirly colors: pink with pink lining, green with pink lining, and blue with beige lining. Another chic case is the Bedazzled option. The Bedazzled hard cases are also large enough for sunwear and they come in three glittery colors: blue with white lining, silver with black lining, and pink with white lining. A more traditional favorite is the Shyanne collection. This hard case is a conventional size and is available in light blue, brown, and gray. Sure to be a great marketing tool, the Shyanne can be customized with a name or office on its outside.
|MATERIAL WORLD Vintage eyeglass cases were really more like works of art made out of unusual materials. One popular material was sharkskin. The bumpy sharkskin was filed smooth, leaving a beautiful stippled pattern; it was then dyed, molded into shape, and then coated in shellac to make it shiny. Cases were also made out of tortoiseshell, which was actually the shell of a sea turtle and had a rough whorl pattern. Hand-carved wood cases featured intricate patterns. Beautiful carved ivory cases have been discovered as well, believed to be from as early as the 17th century.|
The global company Astucci creates and distributes eyeglass cases and has a minibag to please every taste. Its stock cases include the delightful minibag style with handles, including the Roses case, which is covered in white or black roses and Punky, which features bright pink with black skulls and crossbones. The Honeycomb zipper case, available in black, brown, and blue, is an oversized, semi-hard case. A zipper closure and sport clip make the Honeycomb perfect to take hiking or to the beach. The Flower Mod semi-hard case is spunky and bright. It’s offered in green, pink, or black, with 3D retro flowers in coordinating colors.
EUROPA AND CINZIA DESIGNS
A high fashion division of Europa International, Cinzia Designs was founded in 2002 but draws from Europa’s 30-plus years of optical business experience. The company takes a continual fresh look at its accessories, including eyeglass cases. Cinzia’s two top-selling cases are Little Button and Big Button. The Little Button has two rows of small buttons on the front of the case, while the Big Button features one big, chunky button. The eye-catching cases are so much fun that many women even use them as evening clutch bags to hold their essentials. The two-tone cases come in six lively colors including lime and mustard.
Europa handles its cases a little differently. All of its premium ophthalmic frames come with complimentary cases designed for each collection, whereas Cinzia Designs creates cases to match every reader and sunglass. Each case goes beyond function and becomes part of the fashion
|Corinne McCormack’s on-trend designs establish a clear connection between the company’s eyewear and accessories (China Animal Triangle case in red, shown here).|
Keeping up with the latest trends in fashion isn’t easy, but Corinne McCormack successfully accomplishes this feat season after season, and always keeps the con-nection between its eyewear and accessories in mind. For example, the company’s cases for Summer 2012 coordinate with each of its collections, which draw inspiration from around the world, including China and Egypt.
While the main purpose of an eyeglass case is to protect the patient’s eyewear, why not make it fashionable and fun by offering them some cutting-edge models?
Kim Pickett is a certified ophthalmic medical technologist and ophthalmic writer in Minneapolis, MN.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Astucci US Ltd.
888-ASTUCCI • astucci.com
Cinzia Designs for Europa International
800-701-6765 • cinziadesigns.com
212-868-7919 • corinnemccormack.com
800-955-6544 • hilco.com
800-249-1058 • lbieyewear.com
800-247-7667 • ronsoptical.com