Incredible colors, wild prints and material mixes take the functional reader to stylish new heights.
For Gen Xers, their parents and grandparents, there is a fashionable reader for every age and every lifestyle. Ron’s Optical’s upcoming collection, for example, is targeted to wearers who simply want to have fun and look stylish. According to Melissa Scoppettone, president, “There is no particular age limit or range as I believe everyone wants to look good in a pair of readers.”
Founder/designer Sam Kotob of eyeOs Premium Readers, knows that “‘young’ is a state of mind, not a number.” He and his team of designers “are inspired by the people we meet all over the world who have what the French refer to as je ne sais quoi, that special something.”
With all of the colors, prints, textures and finishes available, Wynn Pratt, marketing spokesperson for Ogi Eyewear and Scojo New York, stressed that “Gen X consumers ought to know that needing reading glasses is not a handicap but an opportunity to up your style-and to express yourself like you never have.” Scoppettone agreed: “There is no need to sacrifice style as you age into reading glasses.”
Moreover, style can play a major role as some readers can be worn all the time. “Our active (California) lifestyle inspired our approach to designing everyday reading eyewear that can go everywhere with you as you experience the world,” said John Wilkening, designer for CalOptix. “We wanted something that was comfortable for wherever you are with features that support wearing [them]in any environment.” Both the Jet and Allo collections appeal to patients who aren’t afraid of bright colors and bold accessories.
COLOR, TEXTURE AND PATTERNS
One of the colors flooding the market this fall is blue in a variety of shades from electric to sky to navy. Visualites, from De Rigo REM, already features a sky blue frame but will be debuting another light blue style (an updated take on Visualites 1) in its upcoming 2017 collection. Pratt predicts that “vibrant colors-greens, oranges, and reds-juxtaposed with classic blacks, browns and timeless tortoises seem to be en pointe this season.” Scojo New York has introduced a bifocal reader, Hutchinson Street, as well as a variety of new colors for the rimless Gels Metallic frame.
Eyebobs is expanding its design portfolio with unique combinations of materials such as acetate frames with riveted gunmetal bridges. In addition to bright colors, Jason Engelman, product design director and optician for eyebobs, stressed that key patterns include confetti, stripes, polka dots, abstracts and color blocking as well as finishes in matte, shiny, rubberized and pebble.
Animal prints, gradient colors and plaids play major roles this season, according to Scoppettone. The company will be releasing bold shapes and textures as well as some natural wood/bamboo frames.
DON’T BE BLUE
Blue light has been a hot topic due to increased screen time from television, computers and cell phones. This season, Hilco will offer a cost-effective, blue light protection frame, Blu-Ban glasses, that help work against digital eyestrain and retinal degeneration. FGX International also launched a line of blue-light blocking frames, Polinelli.
YOUR FEEDBACK MATTERS
While sales and raw numbers do speak volumes, the feedback from eyecare professionals can paint a more detailed picture, according to Pratt. “By listening to ECPs, we arrive at a deeper understanding of what people are saying about our product-what excites them, for example-as opposed to a number generated by a report,” he said.
Cory Springer, VP of sales and marketing at CalOptix, uses the feedback to improve products. “Not surprisingly, ECPs have indicated the need for optical quality, contemporary styles and durability as well as the need for low power and incremental steps in diopters. We have incorporated those elements into our reader ranges,” Springer said.
Ron’s Optical runs focus groups with local opticians and welcomes suggestions at Vision Expo East and West. As the result of one such request, the company’s Carmel reader was born. “I love the input from ECPs as they are on the frontline speaking with their patients every day and really know what the patients want,” said Scoppettone.
TELLING TWO FRIENDS AND SO ON
Social media rules the world these days, and Kotob understands its impact. “Gen X was part of our inspiration from the inception of our collection. They are brand loyal, seek out new and inspired products and and value high quality, well-designed product,” he said, adding that this group’s involvement in social media helps to boost brand awareness and drive sales. “The beauty of Gen X is that they share with friends and followers when they love a product.”
Kaitlyn Robertson has been writing for over a decade with eight years spent in the optical industry.
De RigoREM 877.606.7852 • derigo.com
Eyebobs 888.393.2627 • eyebobs.com
eyeOs, Inc., 800.625.1880 and 978.562.1720 • eyeoseyewear.com
FGX International, Inc., 800.480.4846 • fostergrant.com
Hilco 800.955.6544 • hilco.com
Ron’s Optical 800.247.7667 • ronsoptical.com
Scojo New York – Ogi Eyewear 888.560.1060 • ogieyewear.com