De Rigo Vision’s Givenchy, distributed by Marr International, reflects a hip, modern look that continues to strive for uniqueness (Style No. SGV727 shown here).

Even eyewear brands that have been popular for a number of years incorporate new elements into their classic designs to keep them fresh.

Like other industries that are fashion oriented, the eyewear industry is in a constant state of change, turnover, and improvement. This can make our lives as opticians a bit challenging, especially when our patients develop a trust with a specific eyewear collection and then the collection is discontinued. In today’s world when things seem to change almost overnight, we can still find eyewear collections that have withstood the test of time.

Hubert de Givenchy opened the House of Givenchy in 1952 and his creations instantly became recognizable as elegant and sophisticated. Two women represented the typical Givenchy style of the 1950s and 1960s: Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. In fact, at that time the Givenchy atelier possessed individual pattern sheets for every female member of the Kennedy family.

Givenchy eyewear was one of the earliest ophthalmic designer eyewear

Safilo combines the best of the past with the best of the modern world and keeps it distinctly Gucci (Style No. GG31510 shown here).

brands on the market in the early 1970s. Back then, the ophthalmic and sunwear styles were huge, in keeping with the style of the day. Over the decades, eyewear has transitioned as styles have changed and today’s collections reflect a hip, modern look that continues to strive for uniqueness.

Offered in a variety of materials and design types like full rimmed, semi-rimless, and combinations, Givenchy (a De Rigo Vision brand distributed by Marr International Group) eyewear bridges the generation gap so there’s something for just about anyone. While the styles surely are not as large as they were in the 1970s, they are still bold, exciting, and colorful.

WE’VE COME A LONG WAY The concept of using devices to aid vision dates back centuries. For example, it is said that the Roman philosopher and author, Seneca (4 BCE – 65 AD), read “all the books in Rome” by looking through a glass globe filled with water. Imagine the inconvenience of this eyeglass! About 1,000 years later, presbyopic monks laid segments of glass spheres against their reading material to magnify the letters. This type of magnifying glass was called a reading stone. The problem of keeping eyeglasses stable was not solved until 1718 when Edward Scarlett, a London, England optician, advertised spectacles with temples (although it is not clear if he actually invented them). Temple spectacles had short, stiff sidepieces ending in a circular ring that pressed against the temples of the head just above the ears. This innovation aided the putting on and removing of the eyeglasses and didn’t interfere with a person’s long hair or wig.

Diane Von Furstenburg (DVF) is a brand that appeals to women of all ages. The designer’s first ad campaign motto, “feel like a woman, wear a dress,” is just as relevant today as it was when it was originated in 1972. DVF has evolved into a transgenerational, global lifestyle brand for the DVF woman—her mother wore DVF, she wears DVF, and now her daughter wears DVF. As a designer, Diane Von Furstenburg is noted for creating feminine designs with innovative styling for the career-minded woman. The DVF eyewear collection maintains that same key design philosophy.

Von Furstenberg’s foray into the eyewear world started in the 1970s when her cutting-edge designs were offered through Optique Du Monde. Marchon Eyewear partnered with Diane von Furstenburg to launch the collection in 2010.

The eyewear collection interprets the designer’s use of shapes, prints, and vibrant colors, featuring eye- and sunwear pieces centered on the iconic DVF themes. The Wrap, for example, is inspired by the DVF Wrap Dress. Other signature elements include the DVF lips, the Love Knot, the power stone, and the DVF Art Deco logo.

One of the most enduring vintage eyewear brands is Zyloware Eyewear’s

Sophia Loren from Zyloware has helped mature women make eyewear a beautiful, fun, and
affordable accessory to their wardrobe (Style No.
SLM 210 shown here).

Sophia Loren Collection. A legendary screen icon, Sophia Loren was the first celebrity to have an eyewear brand and Zyloware has proudly sold the collection since 1980. It is one of the top-selling brands to women aged 40 and up, according to the company.

While the styles have changed over the years, the brand has stayed focused on offering a wide range of flattering models, colors, and feminine accents in an assortment of materials. You’ll also find that they are multifocal-friendly. Through her eyewear creations, Sophia Loren has helped mature women make eyewear a beautiful, fun, and affordable accessory to their wardrobe.

Safilo USA capitalizes on the Christian Dior heritage and Dior’s codes of

The original styling of Luxottica’s Ray-Ban collection has been preserved by retaining some of the superstar designs, like the Aviator (Style No. RB3449 shown here).

elegance, femininity, couture, and glamour in its eyewear collection. The Dior eyewear line continues to be fashion-forward while maintaining the excellence and couture that is quintessential Dior. Safilo acquired the Dior brand in 1983 and has produced ophthalmic and sunwear styles under this license ever since.

The Dior collection remains at the forefront of the fashion designer eyewear world by combining futuristic technology with classic looks. For instance, by utilizing the benefit of ultra-lightweight aluminum, the collection offers generous sizes that are so popular today and keeps the eyewear comfortable to wear. Modern materials used by Safilo highlight vibrant colors that grab attention intermingled with the use of geometric lines and modern shapes.

Among the world’s most recognized brands, Safilo’s Gucci collection features eyewear for those who appreciate a premium product. Since its release into the eyewear market, the collection has become synonymous with high quality and distinctive design. The women’s line includes sunglasses inspired by the 1970s and 1980s, offering the glamour of the oversized square, rectangular, round, and fascinating butterfly shape for the retro look.

Safilo brings ultra-lightweight metals, acetates, and its proprietary Optyl material to traditional shapes for a comfortable feel. Glossy black, white, orange, and violet combination colors reflect the era. Combining the best of the past with the best of the modern world and keeping it distinctly Gucci is why the collection continues to be a prominent player.

Around since the 1930s, Ray-Ban® eyewear is an iconic part of American history. General Douglas MacArthur, for example, was photographed landing on the beach in the Philippines during World War II wearing the Ray-Ban Aviator. Throughout the decades, Ray-Ban sunglasses have been seen on the faces of rock stars and celebrities. Purchased from Bausch + Lomb in 1999, Luxottica continues to make Ray-Ban history.

The collection’s original styling has been preserved by retaining some of the superstar designs, like the Aviator and the Caravan. Luxottica has also introduced new styles and technologies into the collection to attract a newer, younger audience who wants Ray-Ban quality and brand recognition but with bolder and more aggressive styling and materials. The Ray-Ban Tech collection, for example, features lightweight metal combinations such as titanium, aluminum, or memory metal fronts accented by carbon fiber temples with rubber- injected tips for added security, durability, and comfort.

While life in the optical world continues to evolve, vintage eyewear brands persist in finding new ways to bring their fashionable designs to eager eyewear buyers.

Jill Luebbert is a certified paraoptometric and optician practicing in northeast Nebraska.

De Rigo Vision distributed by Marr International Group
212-391-1782 •

800-422-2020 •

Marchon Eyewear
800-645-1300 •

Safilo USA
800-631-1188 •

Zyloware Eyewear
800-765-3700 •


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