Randy Jackson Sets Sights on Eye Health and Pushing the Eyewear Envelope
Passersby stop Randy Jackson all the time. They tell him how much they love the glasses he wore on American Idol—and how much they dig the affordable eyewear collection that bears his name, produced by Zyloware Eyewear. “Randy often wore really ‘out-there’ styles and normalized eyewear that’s a little edgy as acceptable for the American guy,” said Chris Shyer, co-CEO and president. “He made it comfortable for American guys to be cool wearing glasses, and we came out together with the glasses at just the time where the only cool glasses you could get were really expensive.”
After reaching an impressive milestone of a decade-long partnership, Jackson and Zyloware have reinvigorated the brand for 2017 with seven new cool choices in the extended fit category. “We’re sensitive to the fact that even people who have larger heads actually may have average PDs, and so a lot of the collection is designed around a normal aesthetic look,” Shyer added.
VCPN garnered an interview with Jackson, whom we spoke with in New York City at The Edition hotel. He had just come from an appearance on Good Day New York and was reviewing the new collection with the Zyloware design team. Afterwards, he was headed to film a segment about eye health with Dr. Oz.
MICHELE SILVER: What do you like the most about the spring/summer 2017 collection and the new extended fit choices?
RANDY JACKSON: My thing is always about keeping men on trend and taking the guesswork out of it, with the same affordability and the amazing fit. Maybe you need it slightly larger and you need a bigger frame—you can know that it’s going to fit and look great, but on trend. I’m personally into the matte [look]because I think the matte looks good on a lot of people.
American men are usually a little bit larger than European men. I wanted everyone to find something that’s going to fit them right off the shelf. That also builds confidence, because if you know you look good, you feel good.
SILVER: What eyewear fashion advice do you have for men?
JACKSON: I think you need at least four or five pairs. I change every other week, but it’s also seasonal to me. I think accessories make the man.
SILVER: When you were a judge on American Idol, what kind of impact do you think you had on eyeglass wearers?
JACKSON: I think it really inspired them. There’s a lot of people going for contact lenses and LASIK, because, eyewear for the man hasn’t always been so fashionable. I have a lot of astigmatism, so I didn’t have all those choices afforded to me, and I like wearing glasses. So I think it made them feel rest assured that, if the dog is rockin’ and he’s cool with glasses, I can be, too.
I’m always inspired by the vintage eyewear, it’s always a little back to the future with me. So [I like when there is] inspiration from an older style, but you put a little touch of something different with it. I love that, because I still think that these old frames are so iconic.
SILVER: When you’re getting ready for your day, do you choose glasses or the outfit first?
JACKSON: For me, I’m a little weird. I will choose the glasses first, then I want the rest to complement it.
SILVER: From your personal experiences, what do you want to share about maintaining good eye health?
JACKSON: I get my eyes checked two or three times a year, but having Type 2 diabetes, there’s so many complications. I mean, of course, everybody has heard about heart disease and kidney disease, but eye health is like the next-door cousin. I wanted to call attention to it because not enough people think about it, especially men. Most guys should go every year to the eye doctor but they don’t. Men hate going to the doctor. They hate getting a checkup of any kind, so something has to drastically be wrong for them to really want to go. Well, if you go regularly for a checkup and maybe nothing will go so drastically wrong where you can head it off before anything happens.
SILVER: Do you find kind of in your day-to-day life that a lot of people really are not conversant with their eye health?
JACKSON: I don’t think they fully understand at all, and that’s why part of my thing is trying to bring the awareness to it and be mindful of it.
SILVER: What do you love the most about being connected to the eyewear industry?
JACKSON: That I help to inspire a lot of men to try and be more trendy and not feel afraid or embarrassed, because they now afford stylish, cool, well-fitting glasses. You know, I think people shop and they see a lot of cool things but they go, ‘Oh, it’s never going to fit me, they don’t have my size.’ Now there’s no excuse. You can look cool.