Editors Note

Feb
2016

Declaration of Independence

With last year bringing a powerful and successful focus on the impact of Millennials on all aspects of the optical arena, 20/20 decided to devote a concerted effort toward the growing numbers and strength of Independent Eyewear brands surging within the opti-sphere and destined for significant growth now in 2016 and far beyond, as eyewear with a definitive eyewear heritage apart from designer and lifestyle brands grows in justified importance.

These Independent Eyewear brands are certainly nothing new for any longtime 20/20 readers. Monikered as Our Eyewear in 20/20 for years, the editorial team here have always been rabid for the distinct eyewear on a variety of demographic and price point levels, appealing to consumers looking for something above, beyond and boldly unique and lush with specific optical heritage and visionary daring.

Anyone checking in at any optical tradeshow in these last few years certainly comes away with a sense of renewed energy in this arena. We’re sure you’ve noted the incredible expanse of “Galleria” and “Underground” and “Loft” presence this particular force commands each year at any Expo time period in NYC. What was once more of a specialty appeal is now the reality of an eyewear universe proud in its leadership of design, innovation, style and variety.

Quite frankly, I adore this world where eyewear overtly assumes its role as an ultimate leader in fulfilling both the needs and wants of consumers seeking the path to better vision and self-identity.

As noted, we’ve been on this case for years but throughout this specific year, there will be numerous moments where what we once noted as Our Eyewear is now loudly and proudly touted as Independent Eyewear. And as you’ll see as these features deploy, Independent Eyewear is part of a groundswell on a global level to return to the manufacturing of products steeped in an elusive but distinct sense of pride and self-worth. It involves scrutiny of manufacturing origins, transparency as to sourcing and a logic to marketing that consumers are clearly responding to with a vigor of trust.

There’s really good stuff going on here. Check out the gist of what I’m saying in this month’s “Eye Am Woman” on page 60, where Independent Eyewear can truly align and define a very modern take on what it means to be a self-spirited woman.

Note the mix of sourced eyewear. Note the rainbow of styles, shapes and price points. Declare your piece, part and pursuit of this refreshing independence.

James J. Spina
Editor-in-Chief
jspina@jobson.com















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