Editors Note


Now That You MENtion It…

There were great episodes of “Seinfeld” and “Frasier” based on it. Keith Richards snarked a great pair on the cover of the “Jumping Jack Flash” single. Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter dared to stare in them. The New York Dolls definitely glammed quite successfully (but their New Wave follow-upstarts a decade later mostly blew it).

Back in the day, guys suiting up in “women’s” eyewear (AND sunglasses) was a rare and most certainly creepy occurrence. By and large (REALLY large!), that rule still stands.

The reverse is not true, and in reality men’s eyewear shapes and styles and colors and materials dictate the current consumer conditioning in the optical market. Yes, there is the surge of the refreshed CatEye standing supreme as a growing go-to style for women. And yes, the veritable rainbow of colorations available and embraced by women is extremely admirable and formidable, but the more general shaping of men’s eyewear (the P3, the clubman, the all-zyl “Clark Kent” look, the round wise-owl frame front, the double-browed bar-tender and the indomitable aviator) dominates the current market for men AND women.

Some of it certainly has to do with those shapes and styles being relatively safe choices. More of it can go credited to the basically powerful profile those looks have in the simple online choices intruding big time on consumer wish lists. And most of it simples out as being the very crest of what has been a long stretch of popularity for reinvented retro as a mainstay in everything fashionable and stylish these days.

When I first showed up for scribe duty in optical, there was a rash of unisex styling and selling that quite honestly made me nauseous. It was a glut of bland and boring eyewear selections honed by virtually years of design commitment dedicated to making eyewear seem invisible: over-stretched horizontal and pillow shapes, uncommitted metal colorations and cheap outbreaks of tortoise foiling that looked so dirty and unworthy. For the most part that “stuff” undeserving of being faced by men AND women is gone.

Eyewear is on a roll of pride and presence on people’s faces. I like that. It makes me smile. It makes me want to stick any and every frame from this issue right on my puss and say, “Look at me and look especially at my glasses!” I feel good about that sort of attitude. I feel great about the state of men’s AND women’s eyewear. Going out there and publishing a black and white cover of 20/20 just a few years ago would have been unheard of mainly because the eyewear had no substance. The true “reality test” is that these days eyewear rightly screams and deems attention.

Did I mention that puts YOU in a great place? Step up and bask in this latest and greatest eyewear story.   

James J. Spina

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