Features: Fashion Feature

Oct
2005

It's a GuyStyle Thing

They want durability... expect comfort... and love techy extras as long as they understand the benefits. Fashion is okay—even good—but they are more comfortable if the women in their lives—or when necessary the optician—help them make style decisions. They are eyewear purchasers... They are smart guys. —Gloria Nicola
From top: HUSH PUPPIES 264 from Lancer International/Division of Kenmark Group; CONVERSE Resilient from Rem Eyewear; PRO DESIGN 4632 from Pro Design Eyewear; DONALD J. TRUMP SIGNATURE COLLECTION 02 from Eyewear Designs; TOMMY BAHAMA 45 from Altair Eyewear

One out of three of our male customers come out of the exam room saying they want to bring their wife or girlfriend in to help them select a frame. The others just go for it. What they go for is durability and lots of bells and whistles. We notice price is not as much of an issue with guys as it is with women. Men will pay extra for a titanium frame because of the durability factor and they are more likely than women to buy progressive and photochromic lenses and AR coatings.

—Ken Tinkcom, optician, New Concept Optical, Cheyenne, Wyo.
“Durability and light weight are the key concerns for our male customers. When it comes to selecting a specific style, they turn to their wife or girlfriend or, in their absence, an optician for advice. Price is not much of a consideration as long as the eyewear is comfortable. And only about 30 percent of our male clients are concerned with fashion. What they do like is extras—spring hinges, AR coatings and especially photochromic lenses because of the convenience of having a sunglass without carrying another pair.”

—Adrianna Houseweart, optician,
Adling Eye Center, Reno, Nev.

From top: TI CYPRUS from A&A Opticals TOMMY HILFIGER 3114 from Viva International Group; STETSON 230 from Zyloware
From top: ORIGA 2015 from L’Amy; EDDIE BAUER Franklin from Signature Eyewear; WRANGLER Pole Position from Nouveau Eyewear; BOSS HUGO BOSS 11108 from Charmant Group; WOOLRICH 7777 from New York Eye/A Hart Specialties Company
From top: IZOD 354 from ClearVision Optical; TITAN MINIMAL ART 7510 from Silhouette Optical; POLICE V2956 from Eastern States Eyewear; LIGHTEC 6001 L from Morel Cottet

"We used to think of men as being a simple sale. That’s no longer true. They are becoming as complex when it comes to purchases as women. Some want fashion; some are looking for quality; others seek out technology. But they are definitely changing as eyewear consumers, in large part because they take more pride in every aspect of their appearance from their hair to their clothes to their eyewear. We have found this true on all levels—blue collar, white collar, professionals. Men still like advice, but they have stronger opinions than they did in the past. We also find men aren’t very price conscious as a general rule." —Belinda Bellows, frames marketing manager, Walman Optical, Minneapolis, Minn.

"Men’s buying patterns are changing. They are becoming more interested in fashion than in the past. But men are also techno savvy. Guys do hone in on features and benefits. They like longevity, durability and value for their money. They tend to gravitate toward packages (lenses with UV, scratch and AR coatings) much as they do when they are purchasing automobiles. When frames are presented and dispensed in an intelligent way, we are seeing much more of a blend of fashion and function in the men’s market. Opticians really need to concentrate on lifestyle dispensing and make relevant recommendations—a polarized lens for water sports, a golf glass, a computer glass, safety glasses for woodworking. "

—Jeff Szymanski, sales manager, Toledo Optical, Toledo, Ohio
“It’s always helpful when a male customer comes in with a female companion. Women can offer advice and help ease the decision-making process in regard to style and fashion. Our male customers are more focused on comfort and performance and are into technology and value. We have a lot of metal mills in the area so local men are well versed in premium metals such as titanium. As a result, materials work well as a selling point. As a practice, we focus on the high end—add-ons are part of our standard package for both men and women. All of our lenses are polycarbonate and come with AR coatings. And we provide clips for every frame we sell.”

—Dennis A. Zelazowski, OD,
Spectacles, etc., Lower Burrell, Pa.


 

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