Material composition is THE most common ground when it comes to what makes each style of eyewear unique in appeal. Material composition crosses the broad border of endless shape variations, increasingly countless brands and the ever expanding possibilities of color and quality. Enlightened dispensers are realizing that a clear understanding of the variety of materials available coupled with the increasingly smart trend toward combining a variety of materials might offer the key advantage to winning sell-through approval from patients. Toward that maxim 20/20 offers a retail-inspired guided tour of materials as witnessed by the optical community.
Titanium and Metals
“Titanium is great for anyone who wants a comfortable pair of frames because it is light and durable. Men like titanium for the technical aspect and women like it because it is lightweight and doesn’t leave any marks on the face.”
—Bernice Olivetti, OD, buyer,
Leonard Opticians, New York
“Customers are coming in asking for titanium, stainless steel and flexible plastics. Everything is lightweight right now and when I buy frames, I make sure that they are comfortable; otherwise they aren’t going to sell.
—Gary Shpritz, OD, owner,
Frame-Up Optical, Bethesda, Md.
“Titanium frames are a really big fashion statement right now. It’s all about the three-piece mountings. Customers want lightweight, flexible frames and that means titanium.”
—Evelyn Barrios, office manager,
Optique Zone of Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Fla.
“We do well with conservative plastics. These are styles that you can’t find in the metals. We sell a lot of them to both the younger crowd and the older crowd.”
—Hugh Paine, manager,
Eyepieces of Vail, Vail, Colo.
“Plastics are great because they are easy to adjust, don’t have nosepads and don’t touch the face. They also come in great shapes and colors.”
—Genny Bank, OD,
Harbor Eyes Optical, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Plastics are great for people of all ages. Since rimless is really popular right now, plastics offer more of a glasses look for those who want to be different. People like them because they come in a lot of colors, don’t have nosepads and are sturdy. But, it’s important to make sure that you have a good fit on the bridge.”
—Kathy Kake, OD,
Fifth Avenue Galleria, Edina, Minn.
“Customers appreciate it when you point out the pros and cons of different frame materials, because a lot of people, especially first time wearers, just aren’t familiar with all the different frame options. For example, plastics last longer than metal.”
Carolina Family Eye Care, Charlotte, N.C.
“Combo frames offer the best of both worlds. They give you the lightness and strength of metal or titanium with the warmth of plastics. They have become very modern looking and combos can give you versatility. They can be worn in almost every situation. They offer the feel of plastic without all the bulk.”
—Matthew Sakolsky, general retail manager,
Morgenthal-Frederics Eyewear, New York
“We carry a lot of combination frames. They are great for people who want a balance between the strongness of a plastic and the softness of a metal. Also, they work for people who want a metal with more personality, but are on the edge of going for a heavy look.”
—Gina Muchmore, OD, manager, Rims and
Goggles, San Francisco
“I sell a lot of frames with plastic fronts and metal temples. People like these because they don’t have to be adjusted that often and offer the best of both worlds.”
—Bill Martin, manager,
Eyes-Icles, Ardmore, Pa.
“The titanium front with zyl temples is a good combination frame because it is lightweight and durable.”
—Laura Sinisi, OD,
Designing Eyes Optical, Tampa, Fla.