Features: Fashion Feature


The Turning Point

Photographed by NEDJELJKO MATURA
Fashion Editor: GLORIA NICOLA
Hair and Makeup: STACY BENEKE/R.J. Bennett

PERRY ELLIS 180, metal bowtie with extended endpieces and two-part torsion-bar hinge styling, from Eyewear Designs • Circle No. 224

Clockwise from top left: STETSON 196, double-bridge metal aviator
with 150-degree wide-opening spring-hinge temples, from Zyloware • Circle No. 236; TIMBERLAND TB01, plastic rectangle with patent-pending screwless spring hinges, from Rem Eyewear • Circle No. 231; SUTEKI 554, titanium rectangle with temples angling down from endpieces, from Masunaga Group • Circle No. 230

From top: T2 SYSTEM by Swissflex 41, rimless, geometric design with screwless, hingeless, flexible plastic temples, from The Lens Work • Circle No. 227; THALIA Raquel, three-piece mount with extended metal endpieces inserted into plastic temples, from Lancer International/Division of Kenmark Optical  • Circle No. 226; TURA N027, metal upsweep with extended endpieces and curved upper temples inserted into open segment in micro torsion-bar design, from Tura • Circle No. 234; JAGUAR 3034, geometric three-piece mount with extended titanium endpieces and upper temples inserted into plastic, from Eastern States Eyewear • Circle No. 223

KENNETH COLE FRAGRANCE Cole-Logne, rimless sunglass with open endpieces and fragrance bottle d├ęcor on upper temples, from ClearVision Optical • Circle No. 222

From top: RALPH LAUREN 1360, plastic rectangle with discreet RL logo, from Ralph Lauren Eyewear • Circle No. 232; FENDI Sun 268, rimless shield with oversize metal “F” logo extending from endpiece through lens, from Marchon Eyewear • Circle No. 229; SALVATORE FERRAGAMO 1053, rimless rectangle with metal double gancino logo, from Luxottica Group • Circle No. 228; HUGO 15843 by Hugo Boss, oversize plastic butterfly with “Hugo” logo embossed on outside and inside of translucent temples, from CXD/Charmant Exclusive Division • Circle No. 221

Clockwise from top: MINIMAL X 1969, rimless, screwless, hingeless design made of SPX with titanium core, from Silhouette Optical • Circle No. 233; OGAMI ASKI, semi-rimless cat eye with metal temples inserted into plastic segment in torsion-bar hinge design, from World Spectacles • Circle No. 235; KAZUO KAWASAKI MP 636, rimless, screwless cantilevered torsion-bar hinge design, from Italee Optics • Circle No. 225

Selling Ingenious Hinges
One important but often-overlooked step in selling eyewear is the energetic and educated presentation of the frame’s hinge. In many cases the actual technology and quality of the hinge could easily be an optical retailer’s strongest or weakest point in terms of customer satisfaction. Hinge technology ranks right up there with Rx adaptability and a frame’s fit on the face in terms of consumer interaction with both the product and the dispenser. The “sell” of a particular frame could easily “hinge” on the hinge so keep these turning points in mind:
Hope Springs Eternal  If the hinge incorporates a spring, be responsive to understanding and explaining the mechanics of that tension point to the consumer.
Hide and Seek  If the hinge has a hidden spring or a micro spring, engage in a discussion of those features. All consumers (and especially men) respect micro technology as a wave of their future in any range of products from electronics to automobiles to … eyewear.
Less is More  Hingeless eyewear is here and getting more prevalent by the second. Giving credit where credit is due, Silhouette first delivered this technology and continues to be at the forefront of this new design (and in a range of clever dispensing techniques that highlight the hinge). Consumers still need strong guidance on a range of hinge characteristics.
Casing the Joint  The eyewear needs to be properly cased and uncased. Don’t laugh. An improperly cased springless style can be damaged if twisted to fit improperly in a case.
Face It  A hingeless style also needs a careful placement-on-the-face demo because an uninitiated buyer could easily poke his eye with the temple of the frame. It takes some skill and a bit of practice but the rewards of fit and durability are well worth the effort.
Material Matters  Hingeless now comes in a variety of both metal AND plastic configurations. Both materials have specific benefits and both technologies are perfectly matched to the demands and popularity of rimless styles. Rimless is certainly not for everyone but every rimless can benefit from the lightness, strength and drilling advantages of hingeless.
Going Logo Big logos are hot. Small logos are hot. You can go both ways on that subject. Hinges that incorporate lifestyle branded and designer logos are a modern marketing miracle. Utilize this clever use of the turning point to make your merchandising point after establishing the big/small preference of your customer.
Hooked on Classics  Surprisingly, many high-end frames incorporate NO spring in the hinge. These mainly zyl styles depend on a classic screw hinge either bonded or metal pegged to both the frontpiece and the temples. It all works and endures mainly because of the quality of the hinge and a rich combination of flexibility and density inherent to the zyl. Spring hinges have become a buzzword for consumers so some quality selling might be needed here to drive home the benefits of such a classic arrangement. And since it’s a high-end purchase be prepared to satisfy limitless adjustments and repairs. The high-end cost demands careful and considerate follow-up service.  
— James J. Spina