Ernesto’s Efforts
Captivating. It’s the best word we can think of to describe the photo in the current Zyloware advertising for Via Spiga Occhiali. Apparently Via Spiga’s designer and creative director Ernesto Esposito keeps everyone involved in the creation of his fashionable “wares” on edge as he personally conducts the photo shoot for all aspects of his empire. From shoes to eyewear to watches to handbags to hosiery, Ernesto does it all but at his own pace, usually last minute at best. According to our sources Ernesto sometimes disappears for months before miraculously reappearing to design 300 shoe styles in just two days.

So when it came time to click an image for the Via Spiga Occiali ad Ernesto decided to get the job done at the same time he photographed all his other new products. AND he capped it all off by raving about the new color tones of red and mauve but decided at the last second to produce the shot in beige. Whatever. Look at the eyewear. Look at her expression. Look at her eyes. Look at the beige. Captivating. So much so that Zyloware has just been awarded the “licensee of the year” award from Intershoe. —James J. Spina

Spectacles On Ice
Faithful 20/20 readers know we’re always pushing the plan of selling sunwear as a 12-month-a-year profit situation. But what’s the option when you have a slew of days each year with nearly 24 hours worth of sun. Image Optical in Fairbanks, Alaska understands the glare of that scenario. In a store setting that pays full homage to the Victorian fringe of Fairbanks 1902 gold rush, optician Pam Gajdos paints a sunny picture. “That extended daylight during our spring and summer solstice pushes demand for sun styles into nearly every brand we carry,” she says. “Our plano customers are usually interested in the sport and wrap styles from Maui Jim, Revo, Ray-Ban, Oakley and Serengeti. But our loyal Rx customers certainly see the value in coordinating with the brands they are loyal to in their regular perscription glasses.” Noted brands of late include LaFont, Alain Mikli, Face a Face and Silhouette. Gajdos also observes extreme interest from her male customers in classic styles from both Brooks Brothers and Eddie Bauer.

The shop has not participated in any Rx sun programs as yet, preferring to use their usual lab resources for all of their perscription work. Without a doubt polarization has become the buzz work for Gajdos and her customers, due mainly to the intense glare situation from Alaska’s ever-present snowy conditions.

One final “fashion” note. Image Optical does a good deal of in-house lens edge tinting. Gajdos likes to think the inspiration comes from above. “The spectacular colors our customers choose seem to be inspired by the natural light show of our Aurora Borealis,” she says. “The whimsical strip of colors does a dance across the sky every year between December and March. The science of it has to do with gas molecules and solar winds hundreds of miles above the earth but the inspiration is pure magic when it comes to picking lens colorations.” —

Still Standing. If eyewear were to crown a king, it would most certainly be 1. Elton John. Here the pop diva wears the new Elton John VI limited-edition spectacles from Oliver Peoples. Along with the Elton John V Moderne collection, the limited edition pieces will debut at Silmo for Spring 2003. Proceeds from the sales of the frames goes to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Elton John (inset) is also seen wearing eyewear from Alain Mikli—style A0125—on the red carpet of the recent Golden Globe Awards… Take a bow. Singer/songwriter 2. Baby Face chills in Kenneth Cole New York Sunwear style Unshielded from ClearVision… Screening room. Sàfilo was in the house—the Motorola House that is—during the 2003 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The company partnered with Motorola to provide entertainment’s movers and shakers with eyewear from its stable of brands. Among the celebs who walked away with some cool shades are 3. Dustin Hoffman in Polo Sport 1083ns, 4. Minnie Driver in Carrera Superior sunglasses, 5. Val Kilmer in Dior Homme Black Tie 11s and 6. Andrew Keegan in Gucci 1445s… All grown up. 7. Danny Wood, formerly of New Kids on the Block, is about to debut his first solo CD. The former teen idol is seen wearing a pair of Killer Loops from Luxottica at a recent photo shoot… Sing-a-long. The race for the 2003 Grammys had a group of young new artists tied for the most nominations (five each). Another thing they have in common? They’re all seen here sporting styles from Marchon. 8. Avril Lavigne in Coach S313, 9. Norah Jones in Donna Karan style 8237, 10. Ashanti in Fendi Suns style FS261/S and 11. Nelly in cK#2038… Choice awards. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture and CBS’s top-rated crime drama “CSI” picked up a People’s Choice for Favorite Television Dramatic Series. Both sets of cast members celebrated in styles from Marchon. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” leading man 12. John Corbett in Nautica Monte Carlo, leading lady and writer 13. Nia Vardalos in Donna Karan 8810 and supporting actress 14. Lanie Kazan in cK 2039. From “CSI” 15. Gary Dourdan in Donna Karan 8238, 16. Wanda DeJesus in Calvin Klein 370S and 17. Eric Szmanda in cK 1033. Gotta have heart. Wearing shades from the Chrome Hearts collection from Optical Shop of Aspen are 18. Nicholas Cage (seen here at the Golden Globes) in style Freedom in antique silver and rocker 19. Tommy Lee in (appropriately) Amped in shiny black… Winners’ circle. Oliver Peoples eyewear was a fave among a couple of winners at the recent Golden Globe Awards. Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama taker for his role in the film “About Schmidt,” 20. Jack Nicholson in Drifter with Rosewood lenses and 21. Michael Chiklis, who won Best Actor in a Drama Series for his character on “The Shield,” in Aero… Kiss off. Singer 22. Anastacia is all kisses at the MTV European Music Awards in Kieselstein-Cord style Tumbler from Optical Shop of Aspen… Devilish. As Matt Murdoch in the new movie “Daredevil,” 23. Ben Affleck wears Ray-Ban Predator Olympia (RB 3119) from Luxottica with a gunmetal frame and customized red lens. Luxottica worked closely with the film’s prop master to create the ideal sunglasses for Affleck’s character—a blind lawyer by day representing the downtrodden who by night turns into the superhero Daredevil, a relentless avenger of justice… High note. Opera heart throb 24. Josh Groban in Nautica Eyewear’s Caribbean style with hardwood temples from Marchon. The 21-year-old baritone has sold more than three million copies of his self-titled CD… Of the peoples. Wearing shades from Oliver Peoples are 25. Adrian Brody at the Golden Globe Awards in Rossi in Birch with Chrome Amber OPX lenses and 26. Kevin Spacey at the Sundance Film Festival in Dual in Black Chrome with Gray OPX polarized lenses… On the red. 27. Joan Rivers wears a pair of sunglasses from Judith Leiber’s premiere collection from B. Robinson while interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards. The style, JL 1106 in onyx, is adorned with Austrian crystals.  —Jackie Micucci

VCA’s Winter Meet
Executives and various segments of the optical industry came together in Phoenix, Ariz. last month for the Vision Council of America’s annual winter meeting. These pics face optical’s future

1. Executive director/CEO Bill Thomas (l) of VCA chats with Eyefinity’s Don Yee.
2. VCA executive director/CEO Bill Thomas (l) and new VCA chairman Rick Elias (r) present outgoing chairman Peter Frieder with a poster bearing good wishes from the VCA membership. 
3. Outgoing VCA chairman Peter Frieder of Gentex Optics (l) receives an award for the organization from Pat Cummings, OD, president of the American Optometric Association. 
4. Mike Daley (l) of Essilor of America chats with Donna Benedict, president of the Optical Laboratories Association, and her father, industry veteran
Bill Benedict. 
5. Enjoying VCA’s Brazilian-themed party are (l to r) Al Berg of Marchon Eyewear, Pat Aptaker of Nouveau Eyewear, Mike Hundert of Rem Eyewear, Nouveau’s Evan Aptaker, and Danny Ben-Moshe of Astucci U.S.
6. Bill Gerber (l) of Delectable Display and Bill Norwood of Hoya Lens of America. 7. Attending the meeting from Shamir Insight are Hilaire van der Veen (l) and Raanan Naftalovich.
8. At VCA’s closing party (l to r): Alan Ritter of Universal Photronics, Sàfilo USA’s Claudio Gottardi, Ann Ritter, and Bob A. Amato of Jobson Publishing.
9. Jim Pritts, representing the Sunglass Association of America, with Intercast executives Paolo Baiocchi (c) and Giangiuseppe Giani, both of whom traveled from Italy for the VCA meeting.
10. New VCA member Felix Perry (l) of Eastern States Eyewear is welcomed to the organization
by Larry Bell of Eye Q Eyewear, Andrea Gluck of Eyewear Designs, and Eye Q’s Jeff Frumkin (r). 
11. KBco’s Kurt Hollinger (l) catches up with Don Howard of Kenmark Group at the VCA party.

Ray of Light
Consumers learned about the importance of UV protection for the eye and the features and benefits of Transitions lenses during People magazine’s mall tour stop at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y. Transitions Optical representatives demonstrated the indoor clarity, outdoor darkness and speed
of the lenses using a UV demonstrator at a booth the company set up in the mall. They also distributed consumer brochures and four lucky shoppers won a prize drawing for a trial pair of Transitions lenses. In addition, Cohen’s Fashion Optical had a representative at the booth.  —JM

What’s in a Name?
The Woythalers and  Anthony Fulco. Inset: Jared Bohn and  Richard Bohn, OD.
Photographed by Mike Tamborrino
Richard Bohn, OD believes in loyalty. The optometrist—who along with his optician son Jared owns Plaza Optical in Oceanside, N.Y. and Access Optical in Merrick, N.Y.—has been working with the same wholesale lab now for nearly three decades. As he puts it, “[The owner] has helped me out over the years and really stood by me.” It’s clear his relationship with the Woythaler family, owners of 21st Century Optics in nearby Long Island City, N.Y., runs deep. Dr. Bohn says the lab owners have supported him through several changes in his own business since he first started working with them in 1974.

But so much has changed since his early days as a customer. The Woythalers (Ralph, who is president and CEO; brother Barney, who serves as vice president of operations; brother Michael, who is vice president of production; and Ralph’s sons Robert and Craig) and director of sales and marketing Anthony Fulco decided in 1997 to change the lab’s name from Eye-Glasses to 21st Century. Since the then, the lab has undergone two major operational overhauls and revamped its customer service, sales and marketing departments. The lab now offers same-day or next-day turnaround on the brunt of the orders they produce, particularly for customers in New York City. It also made an ambitious entry into the anti-reflective coating market in 1998 with the purchase of National Lens Coating. With the acquisition, the lab now provides stock and custom A-R to labs and dispensers across the New York area.

But the biggest change 21st Century has experienced is on the service and sales sides. Through a proprietary software program, all customer service reps undergo formal training on all aspects of eyewear and lab operations. The department not only files and tracks orders, but it can also guide customer dispensers through the ordering process at the push of a button, including exact pricing information.

To thank customers such as Dr. Bohn for their loyalty, 21st Century hosted an event for more than 250 customers at Terrace on the Park at Flushing Meadows Park. Held in conjunction with lens partners Transitions and Varilux, the event rewarded customers for reaching summer sales goals. Because of efforts such as these, Transitions honored 21st Century with its 2003 Lab of the Year award.

“As Eye-Glasses, the lab put out stuff quickly and at a good price,” says Dr. Bohn. “But a few mistakes would slip by. Then, with the name change, their goal became increased quality.”  —BPD

Case History
The Moja Design think-squad have turned up the volume (and the visuals) on their cagey Boom By Atom mystery. We think their “What’s In The Case?” marketing campaign has something to do with a new eyewear collection but when we tuned in to their web site the intrigue continued. The site features a VERY noirish graphic illustration story that seems steeped in the dark slabs of a Jim Thompson novel. We keep listening to this CD they sent us with amazing music by trippy sound star Greg Hoy and ennui-king Derek Richmond. The grooves are as fantastic… and cryptic… as the web site. If all of this is in anyway tied into an eyewear collection we can only gasp at how fascinating the styles will be. Maybe answers will come timed to Moja’s showing at Vision Expo. Most likely those answers will be followed by more questions in need of decoding. Till then, try getting hints by calling (888) 576-MOJA. —JJS

By George He’s Got It
Totally in keeping with 20/20’s Retro-Goes-Modern fashion shoot it must be noted that Artoptic’s George Gero is celebrating his 40th anniversary in the optical industry this year. The eyewear pictured here is part of our New Products section this month. Just looking at this style’s sharp take on a classic look with modern accents confirms George’s status as an Opti-Legend.  —JJS

Top: Essilor of America president Hubert Sagnières and Walman Optical’s Marty Basset. Walman was presented with the Essilor Lenses Lab of the Year award for 2002. Bottom: Jim Roussel, Essilor, welcomes Mike and Bernie Green of Great Lakes Coating to the Essilor Sales Meeting

Essilor Sales Meeting:
Ads and Awards in Cancun

Refugees from the frostbitten Northeast were among the more than 680 Essilor sales consultants and authorized Varilux and Crizal distributors who travelled to sunny Cancun, Mexico last month to attend Essilor’s annual sales meeting. There, they got a crash course in Essilor’s 2003 sales and marketing plans, including a preview of the new Crizal television commercial, an industry first for A-R lenses; the next installment of the “Free the Presbyopic Six” ad campaign in support of Varilux; an industry update from Richard Edlow, OD, chairperson of the American Optometric Association Information and Data Committee; and an update on the 2003 goals and enhancements planned for VisionWeb. Special guests included motivational speaker Gene Kranz, director of mission control operations during the Apollo 13 landing, and humorist Larry Winget. Attendees participated in seminars that outlined Essilor’s new marketing strategies and product launches for 2003, as well.

In a speech during the meeting, Andy Weir, vice president and general manager, Essilor Lens Wholesale Group, predicted, “2003 will be an explosive year for A-R. We have the brands to take advantage of that growth and Crizal is at the center of our mission.” EOA president Hubert Sagnières says the company plans to expand production capacity and improve service levels by installing more Crizal coating centers in independent wholesale laboratories in 2003.

Essilor refreshed its two-year-old Varilux consumer-ad campaign, “The Presbyopic Six,” with a new TV spot that debuted February 24 and runs through May on network prime-time TV and through December on cable TV. Essilor marketing executives estimate the commercial will reach 80 percent of the presbyopic population.

The meeting also featured award presentations to premier sales consultants and laboratories. The awards presented during the event included:
Essilor Lenses Lab of the Year: Walman Optical
Varilux Lab of the Year: I-See Optical
Crizal Lab of the Year: Pech Optical
Essilor Lenses Brand Group Salesperson of the Year: Mitchell Small
Essilor Lenses President’s Club inductees: Dee Ham, Jay Petkovich, Mitchell Small, Sheryl Young, Vicki Sobotka, Matt Coburn, Roger Lesher, Don Gardner, Scott Stewart
ELOA President’s Club inductees: Bruce Winslow, Joyce Gleaslen, John Hammer, Tory Olson, Kevin Lewandowski, Tim Martin, John Coombs, Charmaine Brenner, Lisa Kelly, Lois Yarnall, Tony Horn, Walt Grubba, Jr., Jim Menard, Larry Sigmon
Essilor Lenses Brand Group District of the Year, Southeast District: district sales manager RD Haley, Kenny Garrison, Brandon Barcinella, Daniel Kossak, Mitchell Small, Sheryl Young, Tom St. Jean, Dee Ham, Arlene Caputo
ELOA District of the Year, District 22, the Carolinas: district sales manager Larry Sigmon, Bill Peele, Cliff Capriola, Jimmy Lane, Tim Martin, Bruce Rylant, Keith Hayes, Lee Hagwood Essilor Lenses Brand Group Rookie of the Year: Stacey Flandro
ELOA Rookie of the Year: Lisa Kelly
 —Andrew Karp

Friendly Tour Guide — The folks at VisionWeb have introduced an enticing new feature well worth exploring by all 20/20 readers. In an effort to further help eyecare providers simplify and streamline their practices VisionWeb has added a “Take a Tour” button to giving eyecare professionals an online demonstration of available services. The new “tour” feature was designed to demonstrate VisionWeb's easy-to-use web site for online ordering of spectacle lenses, frames and contact lenses. Visitors to the site using a broadband Internet connection can view a multimedia demonstration, including sound and video, which describes the site's features and the benefits to the eyecare practitioner.
A second option is available for those using a dial-up Internet connection, providing a visual demonstration  in a format that is appropriate for slower connections.

“With our new 'Take a Tour' feature, eyecare practitioners can view a demonstration and evaluate the VisionWeb service online anytime, day or night,” says Jim Vitkus, chief marketing officer at VisionWeb. “We're excited to give members of the eyecare community another opportunity to learn how VisionWeb can help them improve their businesses.” Over 3,000 eyecare professionals have become VisionWeb members since its launch in March of 2002.         —JJS

Retro Active
When Rem Eyewear sent us this clever time-line of eyewear trending we couldn’t help but wonder if they had spies at our fashion-edit meeting for this March issue. Their fashionable frames—especially from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s time periods play right into the point of our fashion feature in the issue you are now reading. The 50 year progression of styles is certainly a detailed chart of the fact that Rem is celebrating an equal number of years in this opti-biz. We’d like to add our two cents by also showing you a picture straight out of the 20/20 archives. Said picture shows a dashing model wearing one of Rem’s styles in a promotional shot featured in an ’80s issue. Astute readers will certainly recognize the lad as Rem’s CEO Mike Hundert, now celebrating half a decade of being young at heart and strong in vision.      —JJS

That Ecko Show
The Ecko keeps getting louder… and more interesting. That’s Marc Ecko and the interest comes from the host of new celebrities Viva has bespecked in their new Ecko Scopes advertising campaign. Take your pick—mob boss, rapper, R&B singer or comedian—and Viva’s got them covered in photos that shout star quality. The images are also featured in a host of merchandising materials luring consumers with the immediate recognition of celebs Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior from “The Sopranos”), “That ’70s Show” fuzz-stud Danny Masterson and song-chart topper Res. And speaking of celebs, 20/20 was self-impressed by the creative ad featuring Viva’s Harvey Ross in CELEBration of his company’s 25th Anniversary. We’ll toast to that!  —JJS

is an
We guess you might call this a new wave in co-op advertising. Dear, sweet Juanita Moman asked Jobson CEO Robert A. Amato and 20/20 editor-in-chief James J. Spina to pose for pictures with her at Expo West. We were honored to co-operate. The next thing we know Juanita is celebrating her 27th anniversary in optical serving the eyecare needs of Etowah County and Northeast Alabama and using the pics in some local newspaper advertising honoring 20/20. What can we say but thank you Juanita. Contrary to popular belief Spina had not just come from an audition to revive A Flock of Seagulls.

La Return of La Roche
A true artist of the frame is returning to the hallowed halls of Vision Expo’s Galleria. Newly allied to Uniopt since 1999, Robert La Roche is set to deliver the design savoir-faire to a new generation of eyewear aficionados in America. His words are as enduring as his designs. “It’s absurd to look at the world through boring glasses that fit badly. The eyes are the most beautiful part of the face, the window to the soul, so to speak, so it is essential that eyewear is selected carefully with the aim to increasing confidence, enhancing the face and reflecting the personality.” Spoken with true wisdom equal to his great wit. The last time La Roche showed up at Expo the roof leaked directly over his booth in the Galleria. Others would have been moved to tears. La Roche simply moved to the side of the cascading water and joked that he needed to design some swim goggles to cope with the condition. —JJS

The Terminator Talks
He’s back. Complete with eyewear created by Los Angeles-based Sama Eyewear. It’s been a decade since John Connor (actor Nick Stahl) save the world from mass destruction in the film “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” In “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” a Warner Brothers. Pictures film, which will be released domestically on July 2, and internationally from July through September, Connor meets the T-X Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken), a powerful, sophisticated machine who has been sent back to kill him. Connor’s only hope is to team up with the Terminator, his former assassin—Arnold Schwarzenegger. Together they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X or face the fall of civilization.
Here Arnold Schwarzenegger talks with 20/20 about the Terminator, and, of course, eyewear.

How do you use eyewear to define your character in the Terminator?
Everything in the three Terminator films has always broken new ground—from the story line of the first film (“The Terminator”) to the incredible effects and stunts in “T3.” Viewers expect this movie to be as good if not better than the first two. So the look of the character is very important. The Terminator has become an icon over the past two decades. For me, putting on the Terminator wardrobe—whether it’s 10 days or 10 years later—is like putting on a comfortable shirt. The boots, leather pants, jacket and, of course, the glasses create the character for me. As soon as I am in wardrobe, I step back into the Terminator immediately.
Why did you select Sama Eyewear for Terminator 3?

The character had to be consistent, but updated for T3. We needed something that would make sense for the Cyborg returning to 2003. At one point, he wears a pair of star-shaped glasses with colored lenses—which was funny but for fans to take the Terminator seriously—the eyeglasses could not be too out there. They had to bring the fans back to where we left off with “Judgment Day.” The filmmakers wanted something futuristic, strong and new, but not too extreme—it had to fit the Terminator in his human form on earth. We went through so many frames, but we knew when we had the perfect pair—because I became the Cyborg I was 10 years ago—immediately.

What styles of sunglasses do you like for your own personal use?
I am a pretty casual yet classic dresser. I make my personal statement with boots and shoes more than any other accessories. When selecting my own glasses, I have a range of styles I like and wear depending on what I am doing. I’m very active and spend a lot of time outside—riding my motorcycle, playing tennis with the kids or coaching them in soccer, skiing, horseback riding or just going around town. I look for something that looks good, but also is functional for serious sports, sun and glare.

What type of eyewear would you use to define/suggest a strong personality?
Strong personalities take more risks and wear what they want regardless of what the fashion magazines or stores are showing. They are individualistic and more adventurous. They want to be noticed. They want to stand out in the crowd.

Which celebrities do you think wear really cool shades?
There are so many people who are wearing really interesting shades these days, but Samuel Jackson and Jack Nicholson are two guys who always make a great statement with their eyeglasses—indoors and out. Jack is at every Lakers game in his sunglasses. Another person, a great musician who makes an incredible statement with glasses, is Bono from U2. He has made his eyewear his signature even on stage.

What impact do you think celebrities and the film business have had on sunwear?
Celebrities have an unusual ability to help set trends due in part to the extensive media coverage on and off set. And wardrobe and props have become an important part of creating the look of certain characters in movies. Tom Cruise, for example, in “Risky Business,” “Top Gun” and “Mission Impossible” helped create trends because the eyewear was such an important part of his characters. And Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones brought back certain fashion trends with “Men in Black.” When a movie is released in thousands of theaters across the country and thousands of markets around the world and has a marketing campaign with advertisements, posters, trailers and TV commercials, the instant exposure to millions of people ignites demand. And off screen with entertainment programs, awards shows, magazines and, of course, the Internet, the fans really get to see celebrities and their personal style in their day-to-day life—what car they drive, what clothes they wear, what sunglasses they buy. This all contributes to the impact celebrities have on creating a trend.  —
Gloria Nicola

About Terminator Eyewear
“When we were presented with the ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ film project, it was immediately noted there was an iconic image that needed to be preserved, but with a fresh interpretation,” says Sama Eyewear founder and designer Sheila Vance. “Films are becoming increasingly complex through the use of highly advanced computer graphics and digital components and, accordingly, every element is crucial in terms of contributing to a consistently powerful aesthetic and feel, which is essentially a work of art. This is exactly what inspired us in customizing the T3 eyewear, in conjunction, of course, with the visions of the director Jonathan Mostow and costume designer April Ferry.”

T3 Eyewear, which debuts at Vision Expo East this month, is engineered so it doesn’t impede the Terminator’s extreme level of activity in action sequences, Vance says. The frame is performance-ready with a sleek aerodynamic design, which accommodates high speed and provides ventilation. Features include a zyl shell with a beta-titanium core and Rubberon (mold-injected silicone) components that provide superior grip. The frame is equipped with Prolite six- and eight-base curve lenses with polarized gradient treatments. Produced in Japan, the T3 comes in a variety of sizes and colors, suitable to a multicultural consumer base of men and women.

In selecting eyewear for the film, “Terminator 3,” director Jonathan Mostow says the prop master obtained literally hundreds of sunglasses. “We paired it down to about 30 styles—all of which Arnold tried personally,” the director notes. “Sama was the winner. It’s a great look for Arnold. There was chemistry as soon as he put it on. We wanted eyewear that looked meaty, like it could sustain the enormous amount of action scenes in T3.”

Sunglasses are a hot item on the set Mostow notes. “Of all the props used in the movie, the sunglass is the one everyone wants,” he says. “It’s rare to be able to make a choice that has such a strong effect on fashion as I expect this sunglass to have. Once you see these glasses, you’re going to want them.”  

Jungle Habitat
It’s a wild encounter. Michelle Miller, a Los Angeles-based photographer, takes her images of wildlife, landscapes and other animal and plant life, and transfers them onto a collection of microfiber cleaning cloths. But it’s not just about pretty pictures. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the products, go to wildlife organizations.

A French native and former therapist, Miller got involved in this side of the optical biz while walking the aisles of an L.A. gift show. At the time she had her photographs on a line of greeting cards and was looking to expand to other small items such as mugs or magnets when she spied a booth of cleaning cloths. A light bulb switched on and Photosilk LLC was born.

Much of Photosilk’s philosophy is to participate and support wildlife organizations. Proceeds are donated to The Living Zoo, a non-profit wild-life reserve in Palm Desert, Calif. and the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens’ project “Cats of Africa.” The company also supports Jennifer Conrad’s “Paw Project” by donating photos and wildlife Photosilks. (The full line of cloths can be seen at

Miller photographs the animals right in the reserves. “It’s difficult to photograph in protected areas,” she explains. “I have to deal with things such as mesh and being in a very small space. It’s not like taking photographs in the open where you can properly focus and click and have the right light. It’s much more complicated. I’ve been known to spend a few hours in one little area.”
But while Miller doesn’t go on African safaris to capture the images of these animals, she still finds the experience quite rewarding. “You get to observe something you haven’t seen before,” she says. “It’s magical when you see those big animals.” —JM

Honoring a Man of Vision
-Ban went to the movies... again. But this time instead of adorning the face of yet another star of the big screen, the Luxottica Group brand went behind the camera to honor a true movie “visionary.” Ray-Ban along with The Creative Coaltion and Movieline magazine presented Colin Callender, president of HBO Films, with the first-ever Ray-Ban Visionary Award at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Callender accepted the award from director Mira Nair, with whom he worked on the critically acclaimed HBO Film “Hysterical Blindness.”
Singer Liz Phair performed at the event, which was glittered with such celebrities as Jessica Lange, Kim Cattrall, John Leguizamo, Salma Hayek, Ed Norton, Anna Paquin, Fran Drescher, Lucas Haas and The Black Eyed Peas.

The Ray-Ban Visionary Award honors the work and dedication of an individual who possesses extraordinary passion, creativity and leadership, and whose work contains vision, imagination and originality.” Colin Callender’s dedication to creating intelligent, provocative and entertaining films proves him to be an outstanding choice as the recipient of the first-ever Ray-Ban Visionary Award,” says Vittorio Verdun, U.S. marketing director of Luxottica Group. “I am greatly honored by this recognition and proud to be chosen as the first recipient of this award,” says Callender. “These three organizations have demonstrated a continuing support of independent filmmaking and have, in very different ways, helped promote originality and innovation.”

The British-born Callender joined HBO in 1987 and has since built an impressive reputation as a producer. Under Callender’s management, HBO Films has created a diverse and award-winning slate of movies that includes “If These Walls Could Talk 2;” Billy Crystal’s “61*;” Mike Nichols’ “Wit;” Mira Nair’s “Hysterical Blindness;” Moises Kaufman’s “The Laramie Project” and Patricia Cardosa’s “Real Women Have Curves,” winner of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. —JM
At the first-time presentation of the Ray-Ban “Visionary Award” at Sundance are: John Evans, president, Movieline; Robin Bronk, executive director, The Creative Coalition; Colin Callender, president, HBO Films; Peggy Fries, senior marketing manager for PR and product placement, Luxottica Group; and Vittorio Verdun, director of marketing, Luxottica Group.

Basket Full of Goodies
Among the stash that the rich and famous received at the recent Golden Globe Awards were a stylin’ pair of shades. ESCADA sunglasses were chosen by In Style Magazine, in collaboration with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for the 2003 Golden Globes Presenter Gift Baskets. Two pair of the ESCADA E1207s, one gold with brown lenses and the other ebony with gray lenses—a “his and hers” set—were in the baskets given to the ceremony’s 55 celebrity presenters.

As for some of the non-eyewear goodies that celebs walked away with… they included a $450 Coach tote bag, a $650 TiVo with 80 hours of service and a $5,000 spa package from The Sanctuary in Arizona. Wonder who got to take home the table centerpiece?     —JM

Transitions’ Evolution Will Be Televised — Transitions has announced it will be augmenting its annual print consumer advertising campaign in publications such as TV Guide, People and Newsweek with a national, primetime TV ad campaign launching March 1. The commercial will further the company’s futuristic philosophy and reinforce its product message with consumers. It is expected to “reach” more than 11 million people in the U.S., including 91 percent of adults age 35 to 64.

The consumer campaign, much like Transitions trade advertising, will focus on the features and benefits of the company’s photo-chromic products, as well as their ability to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. The eye health issue is a key point of Transitions’ industry initiatives in the coming year and will be supported by an education program for eyecare professionals as well as a first-ever “Back-to-School” ad campaign targeting children. The company has also launched several dispenser promotion programs and is offering several online resources (including templates for patient coupons) on its web site—

X-Cel Guide Sells Specials — Lens manufacturer X-Cel Optical has completed an extensive update of its popular lens selection guide for doctors and dispensers called “Special Lenses for Special People.” The 14-page, fold-out brochure is designed as a reference tool for information on specialized occupational and recreational eyewear and lenses manufactured to address the unique vision problems for work, home and leisure uses. The guide offers information on lens designs, materials and treatments. “It contains information about lenses and lens treatments that go well beyond X-Cel’s product line,” says John Miller, X-Cel’s vice president of sales and marketing. For more information, visit or call (800) 747-9235.

Essilor’s “CIA” Hardly Covert — In conjunction with Essilor’s consumer ad campaign for Crizal, Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is launching a new “loyalty program” for dispensers called “The Crizal Intelligence Agency” (CIA). Enrollment in “the agency” is automatic for ELOA customers. ECPs need only sell five Crizal lenses during the qualifying months of April, July and October. Depending on their level of sales during these qualifying months, ECPs will receive one of three “CIA” titles to define the level of their award:
The Envoy: Sells 5 to 49 Crizal lenses in a qualifying month
The Operative: Sells 50 to 99 Crizal lenses in a qualifying month
The Agent: Sells 100 or more Crizal lenses in a qualifying month
“We created the ‘CIAgency’ as a way to help ECPs grow their practices by leveraging increased consumer demand for A-R lenses,” says Bob Colucci, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at ELOA. “Building upon our highly successful ‘Crizal Boot Camp’ training program, CIA is more proof that we are serious about the value of A-R lenses to both the consumer and our ECP customers.”

Rewards include Crizal Boot Camp training (see “Lens Marketing,” February 2003), in-office materials, state-of-the-art demonstration tools, e-services, frames discounts, advertising funds, Internet support and more.