Jul
2003

Upfront

Exclusive Club Man
Looking for any excuse to run a picture of the classic Clubman frame, 20/20 wishes a prosperous 85th anniversary to ArtCraft New York. Founded in 1918 as Design Manufacturing Co., the company started out producing tools, parts and frames for other manufacturers. In 1929 it narrowed its focus to just spectacle frames and changed its name to ArtCraft Optical Co., Inc. During the ’20s and early ’30s, ArtCraft manufactured mostly gold-filled frames. As production increased, the company needed larger quarters. In 1934, ArtCraft re-located its growing operations to a multi-story 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in downtown Rochester, N.Y. By the ’50s, styles had changed. Metal was being combined with acetate to create combination frames. ArtCraft delivered with its Clubman Art-Rim, a style for men that has sold over one million units. Every decade brought progress and change to the company. In the ’90s, ArtCraft further diversified creating its U.S.A. Workforce Division of prescription industrial eyewear. By the end of the century, ArtCraft relocated to a “completely modern facility,” according to Tom Eagle, CEO and owner of ArtCraft, changing its name to ArtCraft New York. Eagle says, “Since I joined the company in the late ’50s, a lot has changed and continues to change as we adjust to market swings and demands. Becoming an 85-year-old company feels good. To me, it means that we’ve stayed vital and responsive to our industry and customers through every generation. We improve this company every day and we’re always looking at tomorrow. Right now, we’re making plans for the last part of our first 100 years.”  —James J. Spina

Angel Eyes
Lucy Liu with my girl, Drew and Cameron D. are all sporting Ray-Ban shades in the hot summer flick “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” which hit theaters on June 27th. In conjunction with the movie, the Luxottica brand is promoting three styles that represent the spirit of each angel.

The Ray-Ban Predator Raider embodies the rebellious essence of Drew Barrymore’s Dylan with its streamlined butterfly shape. Rituals’ striking style and feminine shape is indicative of Cameron Diaz’s Natalie. And the Top Bar Oval reflects the technical savvy of Lucy Liu’s Alex with aerodynamic temples fitted with Hytrel and flash mirror lenses.

From “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to “Risky Business” to “Men in Black,” Ray-Ban has been a fixture at the movies… this “feel good time” film continues that “shady” tradition.   —Jackie Micucci
Dynamic Trio. Ray-Ban Predator Raider style RB 4014, color 601; Rituals style RB 4018, color 637/13; and Top Bar Oval style RB 3179, color 003/Z1.

Charlie, how your Angels get down like that. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu get down in Ray-Ban sunwear in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”


Every month 20/20 features the hottest stars in the hottest eyewear fashions. This month, in addition to our usual celebrity packed Hall of Frames, we shine the spotlight on some of Tinseltown’s next generation of talented and spec-savvy stars in looks from Marchon.

Not the boss of me. 1. Frankie Muniz, star of Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle,” in Nautica style 8012, color 207… What Girls Want. The ever-outrageous 2. Kelly Osbourne of MTV’s reality TV hit “The Osbournes” in Fendi style FS262 in metallic clear. Also in Fendi, 3. Amanda Bynes of the WB’s “What I Like About You” wears style 560 in mink… Spied. 4. Evan Sabara one of the young stars of “Spy Kids” and “Spy Kids II: Island of Lost Dreams,” sports Flexon Kids style 91, color 130… Singing siblings. 5. Aaron Carter, younger brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, wears Nike style 4600, color 444. He recently released his fourth album “Another Earthquake.” Britney Spears’ kid sister, 6. Jamie Lynn Spears, wears Disney style 89 in cinnamon. The younger Spears stars in Nickelodeon’s “All That,” a comedy/musical performance show… Teen idols. N’Sync’s 7. Justin Timberlake recently went solo with his album “Justified” and is now on tour with Christina Aguilera. The heartthrob sports Calvin Klein style 532 in silver. “The Lord of the Rings” star 8. Elijah Wood in Nike style 4600, color 220. Wood is set to appear in the movie franchise’s third installation “The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King” later this year. 9. Jessica Alba, formerly of Fox’s “Dark Angel,” wears cK style 1033, color 145. Alba plays the title role in the soon-to-be-released movie “Honey.” —JM


Boom Boom
Excitement (and curiosity) for Moja Design’s Boom by Atom eyewear collection and its marketing scheme continues to grow. Word on the street from 20/20’s agent Frames Bond has it that the upcoming “Spiderman II” might feature some Boom posters as set backgrounds. And… Boom illustrator Jim Webb told Fluffy, our other secret agent, that Boom Max Rack postcards are all the rage at Forbidden Planet, New York’s Mecca for graphic comics. Seriously, the marketing concept behind this eyewear collection is wickedly unique. Find out for yourself by dialing (888) 576-MOJA.  —JJS

Wind
of the Pillows
Why didn’t anyone else ever think of that? A&A Optical sure came up with a clever way of making their Pez Eyewear pop right out of their cute, little eight-frame display box. Each frame is propped up by its own little Pez pillow. The pillow also serves as a separate single frame display stand for one frame and makes the safest tiny perch for displaying the frame to both parents and children. Having seen literally thousands of frame display boxes 20/20 is well aware of how hidden some frames can seem when “stuck-in-a-slot-in-a-box.” Leave it to Pez to perfect the perfect dispenser for the dispenser.  —JJS

Smart Web-sters — It goes without saying that the hottest marketing tool in the world (besides 20/20, of course!) is the ability to connect on the Internet. Working to get optical fully “wired” VisionWeb, has taken over the hosting and support of more than 20,000 eyecare provider web sites, which were previously hosted and administered by Essilor of America. In addition, current and future VisionWeb members can create a free web site for their practice as a benefit of VisionWeb membership. “At VisionWeb, we strive to offer our members a one-stop online tool, which helps them to simplify and streamline their practices,” says Jim Vitkus, vice president and chief marketing officer of VisionWeb. “Adding the customizable web site service is another benefit we are offering our members to help enhance their businesses.” This service is free to VisionWeb members. Eyecare providers can choose from 21 different templates to create a customized look and feel. They can customize much of the content on the web sites including their company name; contact information for their practice; names, bios and photos of staff; photos of their office; office hours; the privacy policy; special offers; and products and services offered to patients. In addition, the sites allow patients to request appointments.
For eyecare providers who already have one of these web sites, the service they receive will ultimately remain the same. Their patients will still visit the same web address and see the same layout and information that they previously did. However, VisionWeb has made several improvements to the web sites including improved administration tools, a HIPPA-compliant online appointment scheduler and the ability to add and edit a privacy policy. Interested users can contact VisionWeb customer service at customerservice@visionweb.com or toll-free at (800) 874 6601 for more information. —JJS

J&J Flexes Marketing Muscle with PAL Launch — Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s Spectacle Lens Group is ramping up the rollout of its debut product, a new progressive lens called Definity. Definity features a proprietary “Dual Add” design that uses both the front and back surface of the lens to offset unwanted astigmatism. The lens features a wide intermediate zone and a special “fourth zone that reduces the near add power to help minimize distortion and flatten the field of vision, providing clearer vision when patient's look down. J&J is positioning Definity as a unique PAL designed to enhance benefits to the patient through the lowest level of peripheral distortion. Marketed as a premium product, Definity will be shipped directly to ECPs from J&J's new state-of-the-art Roanoke, Va. lens plant. To support Definity, J&J's The Spectacle Lens Group has planned  a comprehensive marketing campaign driven by a technology message to ECPs and consumers, supported by data from clinical trials. According to Sandra Lawrence, vice president of sales and marketing, there will be a “full-scale program of speakers' bureaus, continuing education services, one-on-one with the sales force and a “strong” consumer approach to print and TV marketing of Definity that will start “soon” in the markets. ECPs are currently dispensing the lens in approximately 20 percent of the U.S. including Florida, and in several major cities, including New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Houston. The company plans to fill in markets based around those key cities with rollout through the entire U.S. as quickly as possible.

Younger Expands Clear Choices Program — Younger Optics is expanding its Clear Choices incentive awards program to offer a wider range of gift awards and bring back dining and shopping certificates popular with participating laboratories, dispensers and opticians. The original Clear Choices 2003 catalog, which participating laboratories distribute to their customers, offers award certificates redeemable for gifts ranging from Sony camcorders to digital copiers and laser printers to watches and jewelry to luggage, tools and household items.

The new Additional Awards 2003 catalog offers gifts such as cameras, clocks, child safety kits and small appliances that are redeemable for fewer certificates than the gifts in the silver catalog. Younger has also included gift certificates redeemable at popular restaurants and stores.


Zeiss Debuts Branded Sunlenses — Intercast Europe has entered into a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with Carl Zeiss for designing, manufacturing and distributing Zeiss-branded sunlenses. Under the terms of the agreement, Intercast will manufacture and market Zeiss-branded plano sunlenses for the premium sun- and sport-sunglass market. The lenses, to be manufactured under Zeiss specifications and quality-control procedures, will be produced in a wide range of colors and coatings to meet both the fashion and performance trends of the market.

Carl Zeiss will manufacture Zeiss prescription sunwear lenses and market them to optical retailers. The Rx lenses will have the same filtering properties, color and coatings of the Zeiss plano lenses used by the sunglass brands that will join the program.

Signet to ECPs: “Thanks a Million” — Signet Armorlite will award more than one million dollars over the next year to participating independent retail businesses that dispense any of Signet’s Kodak progressive lenses. For every pair of Kodak PALs sold in any design or material, participating PracticePlus eyecare professionals will be entered into monthly drawings for $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 cash prizes.

The sweepstakes will run through April 2004. Five grand prize drawings for $100,000 each and four drawings for $30,000 each will be held in June 2004. Only PracticePlus members are eligible. Enrollment information is available at (800) 950-5367 or by logging onto www. practice-plus.net. PracticePlus is a product-support program designed to strengthen private practices and has provided professional and financial benefits to more than 4,000 members since 1998.

Shamir Extends Perfect Vision Promo — Shamir Insight has extended its ReCreating Perfect Vision promotion through December 31. Participating eyecare professionals can continue to earn a $12 cash reward for every qualifying pair of Piccolo and Genesis lenses, and $6 for every qualifying pair of Office lenses. From July 1 through September 30, ECPs will receive an additional $5 cash reward for each pair of qualifying Genesis Polarized lenses. ECPs must sell a minimum of 15 qualifying pairs to earn rewards. ECPs interested in the promotion can contact their ReCreating Perfect Vision laboratory, call Shamir at (888) 707-7760
or visit
www.shamirlens.com.

Transitions Video: UV Safety First — Transitions Optical has produced a seven-minute video for doctors’ waiting rooms that explores the dangers UV radiation poses to the eyes and looks at how the proprietary photochromic technology in Transitions Lenses offers a convenient, high-tech way to protect the eyes for today’s busy lifestyles.” The video was developed to help increase patient awareness of eye health,” says Dawn West, manager of trade shows and events, Transitions. “It has a look and feel consistent with Transitions’ advertising and other educational and demonstration tools that eyecare professionals can use throughout the practice. The video introduces the need for everyday protection for everyone—and how particularly important convenient protection is for kids.” The video is available free of charge and can be ordered through Transitions Optical customer service. It is available in VHS format in a one-hour loop of the seven-minute segment.

Super Systems Redesigns Web Site — Super Systems Optical Technologies, based in Cincinnati, has redesigned its web site, www.superoptical.com. The updated site incorporates easy navigation features allowing visitors to find all the new products and services offered by Super Systems. The site also features
a link to the Vision Council of America’s “Check Yearly, See Clearly” campaign. The Super Systems web site can also be accessed through
www.fastgrind.com.

Opti-Matrix Updates Web Site — Opti-Matrix, a full-service wholesale lab in Huntsville Alabama, has updated its web site, www.opti-matrix. com. The site now offers information on new products as they become available, plus promotions and services provided by the laboratory to the eyecare professional. The new site also offers info on “Trace' N Go,” electronic remote trace and transfer, ordering and job checking for their customers. Using the “Trace' N Go” system reduces turnaround time by allowing ECPs to trace the patient’s frame in their office instead of sending the frame to the lab. In this way, Opti-Matrix receives complete and accurate data electronically. “Our laboratory is small and able to specialize in high-end work, such as three piece drills and A-R,” notes Opti-Matrix founder and president John Beach. “It has been our philosophy to offer our customers a one-on-one relationship as one independent to another. This newly updated site more accurately reflects our small but state of the art laboratory.”


Around the Block. 1. Jennifer Lopez (a.k.a. JLo) can be seen this summer in the new movie “Tough Love”    opposite fiancé Ben Affleck. “Just Jenny from the block” is seen here sporting Fendi style FS261, color 684 from Marchon… Enter the Matrix. 2. Laurence Fishburne, one of the stars of “The Matrix Reloaded” sports Luxottica’s Ray-Ban style RB 3183 003/Z1 while on the red carpet at the summer flick’s premiere… How sweet it is. Some Hollywood notables had it made in the shade at the Persol Oscar Suite at the Sunset Marquis Oasis in Los Angeles. Among those wearing the Luxottica brand are 3. Nikki Hilton, 4. Andy Dick, 5. Josie Davis and 6. Constance ZimmerShore thing. At the sixth annual “QVC’s Cure By The Shore,” which raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 7. Ashton Kutcher of “That ‘70s Show” and MTV’s “Punk’D” wears the Dior Black Tie 2/s while rapper/actor 8. Ice Cube is in Burberry B8955, both from Sàfilo… Tuning in. 9. Ron Rifkin in Revo 3018 from Luxottica on an episode of ABC’s “Alias”… Spies like us. 10. Angie Harmon wears Gucci style GG1690/s from Sàfilo in the movie “Agent Cody Banks”… Spoofing specs. Oscar winner 11. Adrien Brody wears a pair of Alain Mikli frames during a sketch about an optical shop on an episode of “Saturday Night Live”… In order. 12. Vincent D’Onofrio of NBC’s “Law and Order” wears Persol 2118-P from Luxottica in a May episode… Magazine rack. 13. Julianne Moore wears Oliver Peoples Rave in a recent issue of “People” magazine while 14. Michael Caine sports Oliver Peoples Aero on the pages of “Los Angeles Confidential”… Family affair. 15. Michelle Monaghan wears Ralph style RA983/s in pink from Sàfilo in the film “It Runs in the Family”… Grand finale. “Will & Grace” stars 16. Debra Messing and Megan Mulally were decked out in Sàfilo shades for the sitcom’s season finale. Messing is in the Kate Spade Clay in brown and Mulally wears the Saks Fifth Avenue 7 in black… Photo shoot. Sàfilo provided sunwear for the V.I.P.s at the WireImage Portrait Studio during the recent Tribeca Film Festival in New York. 17. Illeana Douglass shows off the Dior Light sunglass while 18. Erik Palladino (formerly of “ER”) wears Dior Homme 0007S… Hail to the chief. Comedian 19. Chris Rock wears Polo Sport shades style PSP1036/s from Sàfilo in the movie “Head of State”.  —JM

Putting “Cool” into Kids’ Eyewear
Melissa Blais, Zyloware frame designer, has a pet peeve regarding children’s eyewear. “Parents spend endless amounts of time searching for the ‘coolest’ backpack for their kids. Then they put them in conservative—actually boring—eyewear. Kids need their own identity. They shouldn’t walk around in their parents’ eyewear styles. They don’t do it with clothes.”

So when she had the opportunity to design the new Stride Rite eyewear collection for back-to-school 2003, she set a goal. “My objective was to bring the type of sophistication to kids frames they deserve. I want kids to have the same fun options in their eyewear they have in their clothes,” the designer explains.

Kids need their own identity. They shouldn’t walk around in their parents’  eyewear styles.”

Blais, a graduate of Pratt Institute in New York, has worked with her father, a tool and dye maker, and has designed toys, furniture and tabletop objects. In 2001, two months after she graduated from Pratt Institute in New York, she was hired by Zyloware, the Long Island City, N.Y.-based eyewear company. Her first reaction when she was interviewed for the job with Zyloware was how much can you do with eyewear? In fact, that’s the question she asked Bob and Chris Shyer during her interview. The answer: A lot. “The Shyers showed me all the components of eyewear and what could be done with each separate part,” says Blais. “It’s very cool to see how something so seemingly simple in appearance can be so complex.”

Although she has worked on all the Zyloware eyewear collections, including Gloria Vanderbilt and Sophia Loren, she was especially excited about designing Stride Rite eyewear, which coincides with the launch of two new and trendier sub-brands in the Stride Rite footwear line—Stride Rite Girl and SRG for boys. “I want kids to look at eyewear as something that’s cool, something they will be proud to wear all day,” says Blais. “I would like their eyeglasses to be their cool accessory, their new cool backpack.” At the same time, she realizes the styles have to be wearable and reflect the dependable quality parents associate with the Stride Rite brand.

Before Blais began designing the collection, she did her homework. “I’m still a kid at heart and have a big toy collection,” she notes. “So I started thinking about why I chose certain toys and why I keep them. I’m a hands-on type of person and like toys that aren’t really toys—things that move and change.” One of her favorite toys is the Jumble, a series of narrow, flexible tubes that snap together to create all sorts of geometric shapes and objects, such as bracelets, necklaces and belts.

She also visited the Stride Rite stores to see how they are designed. “I wanted to see why the stores appeal to parents and kids,” Blais explains. And she checked out Big Wheels and looked through magazines such as Skateboarder. “I like to go outside the optical industry for my ideas,” she notes.

However her most significant “homework” in preparing for the design project involved a shopping excursion with a young cousin. “We went clothes shopping, toy shopping and furniture shopping. I needed to see things through kids’ eyes, get into their heads, see what they think is cool,” she says. What Blais found very interesting is what kids are attracted to initially is not always what they ultimately buy. “My cousin was immediately taken by a shirt with a lot of sparkles sewn on, but in the end she actually bought a shirt made from a shimmery material—the same idea, but something more wearable.”

This shopping excursion definitely had its rewards for Blais, too, when she began designing the eyewear. Realizing that kids like glitter, she used a zyl material with glitter inside it and iridescent metallic treatments.

But designing eyewear is also about technology. “I always think about the technical aspects,” Blais notes. “I enjoy the challenge of finding new ways of creating something that at first seems difficult or impossible.” For example, with one of the styles, she used a milled one-piece frame front to avoid breakage at the endpieces. “Also when I’m designing a collection, I try to relate each piece to the entire collection. I don’t want one style that look like it’s way out in left field,” she explains.

When she begins designing, Blais usually does a quick hand sketch, then translates it to the computer. “Sometimes, though, I make a paper or clay model first,” she explains. “It helps me visualize what I want to draw. I’m a very three-dimensional person. And occasionally, I start with a temple tip, then work on relating the rest of the frame to the tip.”

Whether she is looking for inspiration, working on technical aspects or sketching, Blais has one clear design philosophy. “I want to have fun. I want to design objects so cool they just have to be made.”  —Gloria Nicola


Ready, Set, Color — When it comes to intriguing and colorful displays United Colors of Benetton wrote the book. Fitting then that Altair Eyewear has created the Benetton Frame Display Contest. With the last day of July as the deadline entries are being solicited and then evaluated based on creativity, understanding of the brand and use of Benetton materials.

The top 10 designs will be judged by a group of opti-industry professionals with the top three entries being rewarded a prize package of Benetton accessories and an American Express Gift Check. The remaining seven finalists will be rewarded with lunch for their office. Winners will be announced by August 30. Entries must be submitted to Altair Eyewear, Attn: UCB Display Contest, via a digital photo or color print. Digital photographs can be emailed to altairweb@vsp.com. All entries must include the participant’s name, practice name, address and phone number. Good luck coloring your optical world with Benetton.

Step Right Up And Stride Rite — Adding to its growing collection of Stride Rite frames Zyloware is offering a retail premium promotion in time for the back-to-school season. This promo is being offered with two package options. Retailer’s who pick any eight Stride Rite Eyewear frames will receive a free portable CD player. An MP3 player will be offered to retailers who select any 12 Stride Rite Eyewear frames. The point-of-purchase materials have also been extended with new easels featuring some of the new styles. For more information call (800) 765-3700 or visit www.zyloware.com.

Team Players — The glasses are certainly a main ingredient for seeing the blackboard but Rem is looking for a hit on the blacktop as well… so… the power punch of cool Barbie and Converse merchandise makes marketing (and smile-factor) sense. This newest promo runs through September. The offer has three different levels and gives customers a tremendous amount of leeway in terms of which frames they buy to get their Barbie and Converse goodies.
Key temptations include an adorable Barbie skateboard with the image of the famous doll herself painted on the deck, Barbie inline skates and, the ultimate prize, a Barbie bike. Or go for the option of five long sleeve Converse shirts, five Converse tees and five nylon shoe bags. Get total information on the levels of participation at (888) 754 9631.  —JJS

Now that they are done captivating TV viewers, those “American Idols” are hitting the road this summer on a concert tour across the U.S. Of course, these young crooners will need to look every bit the part of hot new musician, so Marchon has provided them with some great eyewear.

Newly crowned “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard (a.k.a. the Velvet Teddy Bear) in Calvin Klein style 294, color 530. Runner-up Clay Aiken wears Nautica style Cayman, color 008. Kimberley Locke sports Fendi style 268, color 543. Carmen Rasmusen also in Calvin Klein—style 297S, color 730. And “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson in Flexon Select 1121, color 145. —JM

For the Kids
More than 53,000 kids across the country did better in school this year thanks to Sight for Students. This VSP (Vision Service Plan) sponsored charity program provides free exams and free eyewear to children from kindergarten through high school. VSP donated more than $10 million to Sight for Students last year. Its total contribution since the program’s inception in 1997 is now nearly $29 million. Sight for Students partners with community organizations such as Head Start, Prevent Blindness America and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to identify qualified low-income, uninsured children with potential vision problems. Those children are then issued a gift certificate to redeem at a VSP network doctor for a free comprehensive eye exam and eyeglasses if prescribed. —JM

 

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