Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


What's Next

Viva: Ecko Expansion
Ecko targets women
To complement the Ecko Red clothing line for women, Viva International Group adds a feminine interpretation to its Marc Ecko Scopes eyewear line. The initial grouping consists of four styles in metal and plastic. Included are a large square shield, a full rimmed modified oval, a rimless modified rectangle and a cat eye. All styles provide the recommended 100 percent ANSI Z80.3 UV protection. Colorations range from gunmetal with dark gray lenses and shiny gold with smoke orange gradient lenses to satin red with red flash mirror lenses and burgundy with wine gradient lenses. The sunglass line will be expanded in the near future and a nine-style ophthalmic collection will be launched in July.
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a 16-place counter display, three-box display, countercards, banner, logo plaque and
window sticker. PHILOSOPHY: “The new Ecko grouping was designed
to offer women interesting, trendy, urban eyewear options, which reflect the popular Ecko Red apparel line,” says Viva vice president brand management Debbie Lochli. PRICE POINT: $$ to $$$. AVAILABILITY: Spring 2003. For additional information, contact Viva International Group, (800) 345-VIVA; web site:

Blinde Design Project: Matrix Eyewear
Blinde plays key role in “Matrix” films
In conjunction with the two-film debut of “The Matrix Reloaded” (May 2003) and “The Matrix Revolutions” (November 2003), Blinde Design Project launches Matrix ophthalmic and sunwear collections through a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Studios. The line has been developed by New York-based Blinde designer Richard Walker and is being sold to a select account base. The five-piece collection is modeled after styles to be worn in the films by actors Keanu Reeves (Neo), Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) and other characters. Made in Japan, the frames, which include a range of wrap styles and one design with a nose clip and no temples, are titanium and have decentered polycarbonate lenses with anti-reflective back-side coatings and silver and gold flash mirrors. A lower-price line of sunglasses retailing for $30 through mass distribution will be sold by another company, Vision Products, according to Blinde.
PHILOSOPHY: “Eyewear is a key icon in the Matrix films and the same styles are now available to consumers,” says Richard Walker. MARKETING: A display, posters and countercards are available. Each sunglass comes with a collector case featuring “The Matrix Reloaded” logo. The two new films will be supported by a multi-million dollar TV, radio and print media campaign.  PRICE POINT: $$$$. AVAILABILITY: Spring 2003. For additional information, contact Blinde Design Project (877) 679-0247; web site: www.blinde.com.

Charmant: Arquo Collection
Simply Sophisticated
Through a licensing agreement with Italian manufacturer Foval s.r.l., Charmant Group USA has acquired the worldwide distribution rights for Foval’s original Arquo product. The basis of the product is Foval’s patented design—an innovative tension-based interlocking system which locks the rims and frame above the bridge, in effect freeing the lenses from the temples as though they were suspended in space. The design uses no soldering or screws. Targeted to youthful, fashion-forward adults, Charmant’s initial collection consists of eight ophthalmic frames made of a stainless-steel and surgical-steel combination. Shapes are variations on cat-eye, oval and rectangular designs in silver, gold and gray.
PHILOSOPHY: Foval’s Italian styling combined with Charmant’s
technical expertise result in clean, pure, contemporary eyewear fashion. Thin, flexible and extremely light frames with floating, invisible eye shapes are the highlights of the collection,” says Charmant USA product manager Michele Ziss.
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include two Plexi risers, three colorful countercards and a silver dispensing tray. Each frame comes with a case. PRICE POINT: $$$$. AVAILABILITY: Spring 2003. For additional information, contact Charmant Group USA (800) 645-2121; web site:

BBH Eyewear: Humphrey’s
Targeting the hip, young and stylish
BBH Eyewear presents Humphrey’s Eyewear. BBH is a U.S. company created following Brendel Lunettes’ recent acquisition by Eschenbach Optik of Germany. The company, which made its debut in January 2003, is distributing the Brendel, Humphrey’s and Bogner eyewear lines and Scappa, a sunwear collection. Targeted to trendy individuals between the ages of 15 and 40, the Humphrey’s line consists of more than 75 styles in both plastic and metal. Shapes are innovative variations on ovals, rectangles, squares, bowties and cat eyes, some with exaggerated angles, and include rimless and semi-rimless designs. Colors range from metal tones to bold shades of blue, green, orange and red and striking combinations of such colors as orange and violet and pink and green.
PHILOSOPHY:  “The Humphrey’s line offers a full selection of exciting, fashionable options—ranging from quirky styles in strongly contrasting colors to lightweight rimless designs—for young, self-confident individuals,” says BBH president Ilario Sfoggia. “Additionally, we are providing marketing materials that will help optical retailers reach this target group.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include three cubes, a poster, leaflet and catalog. PRICE POINT: $$ to $$$. AVAILABILITY: Spring 2003. For additional information, contact BBH Eyewear (800) 638-6639; web site: www.eschenbach-optik.de.