Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


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Sass Collection: Sass  

Visual Jewels
Sass Collection presents its 12-style architectural-inspired line of frames designed by Sasson Bezalel. Aimed at fashion-forward men and women who seek distinctive eyewear, the frames are aluminum cast. Designs are semi rimless with partial rims on the top and interior of the lenses. Lenses are held in place by an innovative technique developed by the designer for mounting lenses to the frame without using a nylon cord. The result is a clean, crisp, futuristic look. Trivex lenses were selected for the frames because of the lenses’ strength and durability. Shapes are variations on bowties, butterflies and rectangles. Frames are offered in 25 anodized colors, including black, blue, burgundy, olive, orange, purple, red and silver. The styles are also available as sunglasses.  
PHILOSOPHY:  “When I first started designing eyewear, I had a vision of creating product that would reflect the modern times we are living in,” says Sasson Bezalel, architect and designer. “I wanted it to be something different and truly refreshing for the eyewear industry.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include postcard-size images and logo plaques. PRICE POINTS: $$$$$. For additional information, contact Sass Collection, (310) 285-9605; web site: www.sasscollection.com

Oakley: Thread and Split Thread 

New Threads
Oakley takes a new direction with its Thread and Split Thread frame designs. Both frames are made from O Metal, a new material with properties comparable in strength and integrity to premium metals. Frames made of this material are lightweight, 80 percent thinner than C-5 and offer a light and secure fit with little to no pressure. The Split Thread is a three-piece rimless frame featuring Oakley’s rimless Mounting Technology (patent pending). It’s available in 17 lens shapes and comes in chrome, pewter and polished brown. Expanding on the Split Thread design, the Thread is fully rimmed with simple lines and is offered in three shapes and a variety of colors such as dark bronze, olive chrome, pewter, polished black, polished mercury and steel brown. The Thread is available in eye sizes of 49mm, 50mm and 51mm with a 20mm bridge.  
PHILOSOPHY:  “These ‘runway model’ inspired thin designs required our engineering team to search the world for new ingredients,” says Oakley Rx eyewear director Becky Wilkinson. “The result is a proprietary frame material, O Metal. The same sculptural liberties can be taken with this material that customers have come to expect from Oakley. With its simple lines and Oakley nuances, this product will reach a wide consumer base.” MARKETING: Each frame comes with a metal case. A drill kit, replacement screws and patterns are available for the Split Thread. The new releases are supported with two ad campaigns. PRICE POINTS: $$$$. For additional information, contact Oakley,  (800) 336-3994; web site: www.oakley.com

Elite Eyewear: Floateyes 

Keeping Eyewear Afloat
Elite Eyewear presents Floateyes, a line of floatable eyewear cords strong enough to hold glass lenses and metal frames. The cords, which can fit virtually any temple tip, have three different types of attachments. The Floateyes Pro has a side attachment with a stretchable plastic hook at each end of the cord. The Stringerz, a cloth tubular attachment with rubber inserts, provides a protective covering and a secure grip on the temples. The Vision Buoy Pro, a rear attachment with rubber tubing, fastens directly on the temple tips. All cords feature a twin tube slider that can be tightened to the rear of the head to secure the eyewear during water sports or loosened to be worn around the neck when not in use. The cords are offered in dozens of colors with an emphasis on bright neons for easy water retrieval. Customized screening is available. Wristkey, a floating wristband/key chain, is also offered.   
PHILOSOPHY:  “Drain any lake and you’ll find a vision center at the bottom,” says Elite president Greg Smith. “What’s better than having a floatable insurance policy for your expensive eyewear? Folding Floateyes in with our distribution of Polaroid suns enables us to give the customer and the end user the ultimate in convenience by allowing them to purchase both items  at the same time.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a rotating display featuring the three styles of cords and the Wriskey. For additional information, contact Elite Eyewear, (800) 935-4833; web site: www.eliteeyewear.com


Contact Lenses that Breathe
Expanding its line of silicone hydrogel lenses, CIBA Vision launches O2OPTIX, a high-oxygen, highly breathable contact lens that helps maintain healthy-looking eyes by providing more than five times the oxygen of leading soft contact lenses. By increasing oxygen to the eye, O2OPTIX reduces symptoms such as end-of-day discomfort, redness and dryness. Targeted to contact lens wearers with active and demanding lifestyles, the lenses are made of lotrafilcon B, a material that contains 33 percent water, with a permanent surface treatment to assure wettablilty for comfort and a surface that is resistant to deposits. The lenses are offered in a single base curve (8.6mm) in spherical powers from -1.00D to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps) and have a light blue handling tint.    
PHILOSOPHY:  “O2OPTIX is the new standard in daily wear contact lenses for those concerned with their eye health and well-being. There is no other daily wear soft contact lens that allows such a high level of oxygen to reach the eye,” says Dwight Akerman, OD, FAAO, director of professional marketing, CIBA Vision North America. “We feel O2OPTIX is truly a breakthrough product, one that will help maintain eye health for the contact lens wearer.” MARKETING: O2OPTIX will be supported in-office through merchandising materials created to communicate the core benefits of O2OPTIX, life-giving oxygen and breathability, and will range from educational product brochures to a poster that actually walks patients through a relaxing breathing exercise so they can experience how good oxygen feels. For additional information, contact CIBA’s Eye Care Professionals Technical Consultation at  (800) 241-7468; web site: www.o2optix.com