Dec
2004

Upfront

I Want My MP3
Oakley heralded the debut of Thump, its multitasking sunglass/MP3 player, with a launch party at the company’s futuristic headquarters in Foothill Ranch, Calif. last month. For many of the celebrity guests and members of the press it was the first chance they had to try the audio/visual experience that is Thump. The evening began with a trip down the red carpet followed by a cocktail party, which featured monitors that teased “Oakley Thump.” During a presentation, chairman and CEO Jim Jannard (top, wearing the eyewear) expressed his frustration with the lack of innovative design of personal music players, which led to Oakley’s quest for a sound solution.

He hailed Thump as the latest in a line of pivotal innovations from the company, which include Plutonite and XYZ Optics (both employed in the Thump design).

Thump features a hands-free design with the controls and earbuds all contained on the sunglass temples. The unit, which weighs less than a CD case, is Mac and PC compatible and plays both MP3 and WMA music files. It comes in two models with either 128 or 256 MB memory for digital music or data files, which target a retail price range of $395 to $495. Thump is pre-loaded with tunes, including tracks from Lil John (bottom, with actress Traci Bingham), who performed at the party that ran late into the night. Thump, thump, thump.
—Caletha Crawford

Absorb This
LBI Eyewear has every reason to be self-absorbed. They just scored a first place finish in an annual design competition conducted by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council. The winning design is a sleek wrap frame with anatomical temples and a lens shield that affixes to the frame with a vacuum suction cap. Monikered as the Absorber, this design enables the wearer to change lenses with relative ease even during active sports. There is no hinge screw mounting, no holes drilled in the lens and the actual chassis is made of a highly flexible steel bar, which requires no soldering. LBI president Keith Lehrer notes, “This award recognizes that my father [company founder Sheldon “Shelly” Lehrer] first went to China as an eyewear pioneer in 1975.” That’s first place for a first-class eyewear dynasty.
—James J. Spina

wired
Rapid Eye Movement — Eyefinity, has launched eBuy Express,
a service enhancement that enables optical practices the ability to place frame orders in seconds while processing claims and lab orders online. In addition to enabling practices to seamlessly place frame orders from within their online lab order forms, eBuy Express' enhancements make online claims filing and lab order placement more efficient for all practices. The new service also allows practices to choose frame details directly from the order form, while the wholesale frame cost, required for claims, is automatically provided online. “We're really excited about eBuy Express because it represents a significant step in tying our services together into one convenient workflow,” says Eyefinity's vice president of marketing, sales and services Dave Delle Donne. “In one pass, a practice can now file a claim, place a lab order and place the frame order—without going to separate areas of our site and without making duplicate data entries.” For details visit
www.eyefinity.com
JJS

Movie scenes. Sàfilo frames coming soon to a theater near you: 1. Lily Tomlin in “I Y Huckabees” wearing MaxMara 271S, 2. Brad Pitt in the DSL 55 Cobretti sunglass in “Ocean’s 12” and 3. Toni Collette sporting Giorgio Armani GA 49S in “In Her Shoes”… Marc up. 4. Dave Navarro (late of the bands Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and now Carmen Electra’s other half) and actress 5. Rebecca Gayheart both stylin’ in the Robert Marc Sparkle 535-74… Radio days. 6. Sylvester Stallone wears the RES818 in pale copper from Revolution Eyewear backstage at the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas… Detailing. 7. Ben Affleck appeared on the pages of Details magazine last month looking all come hither in a pair of Dior homme 0034/s sunglasses from Sàfilo. The layout also featured a shot of the actor with a pair of Emporio Armani style 9047/s in his teeth. Note to Ben: Those go on your face not in your mouth… The thrill of victory. 8. Pierce Brosnan in Oliver Peoples Victory style… house of style. 9. Jay-Z knows all about fashion. The rapper, who also owns the urban apparel and accessories line Rocawear, completes his look with the right eyewear. On stage sporting Cazal 607, on MTV’s “TRL” wearing Robert Marc’s Classic Aviator frames and complementing a straw hat with Oliver Peoples Encore shades… Par for the cause. Persol, a Luxottica brand, was a sponsor of the Sixth Annual Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic held recently at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Celebrity golf players were fitted in the latest Persol sunglasses while helping to raise awareness and funds for critical children’s HIV/AIDS research. Among them were: 10. Corbin Bernsen and 11. Chris O’Donnell each in Persol style PO 2203; 12. James Caan wearing PO 2196; 13. Matthew Lillard in style PO 2722; and 14. Sylvester Stallone in PO 2197.  —Jackie Micucci

Eye Love Paris
Everyone knows that Paris is the ultimate expression of fashion with flare. No not the city. We’re talking about Paris Hilton and we’re especially talking about her when it comes to the wildly glamorous sunglasses she’s wearing in the Guess ads. Her shade of choice here—GU 6069—is a perfectly gigantic nod to the high holly-daze of Hollywood. In keeping with that Sunset Strip tease Paris is captured poolside with a pool boy at her side. Viva International is making this striking image available for countercards and window displays.  
—JJS

Opti-Cycles
Rising road cyclist star and hill climb specialist Tom Danielson has signed up with the opti-pros at Smith Optics. “Signing Tom is a coup for Smith’s cycling team and our growing presence amongst the road racing ranks in general,” says Smith Optics cycling team manager Greg “Chopper” Randolph. “Not only is he an amazinmed Carl Bracy, a veteran marketing executive with major international company experience, as vice prg athlete with tremendous talent and drive, but a  Corp., a Dallas-based energy company, will be providing strategic vision and leadership for the EOA marketing group and will be responsible for the introduction of Essilors products and services to the marketplace.

Carls broad background in combined general management and marketing roles will help guide our organization on the most effective ways to communicate our message, says Hubert Sagnires president of EOA. Carl will be a tremendous asset as we continue to introduce enhanced ophthalmic lenses with the highest advanced technological components built in.

Opti-Options  Vision & Values high-index, finished single-vision,
AR-coated lenses are now available on Opticom. Customers may choose to order Vision & Values high-index lenses through the Opticom system utilizing barcode scanning or the Opticom web site: www.opticom-inc.com or continue to order Vision & Values lenses directly using the Vision & Values web site: www.vision-values.com.

Vision & Values president and CEO Mike Rynkiewicz says, Based upon our vision of continuous improvement, we are always looking for ways to better serve our customers. Opticom offers our customers another ordering option.great personality and a consummate professional. With time, I feel he will be the nesident of marketing. Bracy, who most recently served as senior vice president of retail markets for TXUext superstar of American cycling and someone Smith can build a positive brand identity around. He is one of the keys to our successful penetration into the road market.”

Twenty-six-year-old Danielson spent the 2004 season living overseas and racing for Italy’s prestigious Fassa Bortolo formation, as its lone American team member. With a list of prestigious titles and wins under his belt including back-to-back Collegiate National MTB Championships in 2001 and 2002, multiple Mt. Washington Hill climb victories and an overall win at the Tour of Langkawi Stage Race in 2003, Danielson has proven he’s a ferocious competitor and a contender for the bigger prizes in cycling. His untapped potential caught the attention of the Italian squad, which consequently gave him the opportunity to further his development.

The New Year sees Danielson changing team colors, having signed a multi-year deal to ride for Lance Armstrong’s Discovery team. For more information, visit
www.smithoptics.com.  
—JJS

promo primer
Good Cheer — Saluting Silhouette on its deluxe 20/20 “holiday” cover we’d
like to mention in keeping with the company’s tradition of deep respect and
caring for others they are sponsoring a special program entitled Share Your Holiday Vision. From now until the end of December for every pair of Silhouettes purchased, they will donate a pair of  eyewear to a person in need.

The goal is to donate over 50,000 frames. In order to ensure customers are aware of this special holiday program, Silhouette has created a poster and countercard for display, as well as a set of thank you cards to be given out with each purchase. For more information call (800) 223-0180 or visit
www.silhouette.com
 —JJS

promo primer

We Have (Another) Winner — Family Eye Center of Pueblo Colorado has become another $10,000 prizewinner in the national SOLA-Transitions “All You Need is One” promotion, which has now been extended through March of 2005.

The promotion gives eyecare professionals an “All You Need is One” game card for every pair of SOLA’s new SOLAOne progressive lenses ordered through a participating lab. By scratching the right combination of boxes on the card, any card can yield a $10,000 prize, which means that there can be any number of $10,000 winners.

At the check presentation (left to right): Jeanie Cotter, Sharon Brown, Pam Benson (Pech Optical), Dr. Allen Aubert, Kelly Grimes, Dr. Steven Clough, Jamie Lopez, Tom Martin (Pech Optical), Jake Martinez, Jennifer Walker (SOLA)

The winning ticket arrived with a SOLAOne pair ordered from Pech Optical in Sioux City, Iowa. According to Family Eye Center’s dispensing optician, Jake Martinez, the practice has been dispensing SOLAOne since it was introduced
to the practice last summer. “I have dispensed quite a few and haven’t had anyone come back with a problem,” he says. “I love it when you put new glasses on a patient and see the smile. I’ve been seeing a lot of that with SOLAOne.”


Marketman
— Essilor of America has named Carl Bracy, a veteran marketing executive with major international company experience, as vice president of marketing. Bracy, who most recently served as senior vice president of retail markets for TXU Corp., a Dallas-based energy company, will be providing strategic vision and leadership for the EOA marketing group and will be responsible for the introduction of Essilor’s products and services to the marketplace.


“Carl’s broad background in combined general management and marketing roles will help guide our organization on the most effective ways to communicate our message,” says Hubert Sagnières president of EOA.


 “Carl will be a tremendous asset as we continue to introduce enhanced ophthalmic lenses with the highest advanced technological components built in.”

Opti-Options — Vision & Values’ high-index, finished single-vision,
AR-coated lenses are now available on Opticom. Customers may choose to order Vision & Values high-index lenses through the Opticom system utilizing barcode scanning or the Opticom web site:
www.opticom-inc.com or continue to order Vision & Values lenses directly using the Vision & Values web site: www.vision-values.com.

Vision & Values president and CEO Mike Rynkiewicz says, “Based upon our vision of continuous improvement, we are always looking for ways to better serve our customers. Opticom offers our customers another ordering option.”


Winner of Friendly House Woman of the Year award Sheila Vance (left) with Ron Fudge, luncheon chair and Peggy Albrecht, executive director of Friendly House.
Honoring Sheila Vance
Sheila Vance, eyewear designer and founder of Sama Eyewear and the Sam Vance Foundation, was named Woman of the Year by Friendly House at its 15th Annual Awards and Benefits Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Friendly House, which opened its doors in 1951, is a non-profit residence for women in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction with two locations in Los Angeles: the Normandie House and the Nerine Shatner Friendly House, donated by the Shatner Family Foundation, in memory of William Shatner’s late wife, Nerine.

Attended by almost 1,000 people, the event, presided over by master of ceremonies actor Ed Begley, Jr., started with a silent auction. Items auctioned included Vance’s new Visionnaires luxury sunglass collection, conisting of individual styles selected and signed by such celebrities as Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro, Robert Downey Jr. and Eve. All net profits from the Visionnaires Collection, which is being sold at Destination: Sama, Vance’s West Hollywood eyewear boutique, will be donated to Friendly House, the sole beneficiary of the Visionnaires Collection.

“It was wonderful to be a part of such an amazing event that will help so many people,” Vance says. “I met Peggy Albrecht [executive director of Friendly House] many years ago during a dark period of my life and she actually helped me to understand that I could still go after my dreams and reach them and not give up.”

The Friendly House Global Arts Award went to legendary vocalist Etta James. The Community Achievement Award went to Sheriff Lee Baca of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department for his pro-active, progressive solutions to such problems as drug addiction, domestic violence, homelessness, illiteracy, parenting and the quality of life in local neighborhoods.
—Gloria Nicola

 

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