Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


What's New

Photographed by Nedjeljko Matura

Sàfilo: Emporio Armani

Modern urban designs highlighted by bold colors
Sàfilo USA introduces its Emporio Armani ophthalmic collection, targeted to men and women age 18 to 35 who desire fashion with an edge. Following the style of its namesake clothing line, the eyewear consists of contemporary urban designs created by combining classic details, modern styles and customized coloring. The collection contains 12 plastics (four with aluminum temples) and 17 nickel-free metals (three rimless designs, three made of surgical steel, three flat metals and one titanium). Shapes range from soft, modified and shallow rectangles to upswept, round and narrow ovals to butterflies. Frame features include spring hinges and ultra-thin (2.4mm) plastic temples.
PHILOSOPHY: “We are truly excited to work on such an exhilarating ophthalmic collection. The Emporio Armani brand is synonymous with modern, youthful, urban designs and we think our customers and the end customer will be quite pleased with the fresh new direction,” says Claudio Gottardi, president and CEO of Sàfilo USA.
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include one- and six-place clear Plexi-glass displays, a catalog, large and small counter and tent cards and duratrans. Each frame comes with a semi-hard black nylon case and cleaning cloth.
AVAILABILITY: Fall 2003. For additional information, contact Sàfilo, (800) 631-1188; web site:

Marchon: Coach Eyewear

A perfect balance of function and design
Under collaboration with Coach, the American company known for its bags and lifestyle accessories, Marchon Eyewear launches Coach Eyewear and Sunwear. The new line offers clean, modern shapes, classic styling and distinctive Coach treatments inspired by modern American design and the fundamental principles of sophistication, elegance and enduring quality. The ophthalmic line, which consists of 16 styles in zyl and metal, including titanium, features technically advanced mounting systems. The Coach Sunwear collection contains 24 styles in a variety of shapes, ranging from the popular aviator to a glamorous shield. The sunglasses incorporate elements reflected in Coach’s seasonal collections and proprietary Coach hardware, including signature grommets, logo treatments and custom zyls.
PHILOSOPHY: “The addition of Coach Eyewear to the Coach portfolio enhances the brand’s range of lifestyle accessories,” says Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director of Coach. “We are delighted with our partnership with Coach, given Coach’s reputation for fashion innovation, design leadership and quality and the brand’s strong customer base,” Al Berg, Marchon CEO, adds.
MARKETING: The merchandising program mirrors the Coach image by offering clean lines with stylish elements. Included are a three-place display and signature nameplate in classic Coach leather materials. Each frame comes with a signature Coach case.
PRICE POINT: (Ophthalmic frames) $$ to $$$$; (Sunglasses) $$$.
AVAILABILITY: Fall 2003. For additional information, contact Marchon Eyewear, (800) 645-1300; web site:

Colors in Optics:
Blumarine Eyewear

Edgy, chic glamour
Colors in Optics launches Blumarine, a branded eyewear line taking its name from the 20-year old Italian label known for its trendy, upscale fashions. The new line consists of 23 ophthalmic frames and 15 sunglasses in feminine and unisex styles. The emphasis is on chunky plastics and oversize shields with bold logo treatments featuring the brand’s “B” logo rendered either in metal hardware or with crystals on the sunlenses. Many of the sunglasses are equipped with flash mirror lenses. Both frame and lens colors reflect the company’s signature blues, purples and aquas and many of the eyewear hues, including, gold, green, lavender, pink and white in pearlized treatments come directly from the Blumarine runway.
PHILOSOPHY: “Embodying the spirit of the Blumarine brand, the new eyewear line is edgy and chic. Every piece is a fashion statement,” says Colors in Optics vice president Rhona Hutton.
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a logo plaque, signage and countercards. Each frame comes with a satin turquoise hard case.
PRICE POINT: ($$$ to $$$$.
AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Colors in Optics, (800) 465-1200.

Kenneth Cole Signature

Kenneth Cole celebrates 20 years
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., a business founded by Kenneth Cole, ClearVision Optical is releasing the Kenneth Cole Signature Collection in conjunction with the new Kenneth Cole New York 20th Anniversary Collection of clothing, fragrance, accessories and watches. Targeted to those who appreciate the finer things in life and revel in urban luxury, the new series consists of 11 ophthalmic styles (six for men and five for women) and three sunglasses. Stylistically the series was inspired by modernity and the need for eyewear to accommodate a comfortable, yet versatile lifestyle. Available in premium materials including titanium and ultra-thin zyls, Signature frames offer striking full frame and slim semi-rimless designs with such details as open, tooled temples.
PHILOSOPHY: “Every component of the  Kenneth Cole Signature series—the materials, finishing and details—were carefully selected to produce an ultra-luxurious result,” says ClearVision executive vice president Peter Friedfeld. “Because of the haute couture feel, this series is suited perfectly for merchandising in a showcase vignette or upscale optical boutique.”
MARKETING: A multi-place module display system will be available. Each frame comes with a soft black leather case and cleaning cloth.
PRICE POINT: $$$ to $$$$.
AVAILABILITY: Fall 2003. For additional information, contact ClearVision Optical, (800) 645-3733; web site: www.cvoptical.com

Dakota Smith Eyewear

Capturing the American spirit
Signature Eyewear relaunches Dakota Smith Eyewear, a blend of Santa Fe spirit, Route 66 style and Old West swagger. The initial collection consists of seven frames with pure titanium fronts and beta titanium temples. Shapes include feminine, masculine and unisex variations on ovals and rectangles. Some styles are semi-rimless. Frames are equipped with German nosepads and a Dakota Smith Eagle logo. A 15-style sunglass collection with polarized lenses will be released in late fall.
PHILOSOPHY: “Our Dakota Smith eyewear line, together with its merchandising program, will be all encompassing. The program was designed to extend to every level of retail from the owner to the dispenser to the end consumer,” says Signature CEO Michael Prince.
MARKETING:  In addition to artistic displays, Signature has created a merchandising program revolving around Club Dakota and the Dakota Smith country store, which will features jackets, shirts, skirts, headwear and more under the Dakota Smith brand. Each frame comes in a black, blue or copper metal case. Frame-backing cards and case sleeves feature photographic images of the Southwest.
AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Signature Eyewear, (800) 765-EYES; web site: www.signature.com.  

Altair: Eclipse

A new generation of three-piece mounts
Altair Eyewear introduces Eclipse, a high-end, three-piece mount system targeted to sophisticated men and women between the ages of 25 and 50. The Eclipse system uses an exclusive edging system allowing for precise tabs to be edged in the lens. The temples and bridge grip the lens by each tab and, because of a specialized closing system, remain secure. Chassis come with both top and side mount options. Four chassis designs and six lens shapes in variations on almond, oval, rectangular and square shapes are available. Frames are offered in blush, bronze, gun, indigo and platinum.
PHILOSOPHY: “Eclipse’s revolutionary mounting system requires no drill holes, thus eliminating frame protrusion into the lens. This feature allows for the widest unobstructed visual field obtainable. The absence of drill holes further eliminates lens breakage and ensures precise alignment, making Eclipse a dispenser-friendly mounting system,” says Tom Grogan, Altair new product development and brands manager.
MARKETING:  Merchandising materials include a tri-fold countercard and wood/aluminum logo display block. Each frame comes with a metallic case.
PRICE POINT: $$$$ to $$$$$.
AVAILABILITY: Fall 2003. For additional information, contact Altair Eyewear, (800) 505-5557; web site:

Euro Eyewear: Menrad

Menrad returns to U.S.
Menrad Eyewear, the 107-year-old German frame company, has returned to the U.S. market after an absence of seven years under a new distribution agreement with the Mountain View, Calif.-based Euro Eyewear. Etienne Bernard, Euro Eyewear’s president, says more than 120 ophthalmic and sun styles, including the three-style Premium collection of 23-karat gold-plate frames aimed at mature women and a titanium drill-mount collection of 16 styles, will be available in the U.S. The titanium drill mounts feature strong plastic sleeves and grommets for more secure mounting and are equipped with spring or rubber-mounted hinges. Also available are traditional metals, large, deep zyls and half eyes. The sunwear collection runs the gamut from trendy to conservative.
PHILOSOPHY: “We’re very excited about our return to the U.S. market and are pleased to be able to once again offer our line of quality products,” says Tim Halter, Menrad director of distribution companies. “Our line is reworked and we are confident we have an interesting alternative for the U.S. eyewear market.”
MARKETING:  Several displays, including a drill-mount
display that holds five drill-mount frames and 10 chassis, a logo plaque and catalog are available. Each frame comes with a hard case.
PRICE POINT: $$$ to $$$$ (Premium Collection).
AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Euro Eyewear, (888) 835-2020; web site: www.menrad.de.

Choice Optical: Old Maui Brand

Targeting the resort set
Under a licensing agreement with the Old Maui Brand company (known for its Hawaiian-print shirts and resort clothing), the Florida-based Choice Optical Group introduces Old Maui Brand Eyewear. The line consists of 11 ophthalmic frames and four sunglasses with polarized lenses. All of the frames feature metal fronts and endpieces combined with genuine wood temples and are equipped with spring hinges. Shapes are variations on ovals and rectangles and include fully rimmed and rimless designs for both men and women. Colors consist of antique and shiny shades of gold, gunmetal and brown.
PHILOSOPHY: “Old Maui Brand is a true-to-life international resort brand. Clothing, shoes and accessories under the Old Maui brand are sold at leading high-end department and specialty stores, resort shops and more than 500 golf clubs worldwide, including the prestigious Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club in Hong Kong. Our eyewear collection was created to target the fashion-driven, resort-minded consumer,” says Choice president Wayne Keller.
MARKETING: An eight-place display kit is available.
PRICE POINT: $$$ to $$$$.
AVAILABILITY: Fall 2003. For additional information, contact Choice Optical Group, (877) 968-2547; web site: www.choiceopticalgroup.com.

Handcrafted Jeweled Collection

Revue’s facial jewelry
Revue International adds the Handcrafted   Jeweled Collection to its Visual Arts line. Made in France, the new collection consists of eight acetate frames and three masks and includes ophthalmic and sun styles. All of the frames are adorned with Swarovski crystals and offered in rich laminate shades, ranging from crystal to green, burgundy, brown and black. The designs are created with a distinct focus on fashion and style and reflect a variety of looks from tailored for business to casual elegance for evening to bold masks that create a sense of drama. Although targeted to younger women who like glitter in their clothing and accessories, the Jeweled Collection will appeal to self-confident, trend-setting women of all ages, Revue says.
PHILOSOPHY: “Revue understands the necessity to correct vision and it understands a woman’s desire to communicate her knowledge of fashion through her accessories. Revue also understands when the most fashion savvy of clientele walk into an optical shop, they’re looking for the item that not only works for them functionally, but also is forward in fashion, trendy and unique. For the upcoming seasons, that look is glitter,” says Revue president George Adin.
MARKETING: Posters and countercards are available. Each style comes with a case.
PRICE POINT: $$$$ to $$$$$.
AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Revue International, (800) 487-3883; web site: www.revue-eyewear.net.