Tommy Tunes In
Take a look at these images from the new Tommy Hilfiger fall-holiday ad campaign. It Rocks. And it rocks because Tommy has definitely gone back to his roots as a source of his style inspiration. The cast in these pictures look like in-takes from a rock album (NOT CD) cover. The clothes are distinctly black and white… diagonally striped dress shirts on guys and girls in bold-bar rugby shirts. There’s also a casual glimpse of some gray suits that could easily be The Yardbirds or The Jam making a slick “face” statement circa 1965 as well as being totally modern and now. Hilfiger figured it was time for his early inspiration—the clothes—to take center stage. The consumer campaign is running in InStyle, Lucky, Marie Claire, Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Maxim, FHM and Men’s Journal.

The shoot was located on a back lot in L.A. with celebrated fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier delivering Tommy’s vision. As Tommy Hilfiger sees it, “This season celebrates that Mod moment. There’s a graphic, clean edge that feels right for today. Everything is crisp and tailored in black, red and winter white, which I love. In clothes like these, you look a little sharper, stand a little taller. We’ve stayed true to the spirit of the original Mod, making sure the ties are the right width, lapels on the right slant, the pants hit the boots just so and the height of the heel is exactly like I remember, and updated it for today.” And that style-tune from Tommy about the clothes rings true for the new collection of eyewear as seen in this month’s What’s New product feature. See for yourself. 
—James J. Spina

A Sight to Behar
Remember the Maharani of Cooch Behar? If you’re a shoe fanatic you should. She was an Indian princess who loved the shoe creations of Salvatore Ferragamo. In 1938 Ferragamo created a pair of sandals for her with uppers in kid and satin, a velvet-cove-red cork wedge and an embossed brass structure embedded with rubies, emeralds, diamonds and other precious stones provided by the Maharani. Flip forward to the present and Ferragamo has used this foot-art as inspiration for jewel-like glasses with a floral motif reproducing design elements of the sandal’s ornamental details made from brass with a swath of authentic Swarovski crystals set in by hand. Dubbed the Maharani, this new style is available in a host of colors and crystal variations—a true homage to the life of Lux. —JJS
Everyone’s a winner
It’s “an honor” just to be nominated is always softened a bit when you get to take home an awesome goodie basket brimming with thousands of dollars worth of free loot. This year non-winning Emmy nominees in the 12 major event categories at last month’s ceremony received a gift basket filled with a variety of lavish products including a pair of Vera Wang sunwear from Couteur Designs, a division of the Kenmark Group. Other stash in the “Everyone Wins at the Emmys” gift baskets included LASIK eye surgery from the Assil Sinskey Eye Institute, retail gift certificates from Hugo Boss, mink slippers from Taryn Rose, crystal adorned flip flops from Havaianas and $10,000 toward a diamond purchase at A Diamond is Forever jeweler. Each basket contained a Vera Wang gift bag with a sunwear frame, cleaning cloth and case.
—Jackie Micucci

Bring me to life. 1. Amy Lee, front woman of the band Evanescence, wears cK suns style 2049 in sandstorm from Marchon… Revolutionary. A bevy of celebrities in Revolution Eyewear: country crooner 2. Leann Rimes, pop diva 3. Beyoncé Knowles, “American Idol” judge 4. Paula Abdul and teen operatic baritone 5. Josh Groban all in RES 807. Wearing RES 806 are comedian 6. Damon Wayans and “Bandstand” man 7. Dick Clark… North star. 8. Nick Nolte wears Ray-Ban style RB 3132 006 from Luxottica at the Los Angeles premiere of his latest movie “Northfork”… Freak out. Disney movie star 9. Lindsay Lohan wears DKNY style 7270S in color 028 from Marchon. Lohan recently co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in “Freaky Friday” and was also in the 1998 version of “The Parent Trap” in the dual role of twin sisters… Gilmore boy. 10. Jared Padalecki wears cK style 2047 in sandstorm from Marchon. The young actor can be seen on the WB show “The Gilmore Girls”… Experimentation. Comedian 11. Jamie Kennedy, star of the hidden-camera show “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,” hides behind a pair of Calvin Klein suns style 420S in black from Marchon… Hole in one. Sàfilo was stationed at the 10th hole of the 4th Annual Academy of Arts & Sciences Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. to set up participants with the right stuff for golf. 12. Dennis Haysbert, one of the stars of “24,” selected a pair of Carrera 905S and 13. Peter Falk chose Carrera 903S, both with NM589 polarized lenses… Underneath it all. 14. Gwen Stefani was seen out and about in the Stella McCartney 1SL from Sàfilo… Queer eye. Making straight men more palatable for women everywhere, the Fab Five from the Bravo Channel’s surprise hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” strut out in style during the show’s opening credits in shades from Sàfilo. Grooming guru 15. Kyan (far left) sports Gucci 1445/s, culture vulture Jai (second to right) in Dior Homme 0016/s and design doctor Thom (far right) wears Diesel Zygote/s… Sun and the city. 16. Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha on HBO’s “Sex & the City,” is seen here sporting the Stella McCartney 3SL sunglass from Sàfilo atop her head in a recent episode of the show… Doggy fizzle. 17. Snoop Dog likes his sunwear larger than life. The rapper looks the part in Michael Kors mask style MK18305 with Swarovski crystals (right) and (at the third annual BET Awards) in Dior Cossack/s from Sàfilo… In the orange. Cast members of the new Fox teen drama “The O.C.”—short for California’s Orange County—in eyewear from Marchon. 18. Benjamin McKenzie, who plays the troubled Ryan Atwood, in the Nike Linear Shield in black chrome; 19. Adam Brody, who plays dreamer Seth Cohen, wears Nautica style Miami in navy; and 20. Mischa Barton, who plays girl-next-door Marissa Cooper, in Calvin Klein 772 in beach plum/shell… O! Pioneer. Skateboard patriarch 21. Tony Hawk, who was recently voted “Favorite Male Athlete” at Nickelodeon’s 2003 Kids’ Choice Awards, sports the Nautica St. Croix in shiny black from Marchon.… That’s life. Professional partygoer 22. Paris Hilton wears DKNY style 7918S, color 691 from Marchon. The hotel heiress stars in the latest reality fare from Fox “The Simple Life,” which follows two socialites on a small town adventure… On the Grand Canal. 23. Catherine Zeta Jones, who was in Italy attending the 2003 Venice Film Festival, was spotted wearing a pair of Valentino sunglasses from Sàfilo, model Val 5268/strass made with Swarovski crystals… The Right Stuff. Young actress 24. Hillary Duff wears Fendi Suns style FS280 in forest horn. The teen star is promoting her clothing line, Stuff by Hillary Duff… Wave runner. Six-time world champion surfer 25. Kelly Slater rides the crest of style in a pair of Nautica Miami in color 040 from Marchon… Peoples choice. Some of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies have been seen in shades from Oliver Peoples. 26. Kate Hudson in OPX Aero, 27. Sandra Bullock in Marley and 28. Julianne Moore in Sly… Touchdown. During the rehearsal for NFL Kickoff Live 2003, 29. Britney Spears sports a pair of Vogue sunglasses from Luxottica style VO 2292-S W900/7F… On the links. 30. Michael Chiklis star of “The Shield” was the celebrity host of the 4th Annual Academy of Arts & Sciences Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament. The Emmy winner wears the Carrera Red Wolf with NM589 polarized lenses from Sàfilo, which was a co-sponsor of the fundraiser. He was also seen sporting Ray-Ban style RB 3179 003/6I from Luxottica at the event (inset).  —JM

Get Centered
You can’t really get a tan there but Marchon Eyewear’s Suncenter concept is a virtual delight when it comes to delivering the sunglass message. The program was designed to help optical retailers build their sunglass business with a tool box of both online and in-store enhancements including information on all of Marchon’s brands, signage and merchandising materials, marketing strategies, special promotions, training, incentives and around the clock access to
www.suncenter.com. The hottest spot at Suncenter is a virtual try-on center where consumers can actually test out a variety of shades based on face-shape data.  —JJS

Scojo Foundation
helps women start reading glass
businesses; the woman shown here is a part of Scojo India, winner of a $25,000 non-profit award.
Scojo Award
Scojo Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the access of individuals with presbyopia to affordable near vision eyeglasses, won $25,000 from The National Business Plan Competition for Nonprofit Organizations sponsored by the Yale School of Manage-ment—The Goldman Sachs Foundation Partner-ship on Non-profit Ventures.

The foundation was selected out of 655 other nonprofits for its earned-income venture Scojo India. Scojo manufactures reading glasses locally and develops innovative distribution strategies like the “micro-entrepreneur model.” Through this model, Scojo helps local women establish small businesses selling reading glasses in the rural reaches of India by providing them with training and helping them get access to small loans to buy inventory, eye-charts, mirrors, repair kits and carrying cases. Ultimately, the Scojo India plan will employee more than 300 women and will sell reading glasses to more than 266,000 residents of the Indian state Andhra Pradesh during the next three years. —Caletha Crawford

On Board with Smith
Get ready for a fat ride. For the second year in a row Smith Optics has produced a snowboard team film featuring non-stop action from some of the world’s best riders. “Smithereens” is 30-minutes of exhilarating and freakish riding from Smith’s global snowboard team, which includes Jussi Oksanen, Travis Parker, Eddie Wall, Scotty Arnold, Louie Fountain, Chad Otterstrom and Drew Fuller.

Filmed in 16mm in Idaho, Utah, California, Europe and Japan, “Smithereens” features never-before-seen snowboarding footage and behind-the-scenes antics. The movie premiered last month during the Action Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego. Select sport specialty dealers will receive the “Smithereens” DVD to distribute as a gift-with-purchase to customers buying any Smith sunglass or Regulator Series goggle. —JM

Latin Style
Mexican diva Thalia was not just on stage at the recent Latin Grammy Awards. Thalia Eyewear by Lancer International, a division of the Kenmark Group, was the exclusive eyewear sponsor for the 2003 Latin Grammy Awards gift baskets. The baskets were given to presenters and performers at the awards ceremony held last month in Miami.

Each basket contained a pair of Thalia sunwear and a signature Thalia sunwear case. Other goodies included a QuickCam Zoom from Logitech, a gift certificate for a two-night stay at The Four Seasons in Miami, a one-year membership to AOL and handbags from The Sak. The gift basket was valued at over $8,000.

Thalia, who performed at the Latin Grammys, was nominated for her self-titled album, “Thalia.” 

Friendly Port — Looking for a way to clue your patients in to a vast range of issues, services and products while they wait for your personal attention? Check out www.iportmedia.com for a first-hand look at what’s in store from iPort Media who’s flagship product combines software, hardware and services to create a media network educating eyecare patients on available products and services. At the core of iPort Media is an advanced audio and visual presentation using proprietary sound and Internet technology. This Internet-based content platform can be customized to specific office and retail locations. The range of content includes messages about brands, product features and a host of consumer related benefits. The goal is increased productivity for every patient/practice interaction. There is a one-time set up fee followed by monthly subscription access to the program.  —JJS

Color Guard
Color is the motivating factor at Grant Fashion Eyewear. Situated in S. Stefano di Cadore in the Cadore Mountains of Italy, Grant, a frame manufacturing company, was founded by Gunther Kinigadner in 1983. Kinigadner had previously spent 11 years in the eyewear business working at the Italian-based Trevi. “I decided to start my own company because I wanted to do more customized product,” he explains. “My objective was to create eyewear that’s fun, that has enough passion and personality to excite the market’s curiosity and satisfy the consumer’s desire for individuality.” Kinigadner believes the best way to achieve these goals is through color. “I feel the real motivation for buying something is color,” he notes.

As a result, Grant frames are not only about shapes and technology, but also about color combinations. In fact, the Grant design team consists of three technical experts and three color specialists. As soon as the technical experts ascertain the design is ready for production, Kinigadner meets with the color team to discuss the reactions they hope to generate in the consumers. He only uses women on his color team because “color is all about feelings. And I think women are better at expressing their feelings,” he explains. “We discuss what colors to combine and how to combine them. It’s possible to pair warm and cool colors, but it’s necessary to do it in the right way for each style so there is a sense of harmony. And we make certain we all understand what we mean by a color. The first 100 blues we look at might be wrong for a specific product. Then the 101st is the right blue. We also do extensive research on what colors and color combinations sell in various countries and regions of countries. For example, brown sells well in the U.S., but not in Europe,” Kinigadner notes. “Because we do all our work in house, we have a lot of flexibility in customizing colors.” The company has it own galvanizing factory and uses environmentally friendly coloring procedures.

In addition to its adult collections, Grant has parlayed its strong color sense into a successful children’s line, Grant Junior, and the recently launched Caillou brand. “Our children’s eyewear is very colorful. And that’s important because when kids are given a choice, they always go for strong colors,” Kinigadner says. “Designing eyewear for children is our special way of looking to the future.” he explains.

Whether designing for children or adults, Kinigadner always stays with his underlying belief in color. “Color is important in life,” he notes. “Different colors give you different feelings. We want to give people a chance to express themselves with the full force of the rainbow.”

Grant collections are available in the U.S. through the Valley Cottage, N.Y.-based Grant U.S.A./Estroff Optical.  —Gloria Nicola

Essilor Expands Crizal Online Resource — Essilor has updated www.crizalpro.com, a web site where ECPs can learn how to incorporate the latest Crizal tools and techniques into their practice.

The site now offers extensive, in-depth information outlining Crizal benefits, technology, tools, testimonials and advertising initiatives. It features a Pro Resources section that includes the most frequently requested information by ECPs such as a Crizal availability chart, a sales consultant and distributor locator, directions on ordering customized Crizal cleaning cloths, details of the Crizal Stock Lens program and a Crizal profitability calculator.

NYC College Gets Lens Donation — Wise Optical, a division of OptiCare Health Systems and a leading contact lens distributor, recently donated more than $50,000 in ophthalmic lenses to the New York City College of Technology (City Tech). This donation is one of the largest
in-kind donations received by City Tech’s Department of Vision Care Technology to date. This is the second year in a row that Wise Optical has donated lenses to the department, which provides students with the special knowledge and skills necessary to practice opticianry.

OSI Moves to New HQ — Optical Services International has moved to new headquarters at 3295 River Exchange Dr., Norcross, Ga. 30092. OSI’s new telephone number is (770) 246-1291; the new fax number is (770) 246-1294. The company’s toll-free number remains (800) 228-7554.

Essilor Offers ‘First Class’ Training for ECPs — Essilor has begun offering comprehensive training programs at selected eyecare professional offices. The programs, known as “Paramount by Varilux,” build upon the theme of “first class treatment.” ECPs will learn how to improve their patients’ satisfaction with Varilux’s premium technology, through the latest fitting practices, second-pair sales and bifocal conversion and by talking to patients in non-techno speak. A variety of in-office tools and videos depicting role-play scenarios with patients accompany the program. Interested ECPs should contact their local Essilor brand sales consultant or lab sales consultant or call (800) ESSILOR ext. 7195.

Camirror Expands Distribution — Camirror North America, exclusive distributor of the Camirror Eyewear Selector, has added two stocking dealers: Camirror Sales Group of Virginia Beach, Va. and Diversified Ophthalmics of Cincinnati, Ohio. Tom Eichsteadt of Diversified can be reached at (800) 626-2281 ext. 170 for information regarding Camirror availability.  

Seiko and Pentax Merge Ophthalmic Lens Sales Divisions — Seiko Corporation and Pentax Corporation have reached an agreement to fully integrate all of their related ophthalmic lens sales business units on a worldwide basis under Seiko Optical Products, a Seiko Corporation subsidiary. The merger becomes effective on January 1, 2004; both Seiko and Pentax lens products will be continuously marketed. The two companies say the move will allow them to further strengthen their status as the global leaders in high-index lenses and enable both ophthalmic brands to expand their core business initiatives, increase market share and securely position themselves for future growth.

Gerber Coburn Gets ‘Friendlier’ Site — Gerber Coburn has made its web site, www. gerbercoburn.com, user-friendlier. The site now incorporates new typefaces, graphics and colors, as well as enhancements such as drop-down menus and datasheet PDFs for obtaining secure, compact versions of printed documents. Gerber Coburn has also added a service and support section that allows customers to contact the company’s customer service, field service or software support groups.

A Satisfying Experience — Transitions Optical is introducing
a new ABO-approved four-course series on customer satisfaction. Opticians can earn one hour of continuing education credit for each course completed, all of which feature an interactive-style workshop format to facilitate role-playing and help participants develop skills they can apply immediately.

The four-course series, “Delivering Absolute Customer Satisfaction,” covers a range of topics from understanding the needs of patients to effective presentation skills, including combining knowledge of customer insight with technical aptitude to deliver optimal customer satisfaction; innovative tools to assist in the relationship-building process; tips for understanding body language, personality types and other subtleties to enhance customer communications, and insight into adapting presentations to the needs of the customer.

For more information, contact your Transitions Optical Solutions Team representative, your Transitions Optical Platinum Elite STAR Laboratory representative or Transitions Optical Customer Service.

AR Council Expands Ranks — The AR Council has added five new members to its growing ranks in the past few months: Central Optical, Eyecare Business, Loh Optical Machinery, Ozarks Optical Laboratories and Robertson Optical.

Tales of the City
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of simple-yet-impressionistic shots to make an intriguing little film. So that’s exactly what Donna Karan did when she decided to have Steven Sebring “direct” the new DKNY fall ad campaign. The ads literally take to the streets of New York in what is titled “DKNY Presents New York Stories—A Little Film About A Big City.” The story follows the lives of an actress, a lawyer and a musician—models Angela Lindvall, Sophie Dahl and Michele Hicks—captured in scenes ranging from classic skyline vistas to the Chelsea Hotel to Madison Square Park. “I’ve wanted to do something like this forever,” says Karan. “DKNY is so much about lifestyles and personalities and, of course, the unique creative energy found on New York City streets.” The ads are running in Vanity Fair, Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar and Details. To maximize the consumer ad campaign DKNY will also feature the eyewear images on countercards and banners.  —JJS

Silhouette founder Arnold Schmied, Sr., (l) helps cut the cake with sons
(l to r) Rupert, Klaus and Arnold Schmied, Jr.

Seeing Green
Silhouette Optical has a new U.S. corporate office and the grand opening on Green Island near Albany, N.Y. was timed perfectly for an amazing celebration of the Austrian-based company’s 40th anniversary. The new facility is state-of-the-art gorgeous (with an inspirational employee cafeteria, to name just one beaming aspect) but the party was in a festive tent on the countrified grounds tucked in between the backdrop of both the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers—The location reminds Arnold Schmied, Jr. of the mountain/river sightings of Austria.

Events of the gala included multiple eyewear and sunwear fashion shows presenting the new Titan Minimal Art collection followed by an extreme mountain-biking exhibition highlighting Adidas Sports Eyewear.  —JJS