Promo Primer

By Special Messenger — Kenmark hits the streets with six new styles in its Hush Puppies Eyewear Campus Collection. In conjunction with this they are offering a special promotion to accounts purchasing 15 Hush Puppies Campus frames. Each participating account will receive a free messenger bag with an embossed Hush Puppies Eyewear logo. Check it out along with convenient online ordering at

Jackie Micucci


Rudy’s Ready for Rudolph — As the holiday season approaches Rudy Project announces its first holiday promo. Here’s what happens when you buy in with just four Rudy Project sunglasses or goggles—you’ll receive music CD/DVDs from pop artist XIREN to give to

customers as a reward for their purchase. To check out some of XIREN’s music go to In addition, your customers will be able to score a TEAM RP GOGGLE online for just $10—up to a limit of five per person or address. Check it all out at www.rudyprojectusa. com/consumerpromo where there is additional information
on ways to receive special marketing tools and signage as well.

James J. Spina


Surf Shop  

Two of the surfing world’s biggest female stars got fit with some cool shades while visiting Los Angeles recently to compete in the Rip Curl ASP World Tour in Malibu. Rochelle Ballard (seen in action below), a women’s surfing pioneer and 2004 Roxy Pro silver medal winner, and Keala Kennelly, 2003 Triple Crown of Surfing Champion, met up with Larry Leight (at right with Ballard and Kennelly) at his Oliver Peoples store on Sunset Boulevard to check out the latest Mosley Tribes collection. Fuel TV, an action sports and music network, captured footage as Kennelly settled on the Aviatrix and Ballard picked both the Aviatrix and the Arc. No strangers to the camera, both women were featured in the movie “Blue Crush.” Kennelly made it to the quarter finals of the Rip Curl Malibu Pro event before being defeated.

Jackie Micucci



Click here for Hall of Frames
by Jackie Micucci.................................................

A Vacation State-of-Mind  

The food is good, the beaches are hot and the mood is relaxed—all courtesy of Tommy Bahama, a fictional character who has over the past 14 years evolved into a popular lifestyle brand associated with a celebration of island living. The brainchild of apparel industry veterans Tony Margolis, Bob Emfield and Lucio Dalla Gasperina, Tommy Bahama debuted in 1992, with a collection of upscale men’s sportswear. It has since grown into a complete line that includes men’s and women’s sportswear, swimwear, footwear, accessories, fragrances, home furnishings, eyewear and even its own beer. To further communicate the vacation state-of-mind, Tommy Bahama opened a retail/restaurant compound in Naples, Fla., in 1995 featuring the collections and Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe. Today more than 50 retail locations, seven of which are restaurant/retail compounds, exist. The philosophy behind Tommy Bahama is a relaxed, casual attitude that elevates the act of relaxation to a fine art. “The idea evolved because Bob [Emfield] and I worked in the same apparel industry company and we both had homes on the gulf coast of Florida. We kidded constantly about staying in Florida and not dealing with work. We fantasized about a guy who didn’t have to go back to work, whose life was one long weekend. He became Tommy Bahama,” says Tony Margolis, president, CEO and co-founder of Tommy Bahama. “Bob and I brought the sales and marketing background to the concept and Lucio [Gasperina] had the great personal taste and knew what products our Tommy Bahama guy would want. The brand revolves around the core concept that we live in a society of escapism, where we long to remove ourselves from the harsh realities of work and the aggravation of the news brought to us by the media. With Tommy Bahama, we sought to create the product that would be appropriate to this fantasy world.” Margolis believes there are several reasons for the success of the company. “We have always stayed focused on our original vision of casual, relaxed island living. We did not drift off into doing skiwear or work clothes,” he explains. “We also chose to market our name through specialty stores instead of taking the easier department store route. By doing this we created more demand for our product. Another thing I think really helped us is when we started to be knocked off, we made a conscious decision not to compete. Instead we upgraded, elevating our brand by using better silk and more intricate prints thereby making the point we were not about price.”

Expanding into eyewear and sunwear was also a conscious decision. “Once our name took on stature as being a source for valid fashion, sunglasses were a logical extension,” Margolis says. “With any license, it’s essential to select the right partners because you yield power to them and depend on them to bring the same attention to detail and integrity to product quality and presentation that you do. We were very fortunate in our selection of Altair as our eyewear partner. Altair understands what we want. They get our vision.”

The company’s motto “life is one long weekend” defines every aspect of Tommy Bahama, including its marketing strategy. In addition to pursuing traditional outlets such as print ads and commercials, Tommy Bahama focuses on where its customers spend their down time. They have participated in many sport arenas and have sponsored golf and yacht- and horse-racing events.

“From our product to our print advertising to the activities we participate in, we continue to plant and reinforce seeds as to what we are as a brand,” Margolis says. “The Tommy Bahama project exceeds our original expectations, going far beyond our dreams. And we will continue to pursue whatever areas we feel are applicable to the concept. After 14 years in business, we three partners still look at each other and say, ‘this is fun.’”

Gloria Nicola



Transitions Tops 2005 With More TV Ads —
In the final months of 2005, Transitions Optical has released another big round of television advertising, including ads which ran during high-profile primetime programs such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24 on NBC, the 30th Annual Country Music Awards on November 15 on CBS and the highly anticipated Barbara Walters “10 Most Fascinating People” special on December 20 on ABC. The advertising is also running on popular cable channels such as The Weather Channel, TV Guide, TNT and the History Channel in October and November.

Similar to last year, this end-of-year advertising is tagged with a timely message: “Vision benefits expire at year end. Check your plan for eligibility.” The Transitions ad will be viewed a total of 177.4 million times from October to December, part of the 2.2 billion times it will be viewed throughout the year, according to Transitions.

Final 2005 Varilux Ipseo Symposium Concludes In Los Angeles — Select ECPs arrived in Los Angeles recently to attend the fourth Varilux Ipseo product symposium. Brand sales consultants met with ECPs from the west coast to explain the benefits of the new Varilux Ipseo progressive addition lens and the VisionPrint System. This symposium marks the last of four regional symposiums held in 2005 for select ECPs.

“Los Angeles will conclude our successful series of symposiums on Varilux Ipseo that have helped educate attending eye care professionals on the benefits of the first custom progressive lens that is personalized for each patient’s visual behavior,” says Mike Daley, president of Essilor Lenses. “We have found these symposiums to be well received by eyecare professionals and we are already planning our next series and look forward to kicking them off again next year.”

Ophthonix Earns Web Site Award — Ophthonix, which markets wavefront-guided diagnostic technology and customized iZon eyeglasses, recently received a Standard of Excellence Web Award from the Web Marketing Association for its corporate web site, The award recognizes web sites which set the standard to which all web sites should strive to achieve. The Web Marketing Association judges web sites on design, navigation and innovation. The web site, developed by Burdette Ketchum, a marketing consulting and communications firm, is designed to create awareness and comprehension of Ophthonix’s innovative new vision correction technology. Targeted to both optometrists and ophthalmologists, the web site features animation that demonstrates the benefits of Ophthonix’s customized vision correction solution; a practice locator which allows consumers to find eyecare practitioners in their area, and an interactive flash piece that exhibits the company’s technology. In addition, the site contains video of practitioners discussing the benefits of the new technology. The Web Marketing Association has held the Web Award Competition for the past nine years. Sites are judged by Internet marketing, advertising, design and PR professionals from across the country. Judges look for creative and innovative web sites.

--Gloria Nicola


Celtic Pride  

Employees at the New England Eye Center were doing a little wearing ‘o the green early. They commemorated the start of the Boston Celtics basketball season last month by taking part in Project Green, which was launched to increase sponsor participation in conjunction with the start of the Celtics’ season. The project outfitted employees of the team’s corporate partners in Celtics shirts during the work day of the team’s season opening game. New England Eye Center joined such corporate sponsors as Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and Southwest Airlines in displaying their Celtic pride.

Jackie Micucci




Reigning Cats and Dogs  

Just in time for the holiday season, the Pittsburgh-based Eyedeals International adds the 1000 Series, consisting of three frames and a sunglass with a cherry blossom motif (two additional styles will be added in January), to its Sydney Love Eyewear line and also expanded the brand’s accessories—cases, bags, wallets and agendas—available to optical retailers, with a collection featuring cat and dog patterns. A portion of the sales from the frames and accessories will be donated to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.
The Sydney Love accessories line, designed by Christine DeGennaro of Florence, Italy, is known for its handbags, backpacks, luggage and other small leather goods and is characterized by vivid colors, whimsical patterns and fun polka dot linings. Earlier this year, Eyedeals International introduced Sydney Love Eyewear together with accessories to complement the frames.
“The response to our latest collection has been overwhelming. The accessories are functional and fun and have the additional benefit of featuring cats and dogs, something that almost everyone loves,” says Samuel Shapiro, president of Eyedeals International. “With this newest pattern, people are able to express their love for their pets and also help to support an organization that takes care of unwanted animals.” —GN