Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


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Sàfilo: Boucheron Sunwear 

Bejeweled splendor
Sàfilo USA releases its Boucheron Sunwear collection. Taking its name from the high-end French jeweler, also known for its fragrances, the new collection contains three feminine styles geared toward trendy, affluent 28- to 40-year-olds. Designed by creative director Solange Azagury-Partridget, the sunglasses consist of dramatic plastic wraps in butterfly and rectangular shapes. All of the styles are adorned with Swarovski crystals handset along the temples in intricate, laser-engraved snake motifs or stained arabesques inspired by the Orient. Frame colors include black, dark olive, green and red with coordinating accents. Lenses are brown, green, dark green and dark gray. An ophthalmic collection is due to launch this summer.
PHILOSOPHY:  “We are pleased about this development in our partnership with [Boucheron’s parent company] Gucci Group and the opportunity to work with such a prestigious brand. The new sunglass collection is positioned at the high end of the luxury eyewear market. The distribution of the jewelry eyewear line will be selective and exclusive and appropriate for the Boucheron brand,” says Vittorio Tabacchi, Sàfilo Group chairman. MARKETING: Merchandising materials are in the planning stages. Each sunglass comes with a hard leather case with a plush lining. PRICE POINT: $$$$$. AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Sàfilo USA, (800) 631-1188; web site: www.safilousa.com.

Lancer: Thalia Girls

Inspired by Thalia
Lancer International, a Division of Kenmark Group, adds Thalia Girls to its Thalia Eyewear line. Designed for girls nine to 15, the new nine-style ophthalmic collection represents the fun and excitement associated with pop singer Thalia. Frames are made of metal, including stainless steel and flat metal, plastic and metal/plastic combinations and are available in trendy bowtie, cat eye, rectangular and teacup designs. Two styles are semi-rimless. Colors range from honey, brown and black to vibrant shades of berry, blue mint, cherry, grape, peach and plum. Details consist of striped temples and a Thalia heart with rhinestones on the temple tips. The frames are offered in two sizes and feature custom Thalia Girls nosepads and spring hinges.  
PHILOSOPHY:  “The Thalia Girls collection addresses a huge void in the market for young girls and tweens,” says Mary Sanders, Kenmark Group vice president of product and merchandising. “Girls ages nine to 15 are fashion-forward consumers who are now wearing eyewear as accessories. They make their own fashion sense from their clothing and accessories and they love to have fun with such trendy items as eyewear, scarves and bangles.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include heart-shaped pedestals in one- and two-place displays and a logo plaque/easel cardholder. Each frame comes with a handbag-style case. For a limited time, customers will receive a set of Thalia bracelets from the Thalia Sodi apparel and accessories collection with every purchase. PRICE POINT: $$. AVAILABILITY: Spring 2004. For additional information, contact Lancer International, Division of Kenmark Group, (800) 627-2898; web site: www.kenmarkopt.com.

Hilco: A-2 High Impact Eyewear

Safety eyewear with a fashion twist
Hilco introduces A-2 High Impact Eyewear, a safety eyewear line with a fashionable look. The new collection is designed specifically for thin, light 2.00mm polycarbonate lenses, now specified in the new ANSI Z87.1-2 industrial eyewear standard. And because of Hilco’s patented SprinGuard lens retention system, it’s possible to use thinner eye wires without sacrificing safety. Additionally, the EZ rivetless side shield attachment, available with each style, provides a thinner temple design. Other features include Logic comfort nosepads, exclusive Safe-Lok locking screws and integrated spring hinges on the metals and micro spring hinges on the plastics. The A-2 collection consists of six stainless-steel styles and two plastic laminates in variations on oval and rectangular shapes. Each frame comes in three colors and two sizes. Colors include antique pewter, bronze, brown, burgundy, charcoal, dark tortoise, matte tortoise, matte black and rose marble for the metals and tortoise and combinations of black and brown, black and honey, black and tan, and burgundy and blue for the plastics.
PHILOSOPHY:  “Fashion and comfort are important in safety eyewear. Without them, employees may be reluctant to wear the glasses. Our focus group research actually showed that fashion is more of a factor than safety as long as the eyewear meets ANSI standards,” says Hilco product marketing manager Greg Piturro. “The A-2 line is indistinguishable from fashion eyewear and far exceeds the ANSI standard.” MARKETING: An informational brochure is available. PRICE POINT: $$. AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Hilco, (800) 955-6544; web site: www.hilco.com.

A&A Optical: XXL Ti Series

For the big guys
A &A Optical expands  its XXL line designed for larger men with the addition of the XXL Ti Series, a three- style titanium collection. Included are a traditional deep rectangle, narrower contemporary rectangle and sleek three-piece drill mount. Eye sizes range from 55mm to 58mm with an 18mm or 19mm bridge and temple lengths of 145mm to 155mm. Features include spring hinges on two of the styles, adjustable nosepads and extended endpieces. Colors consists of black, cocoa, coffee, copper, granite, slate and steel blue.
PHILOSOPHY:  “Along with the overwhelmingly positive response to the XXL collection, we also received consistent inquiries for titanium frames. So the XXL Ti Series is a natural progression. The XXL message of ‘Feels Good… Looks Great’ is resounding with big guys who appreciate having real selection in frames that fit,” says A&A executive vice president Rodney Hayes. MARKETING: Merchandising materials includes an XXL countercard and logo plaque. Each frame comes with a hard case. PRICE POINT: $$$. AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact A&A Optical, (800) 492-4465; web site: www.aaoptical-pez.com.

Signature: Nicole Miller Sunwear

A touch of the tropics
Signature Eyewear presents a new 12-piece Nicole Miller Sunwear Collection. Inspired by the tropics, the sun styles reflect the personality of the Nicole Miller brand, exuding the energy and sophistication synonymous with the New York fashion designer. Included are plastic and metal combinations with smooth, fluid lines that accentuate a feminine feel. Shapes are variations on butterflies, bowties, cat eyes, ovals and rectangles. Many styles are oversized with such whimsical logo treatments as lips, high heels and pineapples. Frame colors range from shades of brown and black to cherry, faded denim, grape, olive and brown and black leopard. Sunglasses are equipped with Sola CR-39 lenses, color-coordinated to match the frames. Some styles are Rxable.
PHILOSOPHY:  “Our New Nicole Miller Sunwear Collection was inspired by tropical vacations and getaways in exotic places. Each style is named for a location that is associated with relaxation on a beach somewhere in the world—Aruba, Grand Cayman, Curacao, Martinique,” says Jill Gardner, Signature vice president of design. “Like the Nicole Miller optical collection, the sunwear offers colorful designs for the style-conscious woman who creates her own fashion trends in a fun, whimsical way.” MARKETING: An acrylic logo plaque is available. Each sunglass comes with a case. PRICE POINT: $$. AVAILABILITY: Now. For additional information, contact Signature Eyewear, (800) 765-EYES; web site: www.signatureeyewear.com.