While others were turning in their vinyl records for CDs, Zachary Tipton was turning them into eyewear. What he created was Vinylize, a new eyewear collection, inspired by music and made from old vinyl records.

Tim Fabozzi, owner of DisRespectables, an eyewear boutique with locations in New York’s West Village and Tribeca, first saw Tipton’s funky frames at a trade show in Paris over a year ago and has since decided to carry the line in his stores. “I really flipped out over them,” Fabozzi says. ”They are more unique than any pair of glasses I have ever seen.”

According to Fabozzi, not only are the frames different because “they are made out of actual vinyl records,” but also “the shapes are more unique than the homogenous shapes that are around now.”

Vinylize frames are designed with cellulose acetate and then vinyl records are cut to the desired shape and applied to the base. This process affords numerous color options and creates a substantial base that can then be made into many shapes.

“These frames are great for all of our customers because there is a shape for everyone,” Fabozzi notes.”The frames work well for either ophthalmic or sunwear,” he adds.

Many of the 10 styles in this season’s line were named after the record titles that they were made from. However, as Fabozzi explains, “If a customer has a favorite record, there is no reason that we couldn’t custom make him a pair of frames.”
Lauren Siegal

Blinding Speed
Be grateful you can picture this. Although legally blind, Mike Newnam now holds the world record for fastest visually impaired person. Having clocked 80 mph on a motorcycle in 2001, he recently decided to up the speed by clocking 155 mph in a Jaguar XJR. His next rapid-mecca is a goal of 200 mph, which he will attempt on October 14, World Sight Day. Hes going to attempt this run on the dry lake at El Mirage in California as a nod to maximum safety.

The whole event is coordinated with Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and the World Health Organization to eliminate blindness by the year 2020. Show some support by going to

O! Deere
Unless you lived in farm country or were a fan of tractor pulls, John Deere was not exactly a household name. The agricultural equipment-maker certainly was not associated with the latest fashion… until now.

Thanks to the hipster dufus set co-opting the logo on trendy Ts and trucker style baseball hats, John Deere is all the rage. The name looks to heat up more with the release of the limited-edition John Deere eyewear collection from Paul Frank Optometrics. The 12 bold frames come in the traditional John Deere green and yellow and have a limited distribution of less than 200 per style.

Although not available at the local farm supply, dispensers carrying the collection include DisRespectables in New York, Optical Outlook in Los Angeles, Optical

Shop of Aspen in Newport Beach, Through the Hayes in San Francisco and Globe Specs in Tokyo as well as Paul Frank’s 14 worldwide locations. 
—Jackie Micucci

Blond ambition. Divas love Gucci. “Newlywed” 1. Jessica Simpson goes for the bombshell look in a pair of Gucci 2517/s from Sàfilo in last month’s issue of Vanity Fair. Never one to be outdone, 2. Christina Aguilera sports the same style at Harrods Summer Sale Opening… Starry eyes. The girl in Calvin Klein Eyewear is actress 3. Scarlett Johansson in style 665 from Marchon. The latest Hollywood “it” girl starred in “Lost in Translation” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and appears in the upcoming films “The Black Dahlia” and “Mission: Impossible 3” both set to be released next year… Triple threat. Actor/writer/producer 4. Mark Ruffalo of the movie “Collateral” sports Calvin Klein style 386S from Marchon… Very special. 5. George Stults, who plays police officer Kevin Kinkirk (Lucy Camden’s husband) on the WB show “7th Heaven” wears Kenneth Cole sunglasses from ClearVision… On the Serengeti. Showing off their Serengeti frames are perennial VH1 commentator and star of “Queer as Folk” 6. Hal Sparks in the Alto; 7. Ivan Sergei of the new NBC series “Hawaii” in the large aviator style; 8. Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men” in the Bromo; and 9. Jared Padalecki of the upcoming film “Flight of the Phoenix” in the medium aviator style… Star power. 10. Brad Pitt showed up on the pages of Star magazine wearing Gucci style 1780/s from Sàfilo. The actor was in Italy filming the sequel “Ocean’s Twelve”… Clingy. Celebrities are embracing döp’s new Templewear eyewear collection. The line uses silicon pads that cling to the temple instead of traditional plastic arms. Wearing the sun style is actor 11. Tim Daly and sporting the ophthalmic version is “Six Feet Under” star 12. James Cromwell who also appeared as Dr. Alfred Lanning in the summer movie “I, Robot”… Of a certain age. Hollywood legends in Tres Jolie eyewear from Marchon: “Wonder Woman” 13. Lynda Carter in style 50T, Academy Award winner 14. Liza Minelli in style 42 and 15. Farrah Fawcett of “Charlie’s Angels” fame in style 44… red alert. 16. Will Smith appeared at the premiere of his latest summer blockbuster “I, Robot” wearing the Red Riot frame by Chrome Hearts Eyewear from Optical Shop of Aspen.  —JM
Eye Art
They come in blood reds, midnight blues and subtle grays. Some have blooming flowers around them, while others resemble Egyptian art. But, unlike other types of jewelry, these pieces aren’t for the ears, neck or wrists. This type of jewelry is designed especially for the eyes.

Eyejewels are the creation of Israeli designer Meirav Piekarski. They are a hybrid of jewelry and glasses, entirely hand-made from sterling silver. “It’s wearable art,” Piekarski notes.

Piekarski has turned creating these glasses into an art form. The production process is very daunting and includes soldering, polishing and sawing. The lenses in each frame are hand cut and the screws are hand-shaped. “It can take up to one month to produce a frame, making each piece a work of art,” Piekarski says.

After working for many years as an industrial designer, Piekarski longed to create designs that allowed her to work more with shape and color. She enrolled in a silversmithing course and then delved into eyewear.

“I think of my glasses as a dance between the minimal and the extravagant,” says Piekarski. “I wanted to create something that reflects both my architectural and creative side.”

Eyejewels are “windows of the soul” Piekarski believes. “Wearing eyejewels affects the way you see the world and the way you are perceived,” she notes.
Though the frames come in tinted lenses, Piekarski says they are perfect for either ophthalmic or sunwear. In addition, many of the six styles can be made into prescription lenses. Piekarski is also open to custom-making frames for customers.

“Eyejewels are all about the details,” Piekarski explains. “They are hand-made so I can do things that you can’t do in mass production.”

Piekarski hopes that her customers appreciate her fusion of function and fashion. Her target market is a “high-end, sophisticated consumer” who wants to have fun with eyewear. Eventually, Piekarski would love to see her frames on celebrities. “Ornament the body and it becomes theater. Its wearers become performers in a show,” she says.

More information about Piekarski’s designs are available on her web site at       —LS
Shady Character
What becomes a movie villain best? Sunglasses are the perfect diabolical accessory. In fact, in the summer blockbuster “Spider-Man 2” tentacled bad guy Doc Ock—played by Alfred Molina—wore the Whistle from Oliver Peoples. The shades created quite a buzz and were later auctioned on eBay for $2,247.
The style is from a past collection with limited production and carries a retail price tag of $260 when not featured in a film. The brushed chrome frame, which usually comes with gray lenses, had custom turquoise lenses added for the movie.

But this is not the Whistle’s first starring role. Brad Pitt wore the style in “Ocean’s 11.”

Oliver Peoples is a favorite among movie stylists because they are fashionable yet have no visible logos making them undetectable to the average moviegoer… quite the shady character indeed.  —JM
People Are Lab Talk-ing
LabTalk magazine, Jobson’s publication dedicated to optical laboratories, recently polled its readers to find out their specific priorities. The results of the survey revealed lab personnel want how-to-articles, educational features and new product information on lenses, equipment and consumables. Toward that LabTalk will be expanding coverage of new product information in every issue, including a new segment call Peer-to-Peer. Peer-to-Peer will feature quotes from optical laboratory personnel on specific products in use at their lab—valuable information on how the product truly performs not manufacturer hype. “Every new product that hits the market is touted as ‘the best’ by its manufacturer,” explains Christie Walker, editor, LabTalk. “In Peer-to-Peer readers will get the straight talk about equipment, consumables and lenses directly from their peers. Our readers want product information that will help them make buying decisions. What better recommendation is there than from someone who is actually using the product.”

Look forward to the newly designed LabTalk with expanded features making its debut with the November issue. This well-timed re-launch can be fully experienced (and peer-to-editor discussed!) at the OLA during the Top 25 Labs reception taking place that same month in Nashville.  —JJS
promo primer

Planner Ahead
— Live Eyewear has YOUR plans in sight. And they would be more than pleased if you jotted down that agenda in their new 2005 Optical Planner. The dry-erase wall calendar is designed with the eyecare professional in mind. Packed with don't miss optical industry events and need-to-know dates, the planner is perfectly designed for today's busy ECP. Pre-registrants to the 2004 Vision Expo West Exhibition receive a complimentary wall planner ticket with their badge and other pre-show materials. Those not attending Expo can contact Live Eyewear at (800) 834-2563 for info on receiving their official 2005 Live Eyewear wall planner. —JJS
Eco- Eyes
Eyewear can be good for the environment. Just ask Allyn Scura, owner of Allyn Scura Eyewear, a California-based eyewear company that carries vintage and original eyewear. Last May, Scura was invited to showcase her vintage eyewear at the LOHAS 8 forum, an event that brought together environment-friendly businesses.

“Ironically, while we strive to use ‘green’ business practices and work with an environmental consulting group, Eco-Resolutions, we’ve never thought of our vintage product as being a ‘green’ product,” Scura says. “LOHAS approached us and said, ‘what a great idea; hip glasses that don’t impact the environment through manufacturing.’”

LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability and describes businesses and consumers who are concerned with sustainable business practices and social consciousness.

While Allyn Scura Eyewear doesn’t promote itself as a ‘green’ business, they do keep the environment in mind. “We are just trying to do what we can,” remarks Scott Iseyama, Scura’s business partner. In addition to selling vintage eyewear, the company also uses recycled shipping packages and has recently traded in the corporate SUV for a hybrid car.

With over 60,000 pieces of unused vintage eyewear, Allyn Scura Eyewear boasts one of the largest vintage collections in the world. The company refers to their collection as a “new-old stock.” However, in light of the environmental benefits of wearing vintage frames, it could be said that wearing vintage is not only a nod to the past, but also to the future.  —LS
Now Data Great Prize
Our pub partners at Frames Data have a contest right up our car alley. As part of its 2004 promotional campaign they are giving a two-year prepaid lease on a 2005 Mercedes-Benz E320 Sedan to one lucky eyecare professional who enters the contest, which runs through December 10 of this year. Enter by subscribing to any FRAMES Data print or electronic product, or by renewing an existing subscription. That simple task can be accomplished via direct mail response or on the web. “When eyecare professionals think of FRAMES Data, we want them to think technology, reliability and efficiency,” says FRAMES Data publisher Michael Copping.

“We wanted to give away a prize that also symbolized those attributes. We feel that the Mercedes-Benz E320 Sedan is the embodiment of technology, reliability and efficiency. We think people will get excited about the prospect of winning this prize and in the process, we hope to educate them about how FRAMES Data products can help them run their businesses more efficiently.” Complete details of the contest along with complete sweepstakes rules can be found on their web site at Gentle-ECPs… Start your engines. —JJS

To The Max — Eyefinity has started integration of their web-based services with First Insight’s “maximEyes” practice management software. By integrating their software with Eyefinity’s online services, First Insight gives maximEyes users access to Eyefinity’s online services such as VSP claim filing, online product and lab ordering, online continuing education courses and access to practice management information resources. “Integrating our online services with a leading practice management software provider like First Insight is a natural next step for us in our mission to provide private practice doctors and staff with everything they need to simplify their office administration,” says David Delle Donne, Eyefinity’s vice president of marketing, sales and services. “We are thrilled to be the first eyecare practice management vendor to have this integration in place,” adds Nitin Rai, president and CEO of First Insight. “Our maximEyes customers have been anxiously awaiting the capability to make their VSP claim submissions through Eyefinity much more efficient.” ECPs interested in ordering maximEyes should call First Insight at (800) 920-1940.

Multi-Webbed — CIBA Vision has introduced ProCare, a new online resource for eyecare professionals. One of three web sites that CIBA Vision has launched in the past year, ProCare, provides convenient and effective assistance to ECPs 24 hours a day, seven days a week (joining and Virtual Consultant).

ProCare provides detailed product information on all CIBA Vision contact lens and lens care products, including product inserts, parameter guides, fitting tips and a lens care selection guide to assist ECPs in making the best lens care recommendation to patients. ProCare offers professional management and training resources and will eventually offer CE credits. The site also features an event calendar, listing CIBA Vision sponsored events and exhibits, FAQ section and a new product and services registration area. Go to www.  —JJS

You’re Hired
When it comes to frames, Revolution Eyewear must be doing something right if it’s been brought on board by The Donald. Real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump looks “fired up” over his new pair of Revolution sunglasses style RES804. The shades were presented to him by Revolution CEO Gary Martin at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe, Calif. —JM