Upfront: Marketwatch


little GTO

Edited by James J. Spina

That’s ROI’s Susie and John Alofs cuddling up next to an absolutely priceless Ferrari 250 GTO circa 1965. No, it’s not theirs but they did sponsor it for the Gautier Classic—a three day road rally throughout the state of Arizona. The rally also featured such stellar wheels as a 1954 Jaguar D-Type once piloted by Sterling Moss and a Targa Florio winning Porsche 904 GTS but only that classic Ferrari had the privilege of sporting the ROI B.U.M. X-Treme teen eyewear logo. The event, which raised over $140,000 for Phoenix area charities, concluded with the highlight of a Smothers Brothers concert. But the apex for 20/20 was Susie’s leather driving garb.     

—James J. Spina

We think we’re tops here when it comes to doing eyewear magazines but 20/20 is mighty impressed with the effort Silhouette continues to deliver with its custom publication Silhouette Journal. Its most recent issue (#55) makes a study of Barcelona by portraying the city as a Metropolis of Design. Subjects include everything Catalan from coffee to cooking and Gaudi to gin. Particularly impressive is a terrific article on furniture designer Fernando Amat. We’ve always believed that the designs and trends of eyewear are influenced by numerous sources of inspiration. Silhouette Journal makes that point beautifully and creatively in a way that does optical proud.            


  contests & promotions

SONY Vision In the mood for some neat SONY electronic gifts? ClearVision’s got you covered till January 25 with all sorts of digital cameras, camcorders and compact discs via their Holiday Extravaganza Rewards program. The promotion covers all the brands including Kenneth Cole New York, REACTION, IZOD, OP, Jessica McClintock, Fisher Price, Save The Children and several house brands. Contact your sales rep or call (800) 645-3733.

I Was Robed — Zyloware celebrates the release of the two new Sophia Loren Eyewear styles—SL M122 and SL M123—with a cozy promotion. Retailers who purchase a six-place kit will receive a ladies signature spa bathrobe in keeping with the comfort and style of these Sophia Loren Eyewear styles. For more information call (800) 765-3700.

So Cole, Co Cool — Let’s talk about a gift “giver” with purchase. Designer Kenneth Cole extended his support to World Trade Center relief efforts by visiting Long Island shoppers recently and signing his American flag/What We Wear T-shirts at a number of stores including the Cohen’s Fashion Optical in the Walt Witman Mall. That’s Cole with Cohen’s Suzanna Boccard, Joan Davidowitz, Robert C. Davidowitz  and ClearVison vp Peter Friedfeld.

AR You Ready? — The AR Council’s See Better, Look Better brochure entices patients to “Let people see the real you with anti-reflective coating.” The four-color brochure provides an area for imprint by eyecare professionals and features sections on improved night vision, reducing computer eyestrain, cosmetic advantages and care instructions. Bundled in packets of 50 with a clear, acrylic counter display, it can be ordered by contacting the AR Council directly at arcouncil@aol.com or (877) 254-4477.

Perhaps we should really say Times Awards. That’s just what Charmant won recently with both its ELLE Eyewear display and its Michael Kors Eyewear display in the point-of-purchase category for The Design of the Times Awards as presented by P-O-P Times and P-O-P Design magazines. ELLE scored gold and Kors won bronze in a series of competitions open to a broad range of industries.        


Optical labs that distribute Essilor’s Varilux lenses will now have the ability to mark lenses so consumers know they are receiving the Varilux brand. Air Mark is a machine allowing laboratories to encode lenses with the Varilux logo on the right lens. The logo can only be seen when fogged, such as when someone breathes on the lens. This branding system provides labs with a fast and reliable method of ensuring that patients realize they have Varilux lenses. Labs purchasing the machine will receive full training to help install the equipment and train the operator.  It has been described as a simple “plug and play” operation with little to no maintenance.    



Briot Idea — Briot has created a new web site—www.briotusa.com. It offers information about Briot edging products and practical advice on how to increase lab productivity and profits. The Products section includes features and benefits of Briot’s complete line of Accura edgers and commercial lab equipment. The company’s catalog of finishing accessories and supplies is found under the Other Equipment section. Profit Analysis provides visitors with data on the financial issues and rewards of in-office finishing. The site also includes information on buying or leasing equipment, as well as information on Briot’s sales and technical sup-port services, new product news and a schedule of trade events where Briot will be showing.

Web Anew — Kenmark Optical has updated its website at its original domain — www.kenmarkopt.com. The new site features a colorful design with updated information, flash graphics and photography.
User-friendly, there are several new features including a flash image that will change often to highlight different collections of eyewear and sunwear available at Kenmark. A series of navigational buttons can be found on the home page to maneuver users through the site. These buttons will take users through Kenmark’s company profile, collections and contact information. The next phase of the project includes e-commerce capabilities.

I Vex — …You vex… We all vex for Uvex at www.uvexsports.com to check out their ski goggles, ski helmets, sunglasses and a new collection of motocross eyewear.

We, The Peoples — Does 20/20’s Upfront whet your appetite for celebs in eyewear? If so, check out www.oliverpeoples.com for “Framed Faces,” just one of the many hot features gracing the new Oliver Peoples web address. The artistic essence of Oliver Peoples has been captured by the creative group Slender Fungus for a look that entertains new levels of Internet marketing. “The site has given us a chance to reach out artistically to our time honored consumers worldwide giving them a glimpse into our history, our spirit and our mystique,” says chief design officer Larry Leight.

Safety Site — Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) has launched a newly designed web site for its safety eyewear program — www.eloa-safety.com. The site includes information for eyecare practitioners and industrial employers interested in participating in the program.