Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


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Sàfilo: Liz Claiborne Sunwear Collection

Embodying American style and quality
Sàfilo USA presents its first Liz Claiborne Sunwear collection. Manufactured exclusively for the 30 market, the sunglasses are geared toward stylish women 30+ who are interested in high-quality design and value. Consisting of six hand-finished styles—one metal, four plastic and one metal/plastic combination—the line is highlighted by modern technology and feminine design details that capture the essence and allure of the Liz Claiborne brand. Shapes are variations on soft and modified oval and rectangular silhouettes accented with jewel-embedded temples, etched decorative hardware and Swarovski crystal logos. Colors focus on soft pastel hues in two-tone iridescent shades and rich earth tones. All of the lenses are polycarbonate with a tapered, curved design that eliminates prismatic deviation and distortion. Four styles have polarized lenses.    
PHILOSOPHY: We are very excited to bring an important brand like Liz Claiborne that generates such tremendous name recognition and consumer trust in the U.S. market to our 30 customers. These new sunwear styles embody the all-American fashion and quality for which Liz Claiborne is renowned. And with the increased interest in polarized lenses, this collection is a win-win for all,” says Sàfilo USA senior vice president of sales Dick Russo. MARKETING: Each sunglass comes with a black- and cream-colored, logoed, soft fabric pouch. PRICE POINT: $$$. For additional information, contact Sàfilo USA, (800) 631-1188; web site: www.safilousa.com

Kaenon Polarized: Variant Series

Fashion-inspired sport glasses
Kaenon Polarized introduces the Variant Series, a collection of unisex, rimless sport glasses made of lightweight, hypoallergenic metal. Aimed at athletes and consumers who want fashionable, yet durable frames focused on performance, Variant styles feature custom-designed, high-tension, single-action spring hinges, adjustable silicone-skin air-bag nosepads and Variflex temple-tip pads. The frames are available in five lens shapes (all with an eight-base wrap design) with four lens options: copper 12, copper 50, gray 12 and yellow 35. Frames are equipped with Kaenon’s SR-91 polarized lens material with Glare 86, a proprietary polarizing film. Lenses are Rx adaptable. Frame colors include antique copper, antique silver and palladium.
PHILOSOPHY: “Kaenon Polarized is a brand recognized and known for superior lens technology, performance advantages and design,” says Steve Rosenberg, founder and president of Kaenon Polarized. “The Variant Series is meant to breakdown barriers and drive the trend toward fashion-inspired performance eyewear. Designer Alain Mikli was consulted on the original design concept and our stable of world-class athletes was consulted on the overall performance, resulting in a genuine mix of fashion and sport.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include countercards. Each frame comes with a hard metal case and micro-fiber cleaning/storage bag. PRICE POINT: $$$$$. For additional information, contact Kaenon Polarized (949) 574-7918; web site www.kaenon.com

Elite Eyewear: Polaroid Kids

Protecting young eyes 
Elite Eyewear now offers Polaroid sunglasses to kids through its Polaroid Original Polarized Sunglass collection. Targeted to children between the ages of one and seven, the initial collection consists of four styles made of an allergy-free, rubberized plastic material. Each frame is offered in two or three colors, ranging from orange with polka dots, blue and red to silver and black, some with metallic finishes. All frames have adjustable temple tips, are metal free and equipped with Original Polaroid Polarized Lenses, which provide UV400 protection.
PHILOSOPHY: “We are very excited to offer effective and trendy sunwear for kids that carries with it the strong brand recognition and quality of Polaroid,” says Elite president Greg Smith. MARKETING: All frames come with a hard case and micro-fiber cleaning cloth pouch. PRICE POINT: $. For additional information, contact Elite Eyewear, (800) 935-4833; web site: www.eliteeyewear.com

Nouveau: Van Heusen Textiles
& Stylus Collections

Inspired by men’s furnishings & accessories 
Nouveau Eyewear introduces two sub-collections within its Van Heusen men’s line. Inspired by the latest looks in men’s apparel, the Van Heusen Textiles Collection consists of Trenton, featuring double-laminate temples that echo the look of a brushed chamois shirt, and Lane, with temples that capture the texture of tweed. The second sub-collection, Van Heusen Stylus, consists of Neil and Westcott. Both frames draw on the designs of men’s office furnishings and are highlighted with cigar-band temples with marble treatments, reminiscent of upscale desk accessories. All four styles have spring hinges. With the exception of Trenton, the frames are available in “Big Man” sizes to complement larger faces. Colors include shades of black, brown, gray and gunmetal.
PHILOSOPHY: “Van Heusen is and has been for many years the number one name in shirts in the U.S.,” says Nouveau co-president Pat Aptaker. “It made sense to draw on fabric designs for some of our new looks for the 2005 Van Heusen Collection.” MARKETING: A countercard that draws attention to the fabric-inspired temples is available. PRICE POINT: $$. For additional information, contact Nouveau Eyewear, (800) 292-4342; web site: www.nouveaueyewear.com

Serengeti Eyewear: PolarMax

Introducing polycarbonate  
Serengeti Eyewear introduces its first polycarbonate, photochromic, polarized sunglass lens in a line called PolarMax. The lenses in the PolarMax collection feature polarized properties with a patented photochromic technology, which is injected into the lens to prevent the technology from scratching off. The photochromic technology is a patented Serengeti process that activates the lens to constantly adjust to varying light conditions, seeking optimum light transmission. The combination of frame and lens materials offers consumers a lightweight sunglass alternative to Serengeti’s traditional glass lenses. Included in the line are one titanium, one nylon and two stainless-steel frames. The frames are offered with both the PolarMax Drivers (brown) lenses and the PolarMax CPG (cool photo gray) lenses. The lenses are available with premium anti-reflective coatings.
PHILOSOPHY: “We didn’t want to compromise our glass lens, but we do want to respond to consumer needs so we developed a polycarbonate lens comparable to our glass lens that has photochromic properties encapsulated into the lens, rather than a coating which will peal off,” says Paula Meason, Serengeti product manager. “Our goal with this new path we are taking is to both expand our customer base and to sell additional pairs to traditional Serengeti wearers who have a more active lifestyle.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include three- and four-place displays and graphic cubes. A lifestyle advertising campaign features celebrities wearing PolarMax. Each sunglass comes with a hard case and cleaning cloth packaged in a gift box. PRICE POINT: $$$$ to $$$$$ (for the titanium frame). For additional information, contact Serengeti (888) 838-1449; web site: www.serengeti-eyewear.com

Insight Eyeworks: Cross

Precision reading glasses  
Under a licensing agreement with A.T. Cross Company, a leading manufacturer of fine writing instruments and personal accessories, Insight Eyeworks is manufacturing and distributing a Cross-branded reading glass line. Aimed at Baby Boomers and computer users, the line consists of three semi-rimless unisex styles and one men’s rimless design, each available in two colors—onyx, ruby, sapphire and topaz. All of the frames are equipped with integrated spring hinges and scratch-coated aspheric lenses offering 99 percent UV protection. The lens edges are color-coordinated with the bridge and temples. Two of the frames feature monel bridges and adjustable nosepads and two styles have TR 90 bridges. Lenses are offered in powers of +1.00D, +1.25D, +1.50D, +1.75D, +2.00D and +2.50D.
PHILOSOPHY: “This licensing partnership provides both companies with the opportunity to expand their presence within the 400 million dollar reading glass industry,” says Insight Eyeworks’ president/owner Bruce Raile. “And it gives Insight Eyeworks the opportunity to expand its distribution channels with an internationally recognized brand.” MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a 30-piece display measuring 9" by 9.5" by 11". Each reader comes with a signature case. For additional information, contact Insight Eyeworks, (800) 597-9936.