Jun
2005

Upfront

Everybody Loves Ray-Ban
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Take a good look at this Ray-Ban picture. Now take a REALLY CLOSE look at it. That background is not what you would think it is at first glance. Sure there is some sky there and some land there but… the image is actually two images, turned sideways and tunnel-visioned around the guy in shades (style RB 4057 to be specific.) It’s all part of a new campaign challenging people to see the world anew. With the “Change Your View” tag line, the eye-catching four-color full-page ads portray a proto-typical modern-day hero galax-eyed complete, so to speak, in Ray-Ban. What makes the ads—photographed by Pierpaolo Ferrari—especially interesting is the fact that the settings have been upended, turned around and reinterpreted.  “Change Your View” demonstrates normal urban and natural landscapes with extraordinary twists that can both challenge and change the perceptions of eyewear as a fulfilling and revolutionizing lifestyle choice.
   The Ray-Ban 2005 ad campaign is running in key lifestyle and entertainment publications, including Cargo, FHM, GQ, Maxim, Stuff, Men’s Journal, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Lucky, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, People, People-Style Watch, Premiere, Movieline Hollywood Life and Rolling Stone and in optical trade publications  —James J. Spina
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IN LUCK. 1. Christian Slater wore a pair of Robert Marc shades, style 522, while paying a visit to “friend” Lindsay Lohan on the set of her movie “Just My Luck” in lower Manhattan… LONDON CALLING. 2. Mariah Carey in Robert Marc 539 at the 2005 Capital FM Awards in London… ROAMING AROUND. 3. Tom Cruise was photographed all over Rome recently wearing the Chrome Hearts Shaft from Optical Shop of Aspen in matte black with Macassar ebony temples. He was in town to take part in a ceremony for the Italian Donatello movie awards, Italy’s version of the Oscars… DOGGY STYLE. Rapper/actor 4. Snoop Dog sports Revolution Eyewear style RES 820… PRINCESS DIARIES. 5. Victoria Crown Princess of Sweden wears the Boss frame style HB 11544 OL from Charmant… BLONDE AMBITION. 6. Anna Nicole Smith looks trim and fit in the BBL004 coco from Revolution… SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. Newly blonde 7. Lindsay Lohan was spotted shopping on Beverly Hill’s trendy Robertson Boulevard wearing a pair of Gucci 2561S sunglasses from Sàfilo… IN A FIX. Rocker 8. Melissa Etheridge wears a pair of Chrome Hearts Fix III from Optical Shop of Aspen… CAMEO APPEARENCE. 9. Nicollette Sheridan in a pair of Cameo shades from Oliver Peoples is surrounded by her male co-stars from “Desperate Housewives” in a recent magazine lay out… LIVING LEGACY. Sporting the Legacy style sunglass from Mosley Tribe by Oliver Peoples are actress 10. Sharon Stone, Oakland A’s southpaw 11. Barry Zito and Ozzy offspring 12. Jack Osbourne… SIGNAGE. Appeasing autograph hounds at the Revolution Eyewear booth during this past Expo East are 13. Nicollette Sheridan of “Desperate Housewives” fame in BBL002 Coco and legendary quarterback and four time Super Bowl winner 14. Joe Montana in RES 821 BLK. —Jackie Micucci
New Transitions V Lenses With ESP Receive AOA Seal Transitions V Lenses with ESP (Enhanced
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Scientific Performance) have been awarded the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Seal of Acceptance for Ultraviolet Absorbers/Blockers.
   Transitions Lenses were the first lenses to earn the AOA Seal when this category was launched in March 2004. Since then, Transitions has supported the AOA Seal through its consumer outreach, featuring the Seal in Transitions’ advertising in an effort to elevate public awareness of the need for everyday UV protection.

AR Council Adds New Members, Expands Board — The AR Council continues to expand its ranks with the addition of two new members: Somo Optical, a lens manufacturer based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. and Schneider Optical Machines, an equipment supplier that recently opened its U.S. offices in Carrollton, Texas. The AR Council provides its members with exclusive materials to help improve the process of AR lenses while growing AR lens sales throughout the industry, with a primary focus on continuing education for ECPs.

Zeiss Updates Web Site to Include Interactive Vision Demos — Carl Zeiss has updated its web site, www. zeiss.com/lenses, to include a new interactive vision demo section. The vision demo section, accessible via the company’s homepage, leads site visitors through a series of interactive flash displays that explain eye anatomy, vision problems, Zeiss products and how they work.
   “By using the interactive vision demo tools, visitors to our site can now learn about vision problems and Zeiss solutions in a manner that is both engaging and easy to use,” says Will Benton, director of marketing, Carl Zeiss. “We believe this tool will be valuable to both eyecare professionals and patients.”
   The new tool focuses on the eye, lens and coating categories
and features the following demonstrations: The Eye & Vision — eye with perfect vision, near-sighted eye, far-sighted eye, the astigmatic eye and vision after age 40; Eyeglass Lenses—visual solutions, vision in the workplace, ranges of progressive lenses, custom-designed progressives, sun protection/Transitions and polarized lenses; Eyeglass Lens Coatings—Carat Advantage and anti-reflective (AR) coating.
Here’s a presentation book ready for the winner’s circle. The new Daniel Swarovski Crystal Eyewear ‘look’ book from Silhouette was photographed at the Magna Racino located in the city of Ebreichsdorf just outside Vienna, Austria. Like the eyewear, the setting is the epitome of and totally in keeping with the rich yet refined look of sunglasses steeped in luxury. We mention all of this masterful setup and location because we initially thought the whole location bore a distinct resemblance to the cherished Saratoga racetrack located just a gallop away from Silhouette’s American-based headquarters in Albany, N.Y. In any case, Silhouette continues its tradition of innovative eyewear coupled to equally stunning print and published imaging.   —JJS
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The students of San Luis Obispo High School in California placed 17th in the nationwide virtual enterprise program for their business, Decade of Shades, which sells sunwear from the past and the future. Their virtual web site took second place honors at the competition.
Thanks to a little help from optical, the students at San Luis Obispo High School received high marks at the national competition of the International Virtual Enterprise program held recently in New York. After placing third in the state of California with their business Decade of Shades, a simulated sunwear company specializing in vintage sun styles from decades past as well as styles from the present and future, the students took 17th place overall out of 197 classes nationwide. However, their virtual web site really turned heads and captured second place honors at the competition. One of the reasons the kids did so well was the input of opti-mentor Deborah Kurpjuweit, owner of Debonair Eyes in San Luis Obispo. She was the perfect consultant for their business as she has not only a great web site, but also her inventory is very sun heavy (50/50 ophthalmic to sun). Students involved in the virtual enterprise program start businesses and sell products or services to one another via the Internet. —JM
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Although the advice “I just want to say one word to you—just one word—plastics,” was delivered by a smug Los Angeles businessman to the 20-year-old college graduate, Benjamin Braddock (a.k.a. Dustin Hoffman), in the now legendary 1967 film “The Graduate,” that same sentence could have been communicated by Wilhelm Anger, a good 15 years earlier. Anger is the creator of Optyl, a custom-made duro-plastic eyeglass frame material based on epoxy resins, and a founder of the Austrian-based Optyl/Carrera Corporation, a giant international eyewear manufacturer in the last decades of the 20th century. Sàfilo purchased the assets of Carrera in 1996.
   Plastic has clearly been a main focus of Anger’s long career in eyewear, but certainly not the only focus. Indeed, Anger’s biography reads much like a history of major optical events through the mid to late 20th century.
   His career began as a necessity. After World War II, Anger, who had been raised on a farm in Czechoslovakia, needed to find work so he set off for Austria and in 1947 founded his own eyewear production company. “I was interested in creating safety goggles, but it was a slow business,” he notes. However, he did eventually develop Carrera sun and sports eyewear, which had a significant international market share by 1958.
   Anger was also involved in a non-optical plastic business. “From 1948 to 1954, I worked in the plastic industry with pipes used for sewers, learning all I could about plastic. Plastic became my major focus.”
   At the same time, Anger was learning about plastic and how it could work with eyewear, he was changing the image of eyewear from that of a medical device to one of fashion. “Probably the most important decision I ever made was introducing the motto ‘Dress Your Face’,” he explains. At that point, he also started looking outside the business for frame designers, hiring a student who had won a competition at the Vienna Art Institute.
   Another major step in the evolution of eyewear is, of course, the introduction of designer/branded names. And in that area, too, Anger was actively involved. In the mid ’60s, he approached the House of Dior and in 1966 entered into a licensing agreement with Christian Dior. This is widely reputed to be the first eyewear license and has continued uninterrupted since 1966. The license is now held by the Sàfilo Group.
   “I believe the agreement with Dior was a key step in elevating eyewear to a high-fashion accessory. In order to merchandise eyewear as an accessory, we needed branded names,” Anger explains. He then relates a story about meeting the fashion designer Emilio Pucci in the late ’60s. “Mr. Pucci said to me in all seriousness, ‘Why are you wearing a designer name on your eyewear? How much is Dior paying you?’ I had to explain we were actually paying Dior.” In 1972, the year the Optyl Corporation [later known as Carrera] was founded, several other licensed collections joined Dior at Optyl, including Dunhill, Playboy and Porsche Design.
   The corporation took its name from Optyl, a new plastic material Anger developed and introduced in 1969. “In the ’60s, everyone worked with the same plastic and had the same colors. Optyl was a real breakthrough for the industry,” Anger notes. “It was a complicated process and there were lots of problems and resistance at first. But the material is still manufactured by Sàfilo, using the same technology I developed.”
In 1978, Anger sold his share in the optical business and moved to New York. In 1988, he introduced Eyemetrics, a computer system that measures an image of the face so the frame can be customized for a perfect fit. “The idea was ahead of its time. The computer we needed at the time cost $70,000. The same computer is now built for $3,000 so I sold the system to a Japanese company. Eyemetrics is still being used very successfully,” he says.
   In the mid ’90s, Anger focused again on plastic, developing Marsyn, a high-performance polymer that combines strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures, is hypo-allergenic and offers dimensional stability. It’s used to construct Swissflex and T2 frames.
   As for the future, Anger doesn’t plan to stray far from that one word—plastics. “I’m going to stay with plastics. I could do this for ever and ever. I have so many ideas.”    —Gloria Nicola

 

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