Eyewear and Trends: New Frame Products


What;s New

Photographed by Nedjeljko Matura

Tura: Tourneau Eyewear

A timely collection
Tura has joined forces with Tourneau, the word’s largest watch store, to launch an eyewear line inspired by the professional male who enjoys fine accessories. Targeted to men between the ages of 35 and 65, the new line contains 18 ophthalmic frames. Styles are classic with a retro flair and include fully rimmed, semi-rimless and three-piece drill mount designs in stainless steel, titanium and zyl. Two special edition frames are available in leather. Key features found in the watches, such as the hands, crown and bezel, are incorporated into the frame designs. A 12-piece sunglass collection will be released this fall.
PHILOSOPHY: “Tourneau is a brand with over 100 years of history and experience, so most important to us was finding an eyewear partner that is also a leader in the industry and shares our commitment to innovation, quality and service,” says Tourneau vice president of licensing Alan Goodman. “We targeted Tura because of the synergies that exist between the two companies.”
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a modular 12-place display, which can be separated into a six-place display and two three-place step displays, two countercards, a wood logo plaque and catalog. With an initial order of 24 Tourneau frames, accounts receive a men’s or women’s Tourneau watch. Each frame comes with a hard faux-leather case and cleaning cloth.
PRICE POINTS: $$ to $$$$. For additional information, contact Tura, (800) 345-8872, web site:

Luxottica: Versus Collection

For the hip and fashion-savvy
Luxottica Group launches its Versus collection    of ophthalmic and sun styles. Targeted to the fashion-savvy, young urban consumer, the Versus line consists of 15 ophthalmics (six plastics and nine metals) and 12 sunglasses (six plastics and six metals). Highlights in the ophthalmic collection include a unisex modified rectangular plastic with wide temples and a thick profile and a feminine bowtie design with metal temples and a vibrant color palette. The sun collection features many large wraps and a glamorous Jackie O-inspired design with tinted lenses. Strong brand identification is evident throughout with a variety of dramatic logo treatments.
PHILOSOPHY: “With the introduction of the Versus line, we are targeting a specific segment of the consumer market,” says Vittorio Verdun, Luxottica Group director of marketing. “The cutting-edge, sexy, young styling appeals to high-profile male and female trendsetters. The designs in this collection range from oversized plastics to three-piece drill mounts with enough individuality to appeal to the hip consumer who strives for high fashion.”
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include one- and four-place displays, a countercard pack, posters and color ad slicks. Each frame comes with a hard case and cleaning cloth.
PRICE POINTS: (Ophthalmics) $$$; (Sunglasses) $$ to $$$. For additional information, contact Luxottica Group, (800) 422-2020; web site:

Altair: Tommy Bahama Eyewear

A definitive island-inspired lifestyle brand
Altair Eyewear launches Tommy Bahama Eyewear, a 19-style ophthalmic line. Targeted to men and women inspired by the laid-back island lifestyle, the new line captures the essence of Tommy Bahama, incorporating tropical colorations and elegant design details. Highlights include a women’s metal frame with a laser-engraved basket-weave pattern surrounded by Swarovski crystals and a men’s metal with bamboo detailing. Other design elements featured are cloisonné-style seamless windows in the temples, fine-line laser engravings, innovative milling techniques exposing secondary and tertiary laminations, temple scalloping, silver cloisonné-style tips and vintage-embossed embellishments. The frames come in a wide range of colors including antique silver, berry melon, cherry wood grain, deep ocean, midnight and plum passion. A 21-style sunglass collection will be introduced this winter.
PHILOSOPHY: “Tommy Bahama is the definitive elegant island lifestyle brand,” says Ken Suesse, Altair vice president of sales and marketing. “Eyewear is an important fashion accessory for the Tommy Bahama consumer and we look forward to delivering innovative, industry-leading collections that exceed their customers’ expectations.”
MARKETING: Merchandising materials are designed to look like a Tommy Bahama home accessory and include a 24-place wood case, 18-place wood, glass and brass countertop display and wood logo plate. Frames come with a brown faux-crocodile hard case and four-color banana leaf-style cleaning cloth.
PRICE POINTS: $$$ to $$$$$. For additional information, contact Altair Eyewear (800) 505-5557; web site:

Sàfilo: Alexander McQueen Sunwear

Traditional craftsmanship meets ultra-modern technology
Sàfilo USA launches Alexander McQueen Sunwear. The collection is comprised of one feminine and seven unisex styles made of plastic, titanium and metal/wood and metal/plastic combinations. Designs range from large wraparounds with side lenses and lenses rising from curved, dropped temples to more discrete styles. The collection is available at select opticians and Alexander McQueen stores worldwide. A six-style ophthalmic collection will follow in October.
PHILOSOPHY: “Alexander McQueen is an extremely brilliant and creative fashion designer. He is highly respected in the fashion world and has established a loyal following for his high-fashion, avant-garde designs,” says Claudio Gottardi, president and CEO of Sàfilo USA. “If the demand for his runway fashions is any indication of how strong the demand will be for his eyewear collection, McQueen will be an incredible brand for accounts that specialize in exclusive, high-end lines.”
MARKETING: Alexander McQueen eyewear will be showcased in-store on shelves cut into a single, heavy glass cube. Small countercards and logo plaques will also be available. A consumer advertising campaign photographed by Albert Giordan featuring a shoal of piranhas, one of which has a pair of sunglasses in its jaws, is planned. Each style comes in a gray PVC case with the interior lined in black and printed with a photograph of the designer’s eyes.
PRICE POINT: $$$$ to $$$$$. For additional information, contact Sàfilo USA, (800) 631-1188; web site:

New York Eye: Coleman Collection

A brand equated with rugged reliability
Under a licensing agreement with Coleman, known for its lanterns and other functional indoor and outdoor products, New York Eye, a Hart Specialties Company, introduces a branded line of Coleman ophthalmic frames. The new unisex collection, which contains 17 styles, is targeted to active, youthful men and women between the ages of 25 and 60. Shapes are variations on ovals, rectangles and upsweeps rendered with clean, modern lines. Many of the styles are made of stainless steel.
PHILOSOPHY: “The combination of the strong Coleman brand recognition and New York Eye’s leadership in the value category will ensure both the consumer and the optical provider an exceptional product they can count on for rugged reliability and exemplary service,” says New York Eye president Arthur Jankolovits.
MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a small frame display, logo plaque and Coleman products. A gift-with-purchase program features functional products that can be used in the home, outdoors or as part of a display. All frames come with a full two-year sell-through guarantee and full breakage and defect warranty during the same period.
PRICE POINT: $$. For additional information contact (800) 221-6966; web site: www.newyorkeye.net.

Elite Eyewear: Polaroid Sport Suns

Styled for action
Elite Eyewear presents the 14-style Polaroid Sport Suns collection. Designed for the high-impact sunglass wearer, the frames are made of durable plastic and feature wraparound vision technology with mirror lens coatings and a transparent venting system to prevent fogging. Colors range from silver with ice mirror lenses to blacks and blues. The frames are offered in variations on rectangles in assorted fashion colors and sizes.
PHILOSOPHY: “The release of Sport Suns is consistent with our vision of the Polaroid brand and the lens technology Polaroid invented. We are very excited to be bringing this type of product to the market at a price that makes it a real winner for all,” says Elite co-president Phil Langley.
MARKETING:  Merchandising materials include 24- and 72-place rotating displays, both equipped with mirrors and a polarizing lens tester. Each sunglass comes with a hard case and cleaning-cloth pouch.
PRICE POINT: $$. For additional information, contact Elite Eyewear, (800) 935-4833; web site: www.eliteeyewear.com.

Allison: Vivienne Westwood Eyewear

From street to chic
Under an agreement with Vivienne Westwood, the British fashion designer whose name is synonymous with avant-garde creativity, Allison USA introduces Vivienne Westwood Eyewear to the U.S. market. Targeted to women who want to stand out in a crowd, the new line, which consists of 20
ophthalmic styles and 20 sunglasses, combines quality materials and the newest technology with trend-setting styles, flamboyant colors and such dramatic accents as metal studs. Bold logo treatments are an intricate part of the frame. In one style, the designer’s  initial
is incorporated into the movement of the dropped temple.
PHILOSOPHY: “The eyebrow is the major inspiration guiding me in the design of eyewear,” says Vivienne Westwood. “I believe the eyebrow is the frame of a woman’s eye, creating a unique look for each woman. I want every style in my collection to be as individual as a woman’s face.”
MARKETING: Posters and countercards are available. Each style comes in a box with a case.
PRICE POINT: $$$ to $$$$$. For additional information contact Allison USA,
(877) 255-5757; web site: www.allisonusa.com.

Metzler: Reebok Eyewear

Sport and comfort make perfect teammates
Metzler International (USA) and Reebok have teamed up to create a Reebok eyewear line focused on performance. Much like the Reebok shoes, the eyewear collection has a sporty, casual and functional feel. Targeted to young, athletic consumers who value comfort, the line consists of nine ophthalmic frames in monel or injected plastic. Features include spring hinges, adjustable, silicone nosepads and Pro-Fit System adjustable rubber temples. Shapes are modern interpretations of rectangles and ovals with such design details as extended browbars, double bridges and open outer eyerims. Colors range from black/cinnamon red and shark/orchid to mineral blue/ taupe and blue jeans/silver. A sun collection will launch in 2005.
PHILOSOPHY: “We feel this collection embodies the essence of Reebok—a combination of sport, trend and innovation,” says Metzler director of product development John Castagnetti. “We have utilized new metal and plastic colors and textures to reflect Reebok’s latest shoe and clothing trend offerings and have combined modern shapes with brilliant color and innovative materials to launch a collection that says Reebok.”
MARKETING: Merchandising materials are being planned. Each frame comes with a case.
PRICE POINT: $$$. For additional information, contact Metzler International (USA), (866) METZLER; web site: www.metzlerusa.com.  

International Minds:
Intrigue Lab V.04

Customized collections
Based on the success of its Intrigue core line, International Minds has created Intrigue Lab V.04, a private label collection, consisting of 30 styles (custom designs are also available). All of the frames are manufactured in Japan, made of Mazzuchelli zyl and offered in more than 150 colors. Shapes are clean and modern. Customers select and arrange both colors and styles and can also choose eye and bridge sizes and temple lengths.
PHILOSOPHY: “Private label is a way for our customers to not only increase their margins, but also create a collection that is truly their own. The great thing about private label is the countless options. We can give a collection many different looks based on color selection alone,” says International Minds designer/president Jeff Royce.
MARKETING: Customers pick their own logos, which are printed on the demo lenses and temples. Design specialists are available to speak with customers.
PRICE POINT: $$. For additional information, contact International Minds, (866) 869-3737.