He’s truly become an American idol in his own right. Randy Jackson achieved superstar status as one of the triumvirate of judges on TV’s wildly popular “American Idol.” Known for his cool phrases (“Yo, what up dog?”) and his cool eyeglasses, Jackson is taking his frame icon status one step further—he’s created his own line of eyewear with Zyloware.

“I am a person who loves to wear glasses,” Jackson notes. “I’ve been wearing them since I was in high school. I am very fashion forward and eyewear is part of everything I do. It’s one of my signatures. It’s another opportunity to tell you who I am.”

Because people always asked Jackson where he bought his eyewear, he talked with a friend about creating his own line. “I think all men can enjoy wearing glasses and look good in them,” he explains. He was eventually introduced to Zyloware.

“I went out to visit Zyloware in Long Island City [N.Y.] and fell in love with the company,” Jackson says. “I want eyewear that is stylish, but not too weird. And it has to have great fit,” he emphasizes.

Chris Shyer, president of Zyloware adds, “Randy said to us: ‘I want to make eyewear for everyone.’ He wanted cool eyewear, but it couldn’t just be cool, it had to be wearable. And it’s not just urban either. It’s all about style. The Randy Jackson customer is the guy who has his own style.

“Fortunately things have changed in the last decade with men’s eyewear,” Shyer notes. “Men have become more and more comfortable with noticeable, bold, fashion-forward eyewear, in large part because they see it so frequently on TV personalities, actors and other well-known celebrities such as Randy.”

“To design my collection, Zyloware studied all the frames I have worn over the years,” Jackson says. “In my seven seasons on the air, I have had a wide range of styles.” Now he is exclusively wearing his own frames from Zyloware. The collection launches this month.
“Eyewear is about creating an ensemble for me as an artist. I like accessories, watches, chains, earrings. Accessories are a part of me.”

Jackson had a successful music career long before he sat along side fellow judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on “A.I.” A rock bassist, singer and record producer, his career spans 25 years and has brought him on stage with such mega-stars as Madonna, Aretha Franklin and Elton John. On the corporate side, he has enjoyed success as a talent executive for Columbia and MCA Records and is still producing music for today’s top talent, including Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Boyz 2 Men. In 2007, he was nominated for two Grammys—winning one for producing an album for R&B artist Van Hunt.

With his eyewear, Jackson wears a lot of black and brown frames and brushed metals. For a dressier evening look, he often uses gradient tints in his lenses. “It’s a little bit hipster,” he notes.

For his clothes, Jackson says he looks to a lot of designers. “I like Yves Saint Laurent, indie Japanese designers, John Varvatos, Dolce & Gabbana. And there’s nothing like a great Brooks Brothers tie. It’s all about mixing and matching. That’s why I don’t like stylists. I can do my own styling,” he says.

Jackson does confess to being a throwback to older fashions. “I love the Rat Pack look. They had style. And I love Elvis’s look. But mostly I like dressing casually. Whatever the look, though, I always top it off with Randy Jackson eyewear.”

As for the future, additional Randy Jackson Eyewear styles will be launched in May. There are also plans underway for Randy Jackson apparel and watch collections.

For more information on Randy Jackson Eyewear, see What’s New, p. 78 and for a wonderful photo of one of Jackson’s favorite new styles, Randy Jackson 3000, a zyl laminate with metal temple accents, see 20/20’s Modern Man supplement with this issue.   
—Gloria Nicola