I get a kick out of it when people try to explain their criteria for choosing a product. I’ll often hear explanations about quality, practicality, cost or some other noble attribute. None of that is bad.

But… I don’t “buy” it. I truly feel folks buy stuff because of what it looks like. Beauty is the bounty. Philosophers have been scrambling to define beauty even since Plato saw a shadow on the wall of a cave and wished it was a mirror so he could adjust his toga. I’m not denying the importance of those “other” qualities. We ALL need to adjust our thinking when it comes to vanity ruling our plate but, fact is, beauty rules. That frill-factor holds true for cars, clothes, watches, computers (an Apple a day keeps the PC away) and (drum roll as we present our only medical device in the running)… eyewear.

The February 20/20 is our traditional “Women’s Eyewear” issue and we’ve spent a few years exploring the needs of real women, women-of-a-certain age, young women and ‘tweens but this time out we decided to have some fun. We went pretty. This one’s all about eyewear that looks amazing. It’s eyewear that could give any woman a massive boost of self-confidence far beyond any make-up, re-make or (ugh… ouch) botox injection.

Am I being superficial about all of this? Maybe, but I have become passionate in my drive to energize the importance of both needing AND wanting great eyewear. I continually remind myself that mission is rooted in some very serious medical considerations. It only reinforces the passion.

Sometime in the late ’60s I wandered by a hair-cutting dive on St. Mark’s Place in Greenwich Village. I noticed John Cale of the Velvet Underground getting his locks chopped. I started getting my hair cut there because Cale was so absolutely cool. At that time he was married to designer Betsey Johnson. She was equally cool. All these years later I jumped at the chance to have Betsey as our cover feature for this issue.

Superficial? Perhaps. But remember that beauty isn’t just skin deep. It permeates the soul and our eyes are the mirror to that soul… or something like that.


James J. Spina