Call it an occupational hazard. I cannot watch a TV show or movie without thinking, “That looks like a Vera Wang sunglass.” Or, “Persol; Yup, definitely a Persol.” Actually, I usually don’t think this to myself—I proclaim it out loud to a nearby family member or friend, who are all quite used to this behavior.

Now I have a distinct advantage to the majority of consumers because I am intimately acquainted with the different nuances, signature characteristics and embellishments of a variety of frame styles. But what about your customers who have nothing more to go on than “I saw these great sunglasses on Cameron Diaz in that movie where she switches homes with Kate Winslet”? That’s where you come in, because dispensers need to be experts in all things optical, including style, and especially when it comes to sunwear. You need to know what celebrities are wearing as, like it or not, they are the arbiters of fashion in our society.

We try to help you out from our end. Every month in 20/20 magazine, we run a section called “Hall of Frames” that lets you know exactly what frames (and more likely than not it’s sunwear) the latest movers and shakers are wearing… and we do the same in SunVision. Some of our brethren in consumer magazines do similar things. In addition, more vendors are doing movie tie-ins with sunwear. Talk to your sales reps. They should know about upcoming promos. They may also know if their marketing gurus are working with a stylist from a hot TV drama to get their frames on famous faces. The information is all there, you just need to seek it out.

I am not discrediting the importance of knowing the technical aspects of sunwear, most importantly the lens technology. And to that end I would direct you to lenses and technology editor Andrew Karp’s in-depth look at mirrored lenses, “It’s All Done With Mirrors.” But it is also important to pay attention to the fluffy stuff, because people, your patients included, notice what the rich and famous are wearing. Of course, if you want to sit next to me at the movies I’ll do my best to help you out, too… as long as you pass the popcorn.

Jackie Micucci
20/20 Executive Editor