Every so often I just have to do one of those “thank you… Thank You… THANK YOU!” columns. And this is one of those times. But I think I figured out how to deliver a secondary message as well about the growing presence and potency of men’s eyewear.

Sue me, but last year I indulged my passions by devising a full tilt men’s eyewear feature built on a cast of musicians populating my personal life for many years. I even had the opportunity to lean on a dear optical friendship by featuring Lafont’s Ray Khalil on the cover in his persona as an incredible jazz guitarist.

Building on the same theme this year was a given BUT new bloodlines needed to flow. And a new stage beckoned. The generational shift was passionately shoved by Managing Editor Christine Yeh and Web Designer Julie Zidel. Both are dedicated R’n’R doyenists especially well-versed in the latest-greatest raves in live performances. Except for a choice few return engagements of my cohorts from last year and the discovery of a new, young talent all of our players in this year’s shoot pay their music dues a la the expert attention of Yeh and Zidel.

A new storyline was conceived by photographer Mark Babuskin moving on my dream to visually fuel the feature in a recording studio with Art Director Iris Johnson pulling the strings on location logistics, securing Dubway Studios in NYC. Mark delivered a stellar assortment of setups, and Iris dove deep into the recorded history of rock for an image look aping the B&W and faded color glory of the coolest rock magazines and movies of the ’60s.

Senior Editor Gloria Nicola confronted the potential chaos of this shoot by keeping her attention on the ebb and flow of eyewear as each rocker tentatively perched glasses on their faces, all the while transforming a steady music scene into a music-seen. And, in the seen-scheme of things it is the eyewear itself rising to the occasion of brilliant men’s styles, proving 20/20’s impact message that this eyewear dominates the look and outlook of eyeglasses in optical NOW and in the foreseeable future.

And here’s proof positive of that power. Young heartthrob Teddy Watson was initially put off by his perfect Lafont P3s. He longed for a pair of cool Dylanesque shades. By shoot’s end he begged for his photo’d frame and proudly left the recording studio sporting his (demo-lensed) Lafonts. Music and spec missive accomplished.

James J. Spina