As a child, I loved searching out new words in the dictionary. Sometimes I’d look up a particular word, but just as often I’d leaf through the pages until I found a word or illustration that caught my eye. After reading the definition, I would peruse the adjacent words, too, just in case any of them also proved interesting.

So I was delighted when 20/20 editor-in-chief and resident fashion-maven, James Spina, taught me a new word recently: bespoke. It’s an adjective that means custom-made and often refers to a one-of-a-kind article of clothing or an accessory. According to James, when a man would order a handmade suit, he would go to the tailor and pick out a bolt of cloth, which was then bespoke, or spoken for.

I consulted Webster’s to see what else I could learn about bespoke and discovered that it has been in use since Shakespeare’s time. Then I glanced at the word right above it: bespectacled.

Perhaps it’s only a coincidence, but bespoke eyewear is a rising trend. One of the most striking examples is personalized progressive lenses. The most advanced of these lenses are customized according to individual patient measurements and, in some cases, facial form
and frame style as well.

There are other examples of the bespoke trend, such as software programs that allow dispensers to create rimless eyewear with customized lens shapes. Also, some frames can be customized with special materials and designs.

In the following months, L&T and 20/20 are launching a series of articles that will explore the emerging trend in bespoke eyewear. We’ll be talking with eyecare professionals to find out how they are incorporating these exciting new products in their practices and businesses. We’re on the lookout for more examples of this trend, so please let us know if you have an interesting bespoke eyewear story to tell.

—Andrew Karp