Building the Marc Ecko feature in this issue was a blast. For 20/20 it was also a no-brainer. This magazine’s ­editorial bent these last few years has been ­virtually obsessed with noting the ­growing significance of the men’s ­eyewear market. To some extent it started for us with 20/20’s Modern Man ­initiative in 2008 exploring the men’s frame ­category beyond just the specific of our annual Men’s Eyewear issue each December.

The growth of this “MANdate” continues. This issue’s Ecko feature highlighting Marc and his branding with ClearVision is one such instance. Note also the debut of Penguin eyewear from Kenmark and on a broader scale, check out the styles and statements from our Eyesite frame feature where the tone and temper of the eyewear on the men AND women ­generally holds a candle to attitudes confidently rooted in men’s eyewear.

Some of this style guydance (whew... hot new word... you saw it here first!) is rooted in the resurgence of the P3 shape, the dominance of tortoise and the overall drift to face-friendly rich and muted colors common to ­terrific men’s glasses. And part of the look is an easy ­ride-along to the respectable ­retro-craze currently flexing power in eyewear and fashion in ­general. BUT... I’m also of the opinion that the ­general ­malaise of the global ­economy is also calling for safe and smart moves when it comes to ­developing new product, and a ride-along ­characteristic in fashion is the chosen good taste and qualities ­inherent to ­gentlemanly accoutrements. When ClearVision first presented this new Marc Ecko Cut & Sew Eyewear collection to 20/20, they asked if we would ­consider being part of the actual debut of the eyewear to their sales force in the form of a live interview with Ecko at their annual sales meeting. We in turn asked if Ecko would ­consider a full day photo shoot participating in a total eyewear makeover performed on a range of real guys chosen by 20/20. They went for it. I was personally honored to be that guest interviewer of Ecko at the ClearVision sales meeting. He is a remarkable guy at a new juncture in his fascinating career. His graciousness and creativity certainly won him a prime spot in this issue of 20/20. His portrait on our cover easily makes him a gentleman in agreement with the power of men’s eyewear and the intense energy of the optical arena.

James J. Spina