Photographed by Ned Matura

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Fearlessly Independent

INNSKI from l.a.Eyeworks

The Many Phases and Faces of Independence

From left: PAWS B.914 from Paws ‘n’ Claws Eyewear; CASINO Becca from i-dealoptics; SANFORD HUTTON CS322 Bowie from Colors in Optics; NRG R579 from Silver Dollar Optical

It’s All in the Detailing

From left: GENIE from Lafont; KOALI 8191K from Morel; NEUBAU Paul from Silhouette; JORDY from Norman Childs Eyewear; OCEAN PACIFIC Smoothie from ClearVision Optical

Hue Knew This: Blue is the New Black

From left: PARADOX 5023 from Aspex Eyewear; ECLECTICO VL-E44 from Thema—A Family Factory; LEON MAX 4032 from Zyloware; FYSH UK 3557 from WestGroupe; PEPE JEANS Willow 3224 from Mondottica USA

Curves A Head

From top: GUESS 7458 from Marcolin USA; EMPORIO ARMANI 4083 from Luxottica; SHAELIE from Oliver Peoples

Havana’s New Heyday

From left: VANNI 1292 from Design Gallery/A Division of Match Eyewear; CONVERSE Q301 from Rem Eyewear; GEEK EYEWEAR Smart from LBI Eyewear; SEVENTY ONE Emory from A&A Optical; TEKA 448 from Teka Eyewear

Mr. Big

From left: DEARBORN from State Optical; VAN HEUSEN STUDIO S358 from Nouveau Eyewear; TC CHARTON Asian Fit Scott from Prologue Vision; GOLIATH III from Ultra Palm Optical


From left: ALE BY ALESSANDRA 614 from Eyewear Designs; EVOLUTION 5032 from Altair Eyewear; DEJA VU 9008 Shelby from Avalon Eyewear; KATE YOUNG FOR TURA 110 from Tura

There is likely no category in the eyewear arena more ripe for focus and potential than the emerging power and pull of Millennials, long dubbed GenEYE at 20/20 with ongoing consideration and increasing regard. And perhaps there is equal impact in the premise that this emerging generation has a particular interest in the “Independent” aspect of much that enhances the opti-sphere when it comes to how GenEYE embraces the products they love and how they purchase those products.

Certainly keen on sourcing online opportunities, GenEYE is also quick to ditch if the service or quality is lacking via that Internet connection. And they don’t massively run to “big box” retailing. Their go-to is quite often the simpler privately-owned storefront based on principles of a one-on-one relationship dealing in products that range from but decidedly beyond the norms of designer and lifestyle branding.

And if you are looking for some very specific and “basic” info on what it takes to energEYEze those GenEYEs, be sure to check out this month’s 20/20 Basics on page 92 from Assistant Editor Jillian Urcelay on what it takes to be a Millennial Maven.

And that further brings THIS particular feature of 20/20 into focus as a joint presentation of some of the products and passions on the minds of GenEYE in direct conjunction with one very specific POV: the current State of Independents on both sides of the dispensing table.

— James J. Spina