Here’s hoping you know I take every issue of 20/20 VERY personally. THAT said, may I just layer on the passion by noting this May issue’s topic of Independent Eyewear, as it especially focuses on being the heart of Inde-pendent Eyewear retailers is especially dear to me.
I came to 20/20 nearly a quarter century ago loaded down with deep knowledge (and a wallop of respect) for the branding and brand loyalty of fashion and lifestyle brands. My gig at Women’s Wear Daily and W was surrounded by the aura of apparel designers in their thread element as well as on their lucrative journeys touching on every entity from lavish accessories to scent-assault fragrances. That stylized world was intoxicating and not that different from the product branding that surrounded my youth including entities such as American Flyer toy trains, and my Dad’s cherished and trusted Craftsman tools.
And to this day, I well understand and respect the relationship consumers have with brands they know, love and trust. BUT… in my chosen career, this unique plateau of eyewear brilliantly created and carefully crafted by eyewear specific companies holds a special spot for me and that intensity of trust and love grows unabated. (Yes, those words are on specific and determined repeat in this arena of Independent Eyewear.)
I’m enamored by the unique heritage of these eyewear brand companies. I celebrate the evolution of their specific frame collections with seasonal enhancements and color directions that stand as leadership in the realm of all things deemed as consumer accessories. My respect for the ability of these companies and designers as they take on new material tech challenges and fine tuning of fit enhancement knows no bounds.
And in general, these companies and their frame designers seem to do this in a unique field of cooperation and friendship that fuels the soulful sense of humanity in me. They like each other. I take that back. They LOVE each other. And in most of the relationships with their retail and dispenser customers, there is a sense of partnership I find quite unique and refreshing.
And THAT’S Independent Eyewear. Look to it for the sense of freedom it delivers in the facets of its creativity. Ally with it for the special sense of relationship and partnership it holds via very individualized retailing and dispensing. Approach it for the specialty of its personality and the way it suits your sense of taste, professionalism and individuality. And know all I describe will not be lost on your customers looking for that something special highlighted by all of the attributes noted here.
And look to us as deep fans and fanatics for Independent Eyewear.

James J. Spina
[email protected]