Maybe it’s generational. Plastic has always been a thing for me.
My American Flyer electric trains were indestructible in their signature plastic configuration, and incredible in color and detail. Every single piece of my layout is still a feast of visual and tactile sensations, all now nearly six decades old and looking as good as when new.
As a preteen, I also spent countless hours building plastic model cars from companies including AMT, Monogram and Revell. To me, each was a piece of art in the making with parts melded together via a glue process that melted the resins into unbreakable bonds. I also cherished board games with plastic movers and spinners that added such terrific dimension to the cardboard scenarios. When I first showed up in this optical arena, I was immediately tasked with substituting the word “zyl” for plastic, but eyewear product fascinated me in this drama of celluloid dreams manifested in colors and shapes I adored.
The “metal” agenda kicked in equally fast aided by the fact that on my arrival in the mid-’90s, a helicon of progress was sweeping through the frame industry fueled by rapid advances in titanium and flexible metals fortifying matters of lightness, strength and fit. Being a product fanatic at heart, this materials side of eyewear was a great fit for my fascination with objects. There was a time when I dreamed of becoming an automotive designer, and those who know me know my love affair with all things auto knows no bounds. But given my focus of these past years as Editor-in-Chief here at 20/20, that dream of being a creator and craftsman has turned into a sort of hero worship for great frame designers. What they create literally speaks for itself in the intricacies and art and literal construction of a frame.
This month’s “The Elements of EyeStyle” is a complete homage to the ongoing advances of frames. At their best, frames are truly art for the face and exquisite aid for the eyes.
We very carefully curated our selections as usual but noting that eyewear is now layered with an incredible bounty of tech and matter, it was decided to let the frames speak for themselves. Here’s the deal. Check carefully which eyewear we’ve selected and do the deep research of finding out about each spec’s attributes.
Inquire. Examine. Go deep. Quiz on every aspect of the materials and the construction. Make your sales reps deliver stories worth conveying to your patients and customers. Build a solid confidence in each frame you focus on. Become a material witness so in your face-to-face fitting session, it is you that delivers the goods. Frame the frame as only you can do so well.
• James J. Spina