Photographed by Ned Matura

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The Possibilities are RIMLESS

From left: TITAN MINIMAL ART 6637 from Silhouette Optical; INVINCILITES Zeta D from Zyloware

“The fact that many optical brands are not sold at the chain stores makes them more exclusive product for our mix and the quality of optical brands can be exceptional.” –Warren Ruby, Optical Sales Manager, Broadway Vision Source, Seattle, Wash.

Where SHAPE Says It All

Clockwise from top: MENIZZI MA3016 from Menizzi Eyewear; L’AMY PARIS Thierri from L’Amy America; SCOTT HARRIS Vintage 22 from Europa International; FOURTH DIMENSION 4679 from ProDesign Denmark

“The big news is products from the smaller manufacturers tend to be more distinctive and sell in far greater numbers than the designer brands to our customer base.” –Ira Haber, Europtics, Denver, Colo.

“Optical brands really help the business because, first and foremost, we don’t have to pay the licensing rights of a big fashion house, so we can sell a good quality product at a better value to the end consumer. Secondly, our typical customers are generally turned off by having a big logo plastered on the side of their head.” –Nate Ogura, Owner, Eyes on Fremont, Seattle, Wash.

Making a BIG Statement

Clockwise from top: MYLON Apollo from Mykita; CAZAL 6004 from Eastern States Eyewear & Ultra Palm Optical; JUDE from Spy Optic

“Our neighborhood is very concerned with green issues and our local economy. It puts us (and our patients) at ease to know that we support smaller companies. The fashion brands have more influence in chain stores that can offer lower prices that we can't always compete with. And our patients often like to know they're wearing product more unique than something that came from the neighborhood mall.” –Hawthorne Vision Center, Portland, Ore.

“We like to distinguish ourselves as a premier destination for stylish eyewear by eyewear designers. Although we carry designer brands, which may get the client in the door, our unique optical styles are fast becoming the go-to eyewear because of our knowledgeable staff. We don't position optical or fashion brands differently. We often create window displays featuring both.” –Michael Caputo, Director of Marketing, Spex, Hinsdale, Ill.

Eyewear OWNS Tortoise

Clockwise from top: SERAPHIN Summit from Ogi Eyewear; SANFORD HUTTON Patty from Colors in Optics; HELIUM Paris 4202 from Match Eyewear; TEKA 133 from Teka Eyewear

“It is my opinion that some designer brands are overpriced at the wholesale level. As a result, optical brands can give the retailer a greater opportunity to move the product faster and give the consumer more affordable and attractive options.” –Luigi Racanelli, Pink Ribbon Eyewear, Syosset, N.Y.

“Optical brands give diversity and alternative style options to our business, adding another dimension to what is considered mainstream. Having optical frames in our shop makes the store unique, interesting and fashion-forward. When people walk into our optical shop, they don’t see the same mainstream look lining the walls.” –Mitch Nagtalon, Manager/Frame Buyer, Eyeworks of San Mateo, San Mateo, Calif.