The “shape” of women’s eyewear was supposed to be the cover feature story for this issue of 20/20, the first ever available on a limited basis at newsstands and select book stores. But then this tennis player hit the opti-court and it was love at first sight. But THAT doesn’t change the overall issue theme, which is still all about the SHAPE of eyewear from some additional points-of-view.

First, there’s the shape of the optical biz these days. Hell. Everything seems like... well... hell these days but there looks to be some light at the end of the tunnel and at 20/20 we’re feeling that eyewear is looking good for the true start of the new world millennium, which really found its financial speed about a decade late and certainly a dollar short. Compromise and re-evaluation seems to be the economic order of the day with a country on the verge of some far reaching healthcare considerations and (on a smaller but still not insignificant note) a fashion/function future where eyeglasses carry a world class license as a most important style AND necessity accessory.

And then there’s Maria... beautiful, talented Maria Sharapova. You certainly cannot question the shape she’s in... and the position she’s in as an integral brand endorser and representative lending both shape and incentive to a brand looking to extend its reach beyond time and deeper into the realm of optical product branding. Does that sort of stuff work? Ask some and you might get the answer that it’s a proverbial “tiger”-by-the-tail just waiting to take a bite out of your biz. Yet, others swear that star affiliation (be it via sunglasses in goodie swag bags or gobs of endorsement money) is the license to drive successfully into the future of most consumers’ hearts, minds, souls and... eyes.

And then there’s the actual shape of eyeglasses for women these days. When the economy gets kooky, colors in eyewear invariably get quiet. Ditto with that giant Godzilla look in sunglasses thankfully retreating to a somewhat “gracious” state these days. Opinion ‘round 20/20 is that for the actual frame part of the eyewear equation NOTHING is more important than the shape of the frame. Every woman loves to hear... “YouLookGreatInThat SHAPE.”

James J. Spina