There’s a lot going on lately, in our shared and focused world of optical and in my broader world of publishing as it relates to communication. And in both of these overlapping arenas, I often find myself juggling two priorities often at odds with each other. On the one hand is the demand to meet agendas shaped by commitment, deadlines, marketing, events and an adjustment of associate and personal responsibilities. At a complementary extreme to that is my own desire to explode with unbridled creativity.

Allow me to annotate. This current issue of 20/20 always has an agenda tightly related to Vision Expo. The multiple eyewear features flow thick with new product from numerous vendors debuting at Expo… and beyond. Likewise, the 20/20 Upfront section gets hefty with marketing as a new year in optical retailing gears up for hopefully prosperous conditions. That rich bounty makes it necessary to double 20/20 during March with a second issue built on an edit/advertorial format in order to highlight (as the issue is called) What’s Brand New in eyewear, sunwear, lenses and technology. That’s my commitment hat. But I always want to have the energizing juices flowing, and a gander at our cover story on John Varvatos fills my wildest writer scheme on that.

Having to do with his penchant for rock ’n’ roll and his incredible range of products and retailing conduits (stores and a fantastic, refreshed website) sheltered under the Varvatos brand (including, of course, eyewear!), this guy power chords my personal passions. That’s what put him on this issue’s cover.

The story was a bit of a rough write but I had a blast doing it. And as I momentarily struggled with delivering a reason for it being a cover feature, an opti-buddy, Shamir CEO Raanan Naftalovich, visited 20/20 (for a special presentation on the lens front you’ll be hearing and SEEING in depth in 20/20’s L&T editorial content) delivering a brilliant thought that steered me right.

Prefacing the incredible details to a wave of lens technology of a new Shamir lens, Raanan made it clear this development was multifaceted in features but the timing of the delivery on this product was not calculated as a marketing ploy synchronized to Expo East. “Tech is in our DNA,” noted Raanan. “And this breakthrough will astound you. I say that and know that because it astounded us as well. We did this and then we cheered. We hope you cheer too but our cheers were important. It is what keeps us as… us.” I LOVE that. I love it in Varvatos and Shamir, in publishing and optical and… in me and you.

James J. Spina