There were big dreams for the name iWear, the traditional moniker for the category of eyewear addressed in the last few years for this June issue of 20/20. Quite honestly, 20/20 was gambling on the fact that Apple would license out its branding to an eyewear collection and the name iWear would be a perfect fit. The rights to the name would be sold and everyone associated with 20/20 would retire immediately, rich and frame-us.

That didn’t quite happen. BUT... there is now a collection out there with the iWear name so 20/20 needed to come up with a new I.D. for this category of eyewear appealing to young eyewear aficionados looking to walk that cutting edge of design and oh-so-current pop tart and taste.

So... low (or should that be “high”?) and behold: GenEYE eyewear that’s just right for Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Net and... Oh NO, here they come yet again... Baby Boomers, all gazillion of them and still growing (up).

Well, if it appeals to all demographics what the heck is it? Definitions can be difficult when something as solid as product AND elusive as cultural impact blend. It’s also tough when the easiest route is to direct readers to the cover GenEYE feature where one can get a look at the eyewear and sift through the intro and trendsetting tips. Yes, in a direct sense the GenEYE tag denotes eyewear with a definite young appeal.

But to do JUST that limits it. Contrary to naysayers there is a young, well-informed generation (including teens, tweens and older children) literally bursting with a keen sense of awareness for who they are, where the world is at and what it takes to live and prosper in these challenged times. The critical and wise perception of a well-read teenager identifying with Holden Caulfield in “The Catcher in the Rye” has been superseded by word-savvy third graders aligned to the cautious optimism and cynical shielding of Greg Heffley in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Do NOT underestimate GenEYE. Do not bully them with junk and do not dismiss their power to affect both the marketing of eyewear and the importance of seizing better vision. Your livelihood depends on them. So get to know them... WELL.

James J. Spina