I’m so sad. I had just finished writing my monthly editor’s letter when my dear friend Ray Khalil, the president of Lafont Eyewear, called to tell me Madame Laurence Lafont had passed away.

I have to scrap what I had just finished writing in order to convey here my profound sorrow on the passing of a woman I consider one of the greatest artists and assets in the world of eyewear as I know, love and perceive it.

But I don’t really know how to convey my powerful feelings concerning her accomplishments, her legacy and the rich future of her vocation to create beautiful eyewear; a missive now in the wonderfully nurtured hearts and souls of her sons Thomas and Matthieu.

Just last September Lafont Eyewear was featured on the 20/20 cover and in an Upfront story in that same issue we pictured the whole Lafont family celebrating 40 years of Silmo smoothly coordinating with 20 years of Lafont Eyewear gracing the face of America.

And in the very recent July 20/20 Madame Lafont shared her thoughts on designing eyewear for children in a precious and insightful story by features editor Gloria Nicola. Gloria was privileged speaking to Madame Lafont in three interview conversations over the last 10 years.

Lafont eyewear is in every issue of 20/20. That’s because we love seeing it, photographing it, writing about it and sharing it with everyone in optical because the eyewear like the woman is, was and will always be a constant source of inspiration. And she would never want me to sign off on a down note so here are HER words used as the headline and final quote from that recent July feature: “Viola! A new generation.”

James J. Spina