Walman Optical adds the Stepper Solid Gold Collection to its Hans Stepper Eyewear line. This newly launched luxury collection, custom made in Germany of 18-karat solid gold accented with diamonds and other precious stones, lets ECPs take their business to a higher level of luxury, according to the company. Solid gold in various colors is used throughout the frames with the exception of the hinges and screws, which are made of stainless steel, and the nosepads and temple tips, constructed of natural buffalo horn.

PHILOSOPHY: Always a believer in frames as a work of art, Hans Stepper and his company have remained true to handcrafted eyewear. “There are two important components in eyewear—the frame, which has to fit, but also has to carry the lenses—and it has to carry them in the right way so there is no distortion. You also have to ensure the frames do not bend or slip. A combination of these factors is an art. And this is the art of eyewear,” says Hans Stepper, optician and designer.

MARKETING: Merchandising materials include displays, velvet presentation mat, three pairs of white gloves and signage indicating authorized dealership. Each frame comes in a presentation box with a leather case, cleaning cloth, lifetime warranty and authentication certificate showing serial number, total weight and gold content, color details and description and verification of stones.

PRICE POINT: $$$$$. For additional information, contact Walman Optical, (612) 520-6104; website: www.walman.com

Hans Stepper began his career as an optician, but always harbored a desire to design eyewear. In the 1960s, he received an invitation from Instrumentarium, a prominent group of retail shops in Finland to design and construct eyewear of precious metal and stones for its wealthy clients.