Although it likely existed for only three or so years in my pre-teens there was a point where the Life and Look new car issues delighted me. In a stunning array of artful detail photos, America’s premier lifestyle magazines would deliver the first-look goods on the automobiles shaping the new year’s dreams of every man, woman and child lusting the fantasy and fruition of the latest crop of highway chariots.

Predating THAT experience was the equally blissful chore of pouring over American Flyer toy train catalogs with my Dad every year right before Christmas. This ritual was most forceful for me ages five through nine. Curiosity with the debut of new, evolving products has intensified with me over the years. Sure. It can be dangerous. I love things. So cast me out of the temple. But... I’ll just set up shop out on the steps and continue my quest delivering information on great products.

That current runs deep through this magazine I edit and chief. When I arrived at 20/20 over a decade ago there was a monthly structure vaguely based on a range of eyewear categories. And there was, and continues to be, the best optical New Product section empowering a full third of each particular issue. Now as then, senior editor Gloria Nicola details that monthly array of products. With some immediate tinkering the section was given a currency of purpose via the introduction of the What’s Right Now page devoted to forecasting future trends rather than just reporting on current directions in eyewear. The 20/20 Spotlight and Highlight pages were refocused as What’s New and What’s Next to further define the prime purpose of enhancing and classifying product information.

And the calendar showcase for each particular month was restructured to a reinforcement of product initiatives devoted to the most important distinctions within the optical arena. Some, like Sunwear in January, stand strong. Others, such as Value and Rimless have given way to market trends bearing more importance such as generational specs, branding and frame tech (this issue).

The reason? Product... Product... PRODUCT.  And while we’re at it with reinforcing product let me inform that when it comes to product, no valued “manufacturer” can rest on past laurels. That’s why 20/20 the magazine grows with the new website, Facebook, Twitter and the industry’s only trade (and consumer!) app for the iPad and iPhone. I guess I’m just a product of my upbringing.

James J. Spina