Even the editor-in-chief of 20/20 has revered Eyewear Icons both historical and personal.

On the historic side it’s John Lennon (see this month’s Parting Glance from photographer Alec Byrne) and Buddy Holly representing extremes with small round metal and thick black zyl style, respectively. I’m also very partial to the gentlemanly cool as exhibited by the late ’50’s “Superman” TV take on Clark Kent in all of its simple glory. All three easily deliver my version of pop culture’s revolt into style when it comes to empowered men in eyewear.

Let’s leap quickly into the friend side of my professional focus when it comes to spectacles.

There’s Larry, likely the original opti-source of anarchy before there was even a show called “Sons of Anarchy” with his deeply detailed and ever-exotic aviators. Right up there is Jason hailing Britannia in his mania for bold color choices. If we’re on the daring side of creativity, I must mention Blake, who virtually doubled up on impact with his innovative frame-in-a-frame look now jolting the whole eyewear community.

How about Todd as he notes his own preference for the mix-and-match of camo and then delivers some of the most lovable tortoises imaginable. Or Nico as rocker-muse pushing each and every John Varvatos style to bigger and better encores. Did I mention David and his innate ability to reinvent most every heritage signature of eyewear be it a clubman or oval or square and doing it with a high fashion flair that makes it simultaneously past, present and future perfect? There’s also the young Tomas following in his venerated mother’s footsteps with a flair that’s decidedly French in its cult of couture.

Need last names on that handful? Try Lafont, Duraldi, Roseillier, Rogers, Kuwahara, Kirk and Sands.

Personal would also need family mentions. As is typical of Italian-American families, mine had two Uncle Franks and both, Sportelli and Lerario, were frame-ous so to speak, one with a rimless three-piece mount and the other with that aforementioned Clark Kent zyl style. These days there’s my son Gram currently alternating with his patriotic-blue States, his eco-friendly Modos and his John Varvatos suns that have a guitar head stock on each temple.

Finally there’s my dear-departed dad, Sonny Spina, in his Army Air Corp American Optical aviators battling the glare when he was stationed in Iceland during WW2. Hey Dad… Let’s salute all the other modern men in my life in their eyewear.

James J. Spina
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