Editors Note


Living the Life of...

I usually write these editor columns in my head before committing words to print, and that composing usually happens as I commute to work on the Long Island Railroad. And on the day I was giving thought to this issue devoted to re-assessing Luxury in eyewear, my mind drifted to the eminent release of Bob Dylan’s The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12, a collector’s edition of 18 CDs minutely examining a VERY specific and brief recording period in the bard’s career. The pre-release chatter for it on Dylan’s website notes it is “an unprecedented look at Dylan’s recording process. Every outtake, rehearsal and alternate version—a unique insight into a legendary icon’s creative process.”

I want it. I want it BAD. And in my previous guise as a rock writer, I’d likely have been sent, for review, the 6-CD, $100 version.

Point is though, at $600 bucks for the 18-CD limited edition (5,000 copies), Spina is truly dreaming. And… he’s doing this dreaming on a far-from-luxurious commute on the most disgusting, mismanaged railroad in this country. Based on this nasty commute and my lack of having that Dylan boxed set… what the hell do I know about… luxury? And even more specifically, what do I know about luxury eyewear?

Actually… PLENTY. Fact is I’m really best as an observer rather than a purveyor or partaker. And in the focused scenario of luxury eyewear, I’m an outsider. I’m not a vendor and not a retailer/dispenser. As an editor/writer, I acutely observe and report on most every aspect of the optical arena, and though this magazine is supported by a variety of advertising clients, no one from the publishing and advertising team coerces our editorial coverage.

And in that very context, I say you are badly misguided if you think the luxury experience is completely defined by the actual branded source of the eyewear, be it the proud and rightfully lauded realm of independent eyewear OR the more simplified extreme of eyewear under the control and cache of a designer or luxury brand moniker. That name game is important to you AND the consumer, but the more critical definition of a luxury eyewear experience is what YOU and your team and your retail environment (in ALL of its facets) bring to the experience with your customer.

Dig into our 20/20 Luxury Eyewear MarketPulse to note the extent and impact of this niche on your world. It’s growing. It’s in a climate of price point adjustment. But one factor remains clear: You need to step up constantly with impeccable product and service in order to assist your customer wanting to see and be seen in luxury eyewear.

James J. Spina

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