Eyewear design is pushing into new realms that continue to surprise and entice both consumers and design aficionados alike. From bleeding-edge 3D-printed specs at MYKITA to Orgreen's revolutionary titanium frame colors achieved only by lighting the material on fire, the bar has been raised higher than ever before.
Bringing in a highly unique, new frame material from the natural world, the wood eyewear maker Shwood intros shades crafted with cactus spine. Channeling the desert’s beautifully harsh, wild landscape, the Portland-based company’s new Canby Cactus Stabilized Eyewear style employs a process of high-pressure resin casting with genuine cactus skeletons and domestic walnut hardwood. The result—akin to today’s other cutting-edge design-centric specs—is nothing but pure, one-of-a-kind, wearable art.
Got Gen Y covered? See here what other millennial-savvy ECPs are specifically stocking as best-sellers for the particularly particular generation right now. “They do their homework, look at reviews, take their time, and actually ask me what I think looks best,” says Paul Garcia, owner of Caramel Lunettes in Colorado Springs, CO.
“We are seeing that millennials are less driven by brand and more by what makes them unique while looking good. No longer are black and brown the best-selling color options—our millennials want color. Women are leaning toward brighter shades of turquoise, purples, and pinks while our millennial men gravitate to gray and navy, matte finishes, and frames with hints of reds or oranges.”
—BROOKE HAWLEY, Maple Grove Pearle Vision
MAPLE GROVE PEARLE VISION
Brooke Hawley, General Manager, Maple Grove, MN
Tiffany & Co. model TF2120B from Luxottica
Etnia Barcelona model Weimar (pictured)
Jimmy Choo model 140 from Safilo
OVERLAKE EYE DESIGNS
Erick L. Kwan, Optical Manager, Redmond, WA
Etnia Barcelona model Utrecht
Ray-Ban model New Wayfarer RB2132 from Luxottica
Oakley model Wingback from Luxottica
Etnia Barcelona model Kreuzberg
Paul Garcia, Owner/Optician, Colorado Springs, CO
Tarian model Dupetit Thouars
Ogi model 4304 from Ogi Eyewear
Blackfin model Stavanger
—Kerri Ann Raimo
Vision Expo East 2017 9 BIG Trends
international Vision Expo & Conference East 2017, held March 30-April 2 at the Javits Center in New York City, brought a major dose of style and tech to the Big Apple.
In addition to tens of thousands of square feet of exhibit space packed with the latest products, Vision Expo East delivered more than 320 hours of top-notch continuing education, exciting events, and info-packed Google Talks and Pop-Up Talks right on the show floor.
The EB team combed the show (and beyond) to pin down our industry’s biggest, most standout trends. Here, we outline nine.
Spectacular style was abundant in the aisles, as exhibitors served up an enticing mix of gorgeous new eyewear products and noteworthy new tech for a contemporary and appealing optical.
TREND 1: In the Cut
The fashion world’s obsession with sheer fabrics and cutout designs has made its way into specs, with a gorgeous array of styles crafted of translucent, see-through colors and eyewear styles with actual cutouts in the acetate frame and even cut-out looks crafted in metal.
TREND 2: Focal Point
Technology has made way for style to grace sunglass lenses, too, and we saw a stunning array of extraordinary graphics and bi-colored mirror effects from companies such as Safilo. We also found lenses embedded with glitter—and even secret graphics that appear when the lens is breathed upon at Garrett Leight.
TREND 3: Glitter Brigade
Glam continued its reign in frames, with glitter-infused acetates showing up everywhere from boldly glittering acrylic specs from Kirk & Kirk to the subtly shimmering Bon Vivant Angelina from Ogi, which also revealed an updated ombré-like fade, another trend hot off the show floor. The next-gen focus for shimmer?
TREND 4: Posh Pink
With a style-honed nod to the fashion season’s hot hue—pink, in every incarnation—eyewear got glossed in everything from rose gold (frames and flash mirror lenses) to hot pink and fuschia. Eyewear accessories showed up in rose gold colorations and big, bold beads are on trend.
TREND 5: Display Tech
Media-integrated displays are quickly becoming one of ECPs’ best defenses against online shopping competition. Eye Designs Group’s EYEQUEUE is an eyewear display and screen that doubles as a social media marketing tool (perfect for selfie-snapping customers). Presenta Nova’s OptoMedia multimedia system of wall, window, freestanding, and table displays showcases videos and snaps pics to share directly to Facebook.
—Erinn Morgan + Kerri Ann Raimo
LENSES + TECH
TREND 6: The Future is NOW
Technology we used to file away as happening “some day” has arrived, from 3D-printed lenses to eyewear-mounted cameras. The Belgium-based tech company Luxexcel received certification for its 3D-printed optical-quality spectacle lenses—and it took to the show floor to show attendees what the future of lenses may look like (including switching from clear to dark via an electronic switch). Luxexcel’s first 3D printing machines ship to select optical labs in Q3.
Electronic tech company Pogotec, Inc. also made a splash by bringing an eyewear-mounted camera, Pogocam, to fruition at price points that are affordable for most consumers, ushering in smart eyewear to optical shops everywhere.
TREND 7: New Testing Models
Beyond the proliferation of online, consumer-driven vision tests, there is a lot happening in the on-site vision testing category that opticians and O.D.s should be aware of. New mobile systems like EyeNetra’s are enabling ECPs to literally take their job on the road when they need to, while other technology focuses on bringing simple refractions to non-O.D. optical shops (Smart Vision Labs), thereby giving opticians additional ways to attract and service customers.
TREND 8: Visual Comfort
Move over, blue light…the focus is back on lens design and visual comfort, with big-name lens manufacturers spotlighting new designs with wider visual zones, easier adapts, and easy fits. New progressive designs from VSP Optics Group, HOYA, ZEISS, and one coming soon from Essilor are all about making it easier for ECPs to measure and fit, but also about using technology to provide comfortable vision designed specifically for a patient’s individual needs.
TREND 9: Customizing Service
Recently launched in-house equipment (including Coburn’s lens generator suitable for larger practices) is noteworthy for features that better allow ECPs to produce something the online brokers can’t—custom lenses (shapes, embellishments) with same-day service. From National Optronics’ newest (QM-X3) to Briot/AIT’s Gravitech optical tracing tech and Essilor Instruments USA’s Pro-E 600, in-house lab equipment is focusing on satisfying the market’s new demands.
Style + Inspiration
Vision Expo’s special events keep the optical fun flowing
international Vision Expo East isn’t all exhibit booths and CE classes. There’s so much more that adds to the overall experience and education—including Pop-Up Talks, fashion shows, optical profit centers, networking opportunities, and parties! From the show floor to off-site events at some of New York City’s most beautiful spaces, Vision Expo is filled with moments to inspire and motivate us all. On the following pages, we bring you a taste of some of the fun and fashion that was celebrated in the Big Apple.