Eyewear design is much more than meets the eye and should really be considered an art form that starts with a design—one that joins the worlds of both fashion trends and the unique elements of a brand. Going from the design studios of famous fashion houses to placing the frames on your face that best suit you is a detailed process that involves a myriad of people and processes that you may have never considered…until today.
KEEPING YOUR EYES OPEN:
Eyewear designers are constantly checking out the latest trends and looking for new ideas: they travel the world, comb fashion magazines, frequent apparel and accessories stores, and keep up-to-date on all things runway. Inspiration can arrive from anywhere, even science, nature, and architecture. As Grace Coddington, creative director at large of American Vogue says, “Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching, because whatever you see can inspire you.”
Designers also work intimately with core brand managers to incorporate the brand’s specific details in subtle ways. For example, the spring 2016 Tom Ford Eyewear Collection is handcrafted in Italy with 75 various steps of the development process. The metal “T” temple design is a hand laid process to ensure the “T” detail that wraps around the frame perfectly meets the acetate temple. While juggling these important details, designers must also keep eyewear basics in mind when creating new styles, such as shape, material, color, and target market.
Tom Ford Men’s Optical Style TF5372. *
THE INS AND OUTS:
Frame shapes that are super-hot now include everything retro—from cat eye to geek/chic to aviator. The difference is that they are updated to have a modern feel. Through embellishments or different materials and out-there colors, eyewear with a vintage look is spot on for today’s eyeglass wearers. Materials such as wood, rubber, and lightweight aluminum all contribute to making eyeglasses and sunglasses not only functional but also fashionable. Color plays a key role in how eyewear designers think about the end product. Whether they are seasonal colors or ones that were highlighted on the runway or the Pantone color of the year, you’re sure to find eyeglasses with color choices that are perfect for you, whether you are a trend setting millennial or a mom or dad looking for fashionable eyewear at a value.
THE IDEA BECOMES A REALITY:
Months and possibly years go into designing new eyewear. When that design is ready to become a reality, the eyewear is produced, most often, in a factory through a meticulous process that takes materials with the added colors, incorporates technology, and shapes it all into the glasses that you see in your optical store. Today’s high-tech technology includes sunglasses that fold neatly into your pocket; an extendable temple arm, metal that bounces curiously back to its original shape when bent, and laser-cutting acetate to create intricate and ornate designs.
Lacoste’s Men’s Sunwear Style L817S features extendable metal temple arms with an exclusively patented 5-way adjustable magnetic clasp for an easy fit. *
NEXT STOP, OPTICAL SHOP
Once created and perfectly packaged, eyewear companies then send out their sales reps to optical retail stores with the frames they consider best for the shop’s clientele. The reps work closely with the stores to make sure that what they offer is what their customers are looking for. At Cohen’s Fashion Optical, each store buys frames based on their own clientele’s needs and wants, ensuring a product mix that reflects the community’s local flavor.
Once chosen, the sales reps often help merchandise the product and provide displays to showcase the eyeglass frames and sunglasses in their best light. Associates at the stores are trained to make sure that among the eyewear they show you is the perfect frame for your face and personality. At Cohen’s, they take pride in working with only the best brands and people so that you can see better and feel better too.
Disclaimer: Styles shown are representative. Not all styles available in all stores.