NORWALK, Conn.—International Vision Expo East will host the Eyewear Designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (edCFDA) in a special high-end designer discussion event on Friday, March 20. "Speaking of Design: A Panel Discussion with the Eyewear Designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (edCFDA)" is set to take place in the new Galleria's lounge from 5:00 to 5:45 pm. The panel will be followed by a cocktail reception with the participating eyewear designers. Registration is not required.

Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, will moderate the panel featuring noted eyewear design visionaries, including Blake Kuwahara of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear; Christian Roth of Christian Roth Eyewear; Gai Gherardi of l.a.Eyeworks; Robert Marc of Robert Marc Eyewear; Selima Salaun of Selima Optique; and Shane Baum of Baum Vision.

The event is the first public program presented by this newly formed working group within the CFDA. The distinguished panel of eyewear designers will offer tactics to differentiate a boutique’s business and raise it above their competition. Topics will range from eyewear design, merchandising and marketing, online retailing, the drive to differentiate and define, and insight into inspiration and design intent.

“Eyewear as a design discipline is often overlooked with an emphasis on function and not on creativity,” Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said. “I am pleased to lead a conversation that breaks from this belief and to share the inner thoughts of top eyewear designers who make up the newly-formed CFDA committee, edCFDA."

The CFDA announced the Eyewear Designers of the CFDA (edCFDA), the new group within the Council created by 12 CFDA member eyewear designers, in fall 2014 as VMail reported. The group’s aim is “to inspire, empower, and promote awareness of eyewear design and the vitality of the optical industry through promotion, education, mentoring and collaborative initiatives.”

Today, the Eyewear Designers of the CFDA are Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi, l.a. Eyeworks; Blake Kuwahara, Blake Kuwahara Eyewear; Christian Roth, Christian Roth Eyewear; Daniel Silberman and Justin Salguero, Illesteva; Grant Krajecki and Natalie Levy of Grey Ant; Jeffrey Whitledge, Toms Eyewear; Larry Leight, Oliver Peoples; Patty Perreira, Barton Perreira; Robert Marc, Robert Marc Eyewear; Selima Salaun, Selima Optique, and Shane Baum, Leisure Society. Christian Roth, Gai Gheradi, Selima Salaun and Blake Kuwahara serve on the executive committee with Roth as the group’s spokesperson.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc., (CFDA), a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1962, leads industrywide initiatives and whose membership consists of more than 480 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers.