Bolle Brands Acquires Spy Optic

By Staff
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 12:30 AM BOSTON, Mass.—Bolle Brands is expanding its footprint in the premium performance sports and sports lifestyle eyewear category with the acquisition of the Spy Optic brand from Spy Optic, a privately held company. The terms of the deal were not announced. Spy Optic president Stephen Roseman and his team will remain in place, a Bolle spokesperson told VMail. Bolle Brands is a portfolio investment of A&M Capital Europe, the private equity fund that acquired it in August 2018. With this new acquisition, Spy Optic joins existing brand portfolio of Bolle, Bolle Safety, Serengeti, Cebe and H2Optix.

Zeiss Partners With IDOC to Bring Medical and Vision Care Products to Independent ODs

By Staff
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 12:27 AM
NORWALK, Conn., SAN DIEGO, Calif., and DUBLIN, Calif.—IDOCZeiss Vision Care US and Zeiss Medical Technology announced today a five-year agreement to bring Zeiss’ lab services, lens products and medical equipment to all of IDOC’s more than 3,000 independent optometrists across the U.S. The agreement creates new partnership programs through which IDOC practices can access the latest innovations from Zeiss, including Zeiss UVProtect Technology, Zeiss DriveSafe lenses, Zeiss CLARUS 700, Zeiss CIRRUS HD-OCT. IDOC members who buy into the Zeiss program will be able to take advantage of services, support and special pricing.

The Galileo Vision Tour Continues in Italy

By Staff
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 12:25 AM The Galileo Vision Tour is back. This real traveling journey dedicated to prevention and visual well-being is crossing Italy, stopping in the most beautiful squares and doing free visual checks in an equipped van.

Consumers Are Influenced by Brands on Social

By Staff
Monday, September 16, 2019 10:30 AM eMarketer’s Rimma Kats observes that more brands are using social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to encourage consumers to not only discover new products, but also buy them. That approach seems to be paying off, she notes, citing a July 2019 study from rating and review marketing company Yotpo.

“Unsurprisingly, younger consumers are more likely to take to social commerce,” says Kats. “More than 55 percent of Gen Z U.S. internet users—who do half of their fashion shopping online—said their most recent fashion purchases were inspired by social media browsing. And nearly as many millennials said the same.”

TSO Finds Success by Focusing on Convenience for the Patient

By Mark Tosh
Monday, September 16, 2019 1:00 AM HOUSTON—There’s really no secret sauce or magic ingredient that goes into Texas State Optical’s (TSO) formula for success, according to president John Marvin. It all comes down to a “pretty basic” approach to managing a business on the foundation of sound core values and a resolute mission statement. And, perhaps most importantly, serving patients as effectively as possible—with plenty of emphasis on meeting the patients’ needs even as they evolve in a digitally driven marketplace.

Made in the USA

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:45 AM NEW YORK—Eyewear made in the U.S. has been experiencing a resurgence in the past few years, as newer firms and startups as well as older, long-time family companies with deep, historical roots in the sector are committed to furthering their presence in the business. Old and new, each is looking to develop or expand connections to a new generation of customers—and eyecare professionals and optical retailers—who appreciate brand stories and authentic history about how products are made and where they come from.

ArtCraft Optical: The Next Generation Continues and Modernizes a 101-year Eyewear Originator

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:44 AM ROCHESTER, N.Y.—The third generation is hard at work at ArtCraft Optical, continuing their grandfather’s legacy, one they see defining the company as synonymous with American-made legendary looks, world-class quality and a craftsmanship embedded in its DNA. Family-owned and continuously operated since 1918, ArtCraft is a global leader in the design and manufacture of dress frames, safety and military optical frames.

STATE Optical Co.: Expanding Its Story, Its Factory and Its Approach to American-Made

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:43 AM VERNON HILLS, Ill.—STATE Optical Co. describes itself is a “first-of-its-kind brand of luxury American eyewear proudly being manufactured in Chicago, USA.” After much investment since the company started as they partnered with then California Frieze Frame founders Mark Franchi and Jason Stanley, to relocate, build and create the new endeavor here, Scott Shapiro, STATE’s CEO recalls, “From a manufacturing standpoint, we have learned so much in five years, including the real obstacles of making eyeglasses in the U.S. without the infrastructure that supports such an endeavor. The machinery, servicing it, the raw materials to bring in, the tools, the training of a workforce is just the beginning.”

Modo Brooklyn Made: Crafting Classics in a Community of Makers

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:42 AM NEW YORK—Modo’s M Factory in Brooklyn is part of the growing “maker” and creative community within the legendary borough in a center known as Industry City. The company cites its origins in New York City in 1990, its new factory initiative was several years in the planning and concept stages before beginning its production. M Factory focuses on classic shapes and constructions.

Randolph USA: Extends its Manufacturing Expertise from the Military to Contemporary Eye Style

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:41 AM RANDOLPH, Mass.—From start to finish, Randolph USA has been building frames in America, at its facility outside of Boston, since 1973. Today, the company’s consistent investment, its strong relationships with all branches of the U.S. armed forces, and embarking on new innovations in specialties like precision sports and expansion into lifestyle sun and ophthalmics, is transforming the family-run firm. Randolph has added to its in-house manufacturing experts by augmenting its management team with new product development, marketing and sales expertise to reach new customers and a new generation of wearers.

Thema’s Virtual Eyewear Assistant Uses Modern Digital Tools to Build a Custom Frame

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:40 AM MIAMI—The Valmassoi family of Thema are using their history of Italian frame making to bring new capabilities to the company’s U.S. factory in Miami, and, most recently, are applying new digital technology to the company’s work on 3D acetate production. For some time, Thema has been offering customization options for its iGreen and O-Six lines as well as for the new Black Label collections debuting this fall.

Lowercase: Embracing Locally-Made Frame Design and Know-How

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:39 AM NEW YORK—Lowercase NYC launched in Brooklyn’s Army Terminal in January 2017. But founder Gerard Masci’s path to eyewear actually started in 2015. He’d been working in the financial sector, as an investment analyst. But he was intrigued by the makers who were already working in the field, like Randolph and California’s Kala eyewear, and he started to research more. He literally also started to Google “how to” videos about framemaking, but then learning about materials, found Mazzuchelli and met with their representatives in downtown NYC not far from where he’d grown up.

Hilco Vision Debuts First Made in the USA Rx Safety

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:38 AM PLAINVILLE, Mass.—Hilco Vision this year introduced a 100 percent made in the USA Rx safety frame, from its OnGuard Industrial Safety Eyewear division.

Dom Vetro: A Luxury Eyewear Label Brings Italian Expertise to L.A.

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:37 AM LOS ANGELES, Calif.—After spending nearly half a decade training with master eyewear makers in the Italian Alps, Ashley Bezamat, founder of the luxury eyewear label Dom Vetro, returned to his native Los Angeles and in 2017 opened the city’s first vertically-integrated eyewear workshop adjacent to Culver City. There, he and his team of artisans use the same machinery, materials, and fabrication techniques as the Italian experts who taught him, to create unique and timeless eyewear that can be enjoyed for generations.

Smart Money

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The optical lab business, at its most elemental, has always been a numbers game. Running a lab, though, is a complex undertaking that involves more than simply dollars and cents. It also about the number of prescription jobs per day it can produce, and the percentage of those jobs that are rejected because they don’t meet quality control standards. It’s about maintaining a job average that’s calculated based upon production yields and the average price per job. It’s about the cost of capital equipment, consumables, overhead, labor and dozens of other budget line items.