From new office designs to new collections, what’s motivating independents?


Taking Inspiration from Pantone’s Color of the Year
NEW YORK—Earlier this month, The Pantone Color Institute announced their 2020 color of the year: Classic Blue. Pantone describes the color as “a timeless and enduring blue hue elegant in its simplicity.” According to Pantone, it makes the perfect choice for 2020’s Color of the Year because, “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for stability.”

Across the design world—from fashion to interior design and everything in between—designers are looking to Classic Blue for inspiration, and frame companies and independent ECPs are no exception. Here’s a look at how a handful of independents are taking 2020’s Color of the Year onboard.

Independent Brand l.a.Eyeworks Goes International for 40th Anniversary
LOS ANGELES—This year, independent eyewear brand l.a.Eyeworks is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A staple of the independent eyewear scene for over a generation now, l.a.Eyeworks has spread far beyond its Californian roots. To celebrate 40 years, the brand is leading an international window display campaign, which kicked off on Sept. 9, 2019. The campaign art appeared on the facades of more than 80 optical retailers in seven countries, and features a custom graphic design, printed on transparent vinyl. The graphic depicts two signboards which say “Raise Your Glasses!” and “Uncensored Visions Since 1979,” floating above the l.a.Eyeworks logo, which has been modified to add a decorative “40.” L.A.-based artist Nina Palomba designed the placard artwork, and graphic designer Mike Fink created the logo.

Window messaging has been a staple for l.a.Eyeworks since the beginning—in fact, their namesake stores have never featured eyewear displays in their windows, just window messaging. The brand’s first ever windows read “Changing the Face. Facing the Change.” Brent Zerger, director of communications at l.a.Eyeworks said, “We call it ‘the original Twitter feed.’ We have always regarded our window slogans as an opportunity to share who we are versus what we offer for sale.”

Here’s a look at some stores both in the U.S. and international that are sharing l.a.Eyeworks’ 40th anniversary graphics.