Inspirations

Independents Get Inspired—and Educational—With the Thanksgiving Spirit

By Staff
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:00 AM NEW YORK—By this time tomorrow, many of us will be camped out on a couch, stuffed to the brim with turkey and mashed potatoes, dreaming about pumpkin pie. But right now, people across the country are gearing up for Thanksgiving—and that includes ECPs, who are using Thanksgiving as inspiration for in-office decorations, special events and even educational moments. As you—hopefully—settle down for a long weekend and a whole lot of food, let’s take a little scroll through how the optical community is celebrating Thanksgiving this year. After all, is there any better way to get in the spirit?

Indie Brand Looks at Bugs for Inspiration

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:54 PM NEW YORK—Inspiration for frame design can strike from anywhere. We’re no strangers to terms like “vintage inspired,” or “travel inspired,” or “music inspired,” in this industry—but what about “bug inspired?” For independent brand Vuliwear, beauty is in the eye of the bug-holder. Vuliwear founder Dionne Ellison says she was struck by a magnified photo of a bug’s eyes, and began to design eyewear inspired by the colors and patterns of insects’ compound eyes. Working with Essilor Sun Solution, Ellison’s initial launch features six sun styles: BLKnBLU, Deuces, Zag, Flatliner, Pearl and Siren. Three featured styles, BLKnBLU, Deuces and Zag are lightweight unisex metal aviator styles inspired by the Blue Damselfly, Striped Horsefly and African Twig Mantis respectively.

Independents Get Involved for Breast Cancer Awareness

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 4:24 PM Depending on how you define it, “making a difference” can feel a little daunting. Most of us don’t have the net worth, or networks, to change the world—but that doesn’t mean we can’t change the small world around us. This past month, independents across the country have done their bit to help bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Through special sales, donations, charity events, parties, special edition T-shirts, and more, independent practices have proven the age-old adage that every little bit counts. As October comes to a close, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month--but that doesn’t mean we should write it off. This week, we’re taking a look at just a few of the ways independents have done their part this October; go ahead and take some inspiration from these ideas—it doesn’t have to wait until next year.

Independents Get Spooky for Halloween

By Staff
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:59 AM NEW YORK—With Halloween on the horizon, there’s no shortage of inspiring ideas for a little office spruce up. Last weekend, we took a look at some of the ways ECPs are getting excited for Halloween on social media, and independents are no exception. In fact, being independent might just mean a little more freedom to have some spooky, creepy fun in the office this October. When it comes to dressing up and decorating the office for Halloween, it’s pretty easy for ECPs to stay on brand. Eyeballs are a staple of Halloween décor, and some of the best Halloween costumes don’t just lend themselves to wearing glasses—they demand it. Imagine trying to dress up as Harry Potter, or Velma from Scooby Doo without the perfect pair? It just wouldn’t work. 

Pantone’s Colors of the Season May Influence 2020 Eyewear Trends

By Staff
Thursday, September 26, 2019 9:18 AM NEW YORK—Fall may have only just begun, but fashion is always looking forward. While we’re pulling out the sweaters and scarves, the fashion world is already planning for spring and summer—which means the eyewear design world is, too. And when it comes to predicting trends, there’s one authority in particular whose predictions are always eagerly anticipated: Pantone. At the end of every year, Pantone announces a Color of the Year for the coming year—2019’s is Living Coral—but they make trend predictions each season as well. Earlier this month, the company shared their color palette predictions for Spring/Summer 2020: 12 colors and four neutrals that we’ll likely be seeing everywhere next year, from clothes to frames. 

Independent Brand l.a.Eyeworks Goes International for 40th Anniversary

By Staff
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:03 PM LOS ANGELES, Calif.—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 September 9. The campaign art will appear 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 artists Nina Palomba designed the placard artwork, and graphic designer Mike Fink created the logo.

Autumn Colors Take Over Instagram

By Staff
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:00 AM Depending on who you are, these late days of summer either inspire you to daydream of cooler days to come, or have you clinging to what’s left of the sunny season. Either way, as of this weekend, summer is (unofficially) over. Fall weather hasn’t quite hit in most of the Northern Hemisphere yet, and we still have a month to go until the seasons officially change, but many of us are beginning to look toward shorter days, cozier evenings and chillier weather.

Optical Falls in Love With #IndieRetailerMonth

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:00 AM Back at the beginning of July, we geared up for Indie Retailer Month, a time set aside for celebrating and supporting independent retailers.  Indie Retailer Month encouraged consumers to support independent retailers from all industries, including the optical community, who embraced it with open arms. Now that August is speeding toward September, let’s take a look back at how some of the optical community celebrated this Indie Retailer Month, and maybe even take a few notes for next year. 

For Decades, Artists Have Looked to Polaroids for Inspiration

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:00 AM MONTREAL—This summer, the McCord Museum in Montreal, Quebec, is running an exhibition titled “The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology,” with Safilo's Polaroid as a corporate sponsor. The exhibition, which was organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, New York/Lausanne, in collaboration with the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the WestLicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, takes a look at the ways in which the world’s most famous artists have used Polaroid pictures in their inspiration process. 

Independents Gear Up for the Back to School Season

By Staff
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:00 AM NEW YORK—We may still be in the heat of summer, but there’s no doubt that the hustle and bustle of the back to school season is beginning to pick up pace. As parents and kids prepare to head back to the classroom, independent ECPs and brands are also preparing in their own way. For many kids, heading back to school for the year also means it’s time for their annual eye exam—and for a fun new pair of glasses to kick off the new school year. For ECPs, that means more appointments and brand new stock to celebrate the back to school season. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the ways independent brands and ECPs are already getting set up to head back to school.

Independents Find Inspiration in Rainbows and Pride

By Staff
Thursday, June 27, 2019 11:03 AM NEW YORK—Each year, people all around the world celebrate Pride in the month of June. A time dedicated to honoring and celebrating our LGBT+ friends, family and community members, Pride is often characterized by parades, parties and rainbow-colored decorations or fashion. It’s pretty hard to look at a rainbow-colored pair of sunglasses, or a storefront, and not feel inspired, so it’s no surprise that the optical community is taking part in Pride in their own way this year with special sales, displays and designs.

Everyone Is Looking to Elton John for Eyewear Inspiration

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:14 AM NEW YORK—Musician-inspired celebrity biopics have been all the rage recently. The trend started with "Bohemian Rhapsody," and is escalating even higher with "Rocketman," as VM noted in this feature. "Rocketman" tells the story of Elton John’s career and stars Taron Egerton. The film was produced, in part, by John himself. John’s career has been eye-catching for a multitude of reasons—including his fantastical, over the top, trendsetting eyewear decisions. John has long been the king of campy eyewear, and of using his eyewear both to complete a look and make a statement. And now, "Rocketman" has reminded many of us just how incredible John’s optical looks were.

Finding Inspiration From Nature’s Creations With Fellow Earthlings

By Staff
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:05 AM PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada—Inspiration can be found almost anywhere. From the places we visit and the people we encounter along the way, it’s all about perspective. For Canadian eyewear company, Fellow Earthlings, inspiration is found right in their backyard. The company creates uniquely-colored acetates from their factory on P.E.I that instantly grab one’s attention. From bright, bold hues to soft pastel colorations, Fellow Earthlings crafts truly one-of-a-kind pieces. “We are very inspired by our surroundings here, our workshop is located in a golden hayfield overlooking the ocean on quite literally a story book island (of Anne of Green Gables fame),” Sydney Seggie, co-founder of Fellow Earthlings said. “We even did a whole series of RE:FE frames that were different skies, sunsets and sunrises. Also getting to work with lots of different very talented designers in our private label production work is constantly inspiring.”

Optical Goes Camping at the 2019 Met Gala

By Staff
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 10:35 AM NEW YORK—The first Monday in May has come and gone, and there was no shortage of noteworthy looks from this year’s Met Gala, which was to be expected. This year’s theme was Camp: Notes on Fashion, inspired by Susan Sontag’s pivotal 1964 essay “Notes on Camp,” in which Sontag meditates on the definition of “camp” style—what it looks like, what it means and why. While most of the looks revolved around over the top headwear and so-gaudy-it’s-good dresses, a select few attendees and designers amped up the camp with their eyewear looks, showing off bedazzled frames, or optical designs on their clothes. Here’s a roundup of some of Vision Monday’s favorites this year.

#IHaveThisThingWithSunglasses Shows Independents What Consumers Want

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:30 AM NEW YORK—There’s a hashtag for just about everything. Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Try #foodie to see what looks good. Not sure what to wear? Try #fashionblogger to see how the trendiest people are putting their outfits together every morning. Not sure what kind of frames your customers are looking for? Try #ihavethisthingwithsunglasses. @ihavethisthingwithfloors, an Instagram account with over 800,000 followers, started the popular hashtag #ihavethisthingwithfloors years ago. Since then, #ihavethisthingwith has taken off—there’s #ihavethisthingwithframes, #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses, #ihavethisthingwithplants, and, of course, #ihavethisthingwithsunglasses. The hashtag is a place for sunglass lovers to gather, to show off,and to interact—and it’s a great place for independents to grab inspiration.