Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Blog

Hey everyone,

I just moved my blog to a new address. I figure this is a bit more organized and I can add more info on the site. It is a low budget solution for my blog...HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leather Frames

Seems like a lot of companies are making frames out of leather. Aside from the quality of the leather, which can vary quite a bit, let me educate you on how the applications work. But how can you tell a good frame from a cheap one? How do you know that the leather isn't going to rip and scratch? Can you be sure that when you sweat that leather isn't going to peel off? Will it being on tight, stop it from peeling? Which process is the best quality?

There are 3 ways that are the most popular when it comes to putting leather on a frame

1. Stitched
Stitched leather can be identified by the actual stitches. Usually it will be wrapped around another material and bunched up at the top and have visible stitches.

-Styling with visible stitches
-Generally sturdy in terms of peeling off

-It is difficult to put it all the way back to the temple tips, usually it will only wrap around the middle of the temples.
-on a thinner frame it will look bulky to have heavy stitching
-sturdy, but the stitches can still tear/rip

2. Laminated
Laminated leather is usually wrapped around a plastic frame. They will put it on tight and glue it on. They will then press it and hold it on.

-Great styling, without exposed frayed ends
-Thinner leather is wrapped around
-The edges are also invisible because they are glued together
-Inexpensive to process which means lower retail prices

-Weight, generally it will be on top of a plastic frame with metal core
-With heavy perspiration it is peel off

3. Stamped
Stamped leather is a very costly and complex process. The part of the frame with leather will only have a thin metal core and the leather is processed and stamped directly onto the frame. There are no ends to the leather. It is basically like plastic being one piece of stiff leather.

-Lighter than other options because it contains less heavy parts (i.e. plastic cores, thickness of the frame)
-Nothing will peel off because it is one solid stiff piece of leather pressed onto the metal core
-Abosolutely no frayed edges of any sort because it is a solid piece as opposed to being on top of something
-Will not fall apart from perspiration

-Costly to produce which translates to costly retail prices
-Sometimes, can be overlooked as not being leather because of it's processing

CC's opinion: In terms of style, stitched will be the most apparent and unique, but has it's cons. Laminated is good as well, but tends to peel off when exposed to perspiration.

In my opnion, the best quality of leather will be the stamped. It's only downfall would have to be the manufacturing costs. This process puts out the best quality of product.

Your blog is so ugly

Hey cityconnection,

First off I would like to sayI love reading your blog. You have rad posts about companies and stuff that nobody wishes to tell us. But I have a bone to pick with you....

I am sorry to say it is SOOOOOO ugly!!!

Your posts are awsome but it looks like a little kid made it. I think you would get a lot more hits if you it was more pleasing to the eyes. Why dont you try designing it a bit better? Dont take it the wrong way, I'm just trying to help you out.

(email from an anonymous fan)


I'm glad that you enjoy the blog. I try my best to post up about things that people don't generally know.

Now, regarding my blog...
I know it is ugly, but you know what? It's the best that I can do. hahaha.... I am not very computer savvy. I would rather focus my time on good information than trying to make it look pretty. I try to what I can.

But I will tell you this....I will continue to post up good solid info, and I will "try" to make it look a bit more please to the eyes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Duty Free Sunglasses

To CC,

First off, let me say that you have an awesome blog! I have been following it for some time now and really appreciate your honesty.

Now for my question, about a year ago I bought a pair of Dior sunglasses at the Duty Free at the Munich Airport. I love them, but I broke one of the arms. I went into a store to ask them if it could be repaired but they said that the part had to be replaced. The only problem is, that they can't order the part in L.A. because they said it isn't available to them. What's the story? Can't they just send it from Europe? Thanks!

Amy C.
L.A., California

To Amy,

I know the frustration you must be feeling. There are several reasons why they may not be able to order you the part.

1. Dior is distributed by the a global organization. Each countries division will carry different frames. So the frame that they carry in the country of purchase might not be carried in North America.

2. Duty-Free generally carry discontinued models, so parts may not even be possible in the country of purchase or anywhere for that matter. This may disappoint you, but I will let you in on a secret, Duty-Free does NOT check for authenticity of the products that they sell. I have called in to check for part availability but they usually tell me that the model number doesn't exist at all. I have seen the quality of pieces and compared them to my products (which I know are authentic) and you can tell the difference. It is unfortunate, but some products in the Duty-Free are not authentic. You must keep in mind that they are a business too and they don't ask where you got the merchandise when they buy at wholesale.

A word of advice from me would be to stay away from Duty-Free products all together. Personally, I have seen WAY TOO MANY variations in quality that people have brought from the Duty-Free.

In any case, I don't know about your particular pair for sure, but I would say that they may be "fakes" OR "manufacture defects". Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4 Reasons why you shouldn’t buy fakes

  1. Inferior quality: Fakes and copies are made to inferior standards and quality. They replicate the real thing but by only spending a fraction of the price to manufacture it.
  2. Bootleggers are trying to make a quick buck: Even though you may think that you don’t want to support the big companies, when you buy fakes, you are supporting someone else. They may around one day and off to another industry the next day.
  3. Bootleggers don’t start trends: In terms of fashion, fakes only follow trends and copy others. They don’t contribute to the fashion industry, or any industry for that matter, except for the black market..
  4. Ethics: Do you really want to buy something that someone has essentially stole from someone else? Whether it is a design, technology or material.

Personally, I would rather have a good quality “no name” brand than a poor quality fake name brand. Fakes don’t contribute to anything good. You put your money where you want, but just keep these things in mind.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Profile: Orgreen

Established: 1997
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Orgreen has offices in Denmark and Japan, but the head office is in an old building in the heart of Copenhagen
Founders: 3 friends by the names of Henrik Orgreen, Tobias Dandrup and Gregers Fastrup.
Training: None of them had any previous backgrounds in the optical field, actually, only 1 of them even wore glasses. But it is their perseverance to learn more about materials and design which has given them the strength to continue.
Philosophy: Provocative but not arrogant. Orgreen has no ambitions of being the largest in the market, but want to maintain their market with customer who are interested in their design and quality conscious.
Inspirations: Unique cars, vintage planes, gear from extreme sports, etc... as well as travelling to other countries.
One thing that they love: Design, quality... and design

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Safilo trying to reduce debt

According to sources, Safilo is NOT trying to sell off some of it's brands in order to reduce it's 500 million euro debt. The company spokesperson that confirmed that they could possibly give up some of it's distribution abroad.

-Does this mean that there might be a little competition in the market place now instead of Safilo and Lux owning everything and creating a monopoly? We'll have to wait and find out...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Non-prescription color contact lenses

To CC,

Is it hard or expensive to get a hold of contact lenses that have no prescription? Simply for color?

I'm twenty, always have had perfect vision and I don't know much about contacts or glasses. Sunglasses however... that's a different story haha...

Anyways, I wanted to get my hands on a pair of gray, non prescription, contact lenses. Any suggestions or price suggestions..?


It is easy to get non-rx contacts. You can buy them in most opticals, optometrist offices and even online. There are several brands on the market and they have their pros and cons.

The only thing is when you wear them your vision is limited because of the color. What I mean by that is that your peripheral vision will be slightly affected. Also, you have to understand that will contact lenses wear, there are any "problems" that could arise, but as eye infections, problems, lack of oxygen and so on.

Another thing to remember is that you will need to learn how to put them in and take them out. Sure your neighbor's daughter can help you out, BUT it is best to learn from a eye care professional because they will have more knowledge in contact lens wear as a whole and they will share knowledge with you. I discourage you from buying online because IF anything were to happen to your eyes, at least if you bought them in a store you can go to them and ask for help. When you buy them online, you're on your own. Don't even think about call an online company because they dont care about your eyes, they care about your money.

In any case, hope that helps.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How contact lenses are made

Take a look at this YouTube clip I found and how contact lenses are made.

To lens or not to lens

Hey CC,

I was thinking of getting a pair of old vintages glasses at a shop. I don't need lenses because I don't have a prescription. The shop wants to charge me $50 to put in lenses with no prescription. I think it's a rip off, so I'm just going to keep the current lenses in the frame. Are the lenses that are in there bad? I think that it would be better than having no lenses or even playing $50 for new ones that I don't even need. What do you think I should do? Thanks.

Eric G.
Hi Eric,

You have brought up a few good points about the lenses. First off, I would suggest that you do not use the "demo lenses" (the lenses that are in the frame when you buy the frames). The quality of the lenses are generally terrible. There are a few companies that have good demo lenses in the frames like Kio Yamato, Paul Frank and Lindberg, to name a few, but for the most part, they are very low quality lenses that are not for optical use. Next, do not wear them without any lenses in it. It looks terribly silly. I have seem people do it and it just looks ridiculous. Finally, my suggestion is to get new lenses put in them. If $50 is too much for you, look around and find a better price. Don't hassle them about price if it's out of your price range, just look around for other stores that may be able to do it for less. There is no point of wearing them without any benefits. At least with lenses with anti reflection coating, it will ease your eyes when using the computer or even night driving. Look around and shop around, it will make the glasses that much more satisfying to wear.

Hope that helps,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interesting Articles on Lenses

I have been reading up on several different companies websites about their lenses and I wanted to share them with you guys. A lot of the manufacture websites describe their products and their advantages. Take a look at some of the following websites to educate yourselves about lenses. I could regurgitate all the info but it is probably better if it is from the source. Take a look at some of these good reads...

Salt Optics' Polarized Prism Free Lenses

Serengeti's selection of lenses and a little info on photochromatic

Maui Jim's colors and different materials as well as the benefits of polarized lenses

Oakley's site describes how they differentiate themselves from the pack

Ray Ban's site describes what colors are good for contrast and their G-15 lens

Adidas has many colors that are sport specific. It is a good guide to what colors work well with what sport.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How lenses are cut into your eyewear

Lenses come in all stages of "readiness". Which means, some already have a prescription ground into the lens whereas other come as a block of plastic. For simplicity, let's just assume that the lenses come finished and ready to cut. So how do we get this block of plastic into the frame?

1. Trace the shape of the frame in the "tracer".
2. Next dot the lenses for the focal points and the correct prescription in the "lensometer"

3. Put the dotted lenses into the "blocker" and put a chuck on it so that it will hold the lens

4. Next take the lens and put it into the "edger", which cuts the lens to the shape

5. Take out the lenses and voila, they are the shape of the frame. Now just insert them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to Find the Perfect Pair of Vintage Eyewear

To some finding a vintage pair is a hobby and to others it is a way of life. The satisfaction you get when you find that pair of vintage Dunhill with the perfect shape and size that you know your friends will never be able to duplicate. But to some, it is easy to identify a good bargain from a rip off and others can think that a rip off is actually a good deal.

So how do you find a great deal?
How do find a style you like?

Buying vintage eyewear is a lot like finding vintage clothing. BUT vintage eyewear is usually easier to find online. There are certain things to keep in mind when buying vintage eyewear.

1. Brand
-What brand is it?
-Is it a well known brand? Cazal, Dunhill, Silhouette, Carrera, Dior and so on, are well known brands that are known. Sticking with a name brand company will insure that the quality is good.

2. Country of Origin
-In the 80s the best frames were all made in Austria. They had the best machines and the highest of quality control. That is not to say that other countries did not make good frames. A simple comparison is to compare it to Italian Sports cars. Sports cars can be made anywhere and there may be better ones, but an Italian sports car is a staple and where a true sports can should be made.

3. Style and Design
-Obviously the style was different earlier on, but some styles have come back today. Of course there is a crowd that follows the vintage style but there are others that just like thst style regardless of it being a "vintage". The edges are generally sharper or very round. The shapes were over exaggerated without many of our more recents styles of being rounded squares.

4. Price
-Price is subjective. Because there is no longer a manufacture retail price, it seems like prices are all over the board. I have seen true vintages go for as little as $20 and up to $920. So what makes a price low and what makes it high? DEMAND. Have a style or brand that everyone knows, then the price increases. Have a brand that nobody knows about, and the price decreases. So how much should you pay? Depends on the style, brand and quality. Personally, I would say, if you like it and you have the money, drop it on something you like. If youre on a tight budget, but like a certain style, find something in your budget. If you have a certain style you like and dont mind paying, find something you like and buy it.

5. Quality
-Check the quality of a frame to make sure that even if you dont know the name, you know that it is well built.

Things to Check...
-The solder points to make sure there are no holes in it and smooth.
-The paint to make sure it is painted on parts that are not generally visible to the named eye. -The spring hinges should be smooth without any jerky movements
-The barrels should line up perfectly.
-Open and close the temples to make sure they are smooth

Some of the above can be easy quick fixes and others demonstrate problems. But until you can make the quick fixes I would suggest to stay away from anything with problems.

6. Material
-Until the 80s, plastic frames could not be produced cheap. They were all relatively expensive but also well made. Metal frames were made much better back then. They were made much more solid and had much more intricate designs.

Hopefully this will give a look into buying vintage frames. Let me know if there is anything that I missed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Profile: Mykita

Established: 2003
Location: Berlin, Germany
Founders: Daniel Haffmans, Philipp Haffmans, Moritz, Kreuger, Herald Gottschling
Training: Industrial Design, Architecture and 10 years of experience in the eyewear sector
Philosophy: Constant search for new materials, creative use of materials, technical solutions and a wealth of knowledge in the eyewear sector are contributing factors to their success. All frames are handmade in Berlin.
Inspirations: The globe that surrounds Mykita; Automobiles and Planes
Notes: Mykita celebrates it's 5th year anniversary by realeasing a publication by the name of "5". It takes you through their milestones as a company. It also has a decription of their manufactorying process as well as an insite on the people behind the operation.
One thing that you love: Our family

Profile: ic! Berlin

Founded: Oldenburg, Germany
Founders: Ralph Anderl
Training: Each morning, when in Berlin at Holmes Place
Inspirations: Sometimes yes and sometimes not. Someones when speaking, sometimes when listening. Sometimes when cooking, sometimes when sleeping
Crucial Steps:
Learn to walk properly was a great step for me. Also stop drinking and stop living will be a big step for me. .
One thing that you love: I love the movie "destroy after reading". And I love water! and I love chai-tea-latte, and somehow I also love ic! Berlin and all the followers.

As you can tell, this has been written by Ralph Anderl in the first person when asked the following questions. Also, his attitude and creativity also show in his art, which we see as eyewear.