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.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How to Develop your own Sunglass Line

There are many things to consider when making your own sunglasses line. Let's assume you have weighed all your options and you think it makes sense to make it and you're gonna make a million bucks with your super good designs. Let's start from the beginning.

1. Draw out the design you want to achieve with a paper and pen OR make a CAD design
2. Send it into a sample maker or custom frame builder, assuming you can't make it yourself (there are people who can make a sample of what you want to make)
3. Receive the sample and see if it is the look you were trying to achieve . If not, send it back and make the neccessary corrections.
4. If it is up to your standards, look into factories to see if they can make it
5. All of them will say they can make it, so you have to determine how much you want to spend on each frame. You can tell them you are willing to pay $1 or $100 per frame. They will make it accordingly, and the quality will reflect that. Try to ask for previous frames they have made and judge the quality.
6. Once you have picked your factory, put in your order. Keep in mind that you will need to produce minimum orders. (Minimum is usually 600 pieces per color per frame)
7. They will probably make a small lot for you to see if you like them.
8. If you like it. Great! Finish your order and you are now the owner of 600 pieces of 1 color of 1 model.
9. Get the model out to your distributor and put them out across the country and across the globe.

Things to consider...
-Which factory are you going to use?
-Can they produce it the way you want?
-How are you going to unload 600 per color per model?
-Are you willing to sell only a few and take a hit on the rest as a hobby?
-Can you get the factory to maintain your quality if you decide to make more?
-How are you going to keep producing more IF you cant sell the first lot?
-If you sell to stores you will have to take take-backs (warranty issues, return on frames)?
-Factories don't offer warranties. Will you take a hit on it?
-Will anyone buy it from a store if they provide no warranty?
-Can you release new models every season?
-Can you afford to launch this project?
-Will people buy your product, even if you have no prior experience and you're not a name brand?
-Can you design something that will look good and more importantly FIT comfortably?
-If they don't sell do you have somewhere to dump them and make SOME money back?

-What will you do with all that money when you hit it BIG TIME?

How to Care for your Eyewear

Wearing glasses doesn't necessarily mean you know how to take care of your glasses. I have seen tons of glasses bent out of shape or broken and the wearer claims they did nothing wrong and it was always like that. But like anything else, when you know a little about something you can tell what the problem is.

Most complaints about a plastic frame is that the temples (legs) spread wide apart. People see that as a problem and complain about the quality of the frame, but actuality it's ability to spread like that is great, because it allows adjustments to be made to suit/fit a lot of people.
Reason: 9/10 people take it off with 1 hand. This stretches the frame out
Solution: Take your glasses off with 2 hands! Sounds simple, but make a note next time you take them off.

Rimless frames are quite light and have a tendency to twist very easily.
Reason: sit on them, drop them, push them and so on
Solution: Leave them in your hard case when you are not using them.

The side of the lenses chip and break on semi-rimless frames
Reason: The lenses are exposed on one side and more vulnerable
Solution: Don't drop them. Also when you put them down on a table or counter, but them with the frame side down (upside down).

Occasionally you can get chips on the side lenses of a semi-rimless frame under the frame.
Reason: Taking your glasses off with 1 hand. The frame stretches to the side and puts pressure on the lens
Solution: Use 2 hands to take them off and put them on.

Eyewear all bent to one side
Reason: You slept with your glasses on
Solution: Take them off before sleeping on the couch.

Best way to fix all eyewear with problems:
Take it into your local optical! Don't try to mess around with the frames if you don't know what you're doing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quality of Frames

There are many things to look for when judging quality, whether is it a posh name brand or little guy trying to start his own line. Dollars don't necessarily translate into quality. Next time you look at some eyewear, judge it and see how they compare to what you have or what you would like to have. Comparing the following details will help you determine if the eyewear is going to be worth your hard earned dollars.

1. Material
-Stainless is the least expensive, then monel, then Aluminum, then Titanium being the most expensive (Other than gold and so on).
-Keep in mind there are many in between that I have not mentioned, but those are the most that you'll see.

-There are cheap reading glasses made out of polycarbonate and plastic injection which are by far the worst. They have no flexibility and adjustability.
-Acetate is the best because it is adjustable making them more comfortable.

2. Color/Paint
-How uniform is the paint? Does it have thick and thin parts? Make sure it is smooth.
-Did they paint the undersides? the insides? The more painted parts on the frame the better.
-How easily does it scratch? can you take a nail and rip through it? The difference between a good paint job and bad is that a good one will be painted in 11+ layers and a bad will be painted 7 times. That is not all that much difference considering how thin it is.
-How fine is the paint? The finer the better. Is it chunky or can you see drip marks?

3. Edges
-How square are the edges? Are they cut clean or are they rounded? Make sure if it is a corner, that it is cut like a corner and not rounded off.
-Do the lines meet up well? Are there gaps when you look at the temple and front from the side?
-Does the paint run off of it or is it painted well off the edges?

4. Demo Lenses (the lenses in the display)
-Are the demo lenses cut well? Are there gaps between the frame and lens? Are the lenses warped?
-Do they have an anti-reflection coating? If they do, it cost them more to make it, its good! The demo lenses reflect the quality control in the manufacture.

5. Printing
-How is the printing on the lenses and the frame? Is it clear and clean or is it smudged on?
-It's small details, but usually copies/fakes are smudged a bit. They basically produce it faster and cheaper than the original companies.

All of the above reflects the quality control of the manufacture. Sure some could be defects, but if the whole line looks like that, you know what you are buying. Paying big bucks doesn't necessarily mean good quality. Sometimes it's more about the quality than price. Hope this helps you guys judging frames. Now you can compare frames while having a "scale" on which you can judge, instead of being a "I like" or "I dislike". Questions why you like it and if it is worth your dollars to pay for that brand. Good luck and happy shopping!!!

Lenses that Contact the Eye

Contact lenses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

1. How long can you use 1 set of lenses?
-2 week disposables
-1 month disposables
-daily disposables
-conventional (6 months with 1 pair)

2. Can I sleep in them?
NO! Some lenses are FDA approved for extended sleep wear, but think of it this way, you can wear a t-shirt for 1 month straight, but do you really want to? Sleeping with contact lenses will reduce wear time by half. For instance, a 2-week disposable will be good or 1 week.

3. Are they dangerous for my eyes?
Yes and no. Yes it can go wrong if not used properly. No, if you are using them in a hygienic manner.

4. Whats so good about a daily disposable?
They are convenient to use. You carry a pair of contacts and use them when you need them. They also reduce your chances of reinfecting you eyes.

5. What can I not do with my contacts?
No swimming, no sleeping, no hairspray, and no showering.

6. My eyes get red and itchy...
It is most likely due to a lack of oxygen supply to your corneas. Switch to something that allows more oxygen permeability. Like Acuvue Oasys, Cooper Biofinity, Encore 100 and so on.

7. I'm scared to put them in my eyes...
It will take you a while to get use to wearing contact lenses. It is basically a foreign body in your eye. It will also take you a while to get them into your eyes. It will take practice and determination.

8. Color Lenses
Don't be fooled by all the commercials. They enhance the colors of eyes but they are slightly more uncomfortable that regular contacts. Also, it will affect your peripheral vision.

This is a short list of contact lens related questions. If you have any more let me know and I will update the blog.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CityConnection eywear (CCe)

These are a few test pieces that I have for sale. I picked out a few styles to see how they would sell. If you are interested or have questions about them, let me know.

CCe Plastic 1

Features: Heavy duty hinges, clean finish, handmade acetate, PRICE, simple design.
Colors: matte black and black
Size: Eye size 50-18, B 34mm, Temples 140mm

CCe Faux Wood 1
Features: looks like wood, feels like wood, but made out of acetate. Allows adjustments to be made to the frame.
Size: Eye size 55-16, B 25mm, Temples 140mm

CCe Faux Wood 2
Features: looks like wood, feels like wood, but made out of acetate. Allows adjustments to be made to the frame.
Size: Eye size 54-16, B 29mm, Temples 140mm

Anti Fog Tricks for Lenses

There are a few things that you can do to keep your glasses and goggles clean. It might not work all the time, but try it because it works with some applications. If your lenses fog up or get dirty from dirt. Next time, try one of these.

To keep dirt off:
Put clean liquid soap on the lenses, a very thin clear film. This will keep the dirt off.

Anti fog cream or spray. It will probably work for up to an hour or so.

Swimming goggles:
Clean them as often as you can, without scratching them. Also, clean them occassionally with alcohol. Rubbing alcohol and NOT vodka :)

Get lenses withOUT anti-reflection coating. The A/R coating attracts dust and makes it hard to clean. Also, keep them clean and free of oils and sweat.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vocabulary Lesson 101

There are certain things that eye care practitioners use that you might not know. Well, take a look at these words and tune into their "secret codes".

PD: Interpupillary Distance, the distance between your eyes that a practitioner will measure in order to make the focal points on your lenses right over your eyes.
Edge: To cut the lenses
Groove: The side of the lens is in a semi-rimless frame. It is grooved out in order to be held with the nylon line.
Bevel: The side of the lens that is held into a full frame. It looks like a "V".
Bifocal: The name given to set of lenses that correct both distance and near
Flat-top: A bifocal lens that has a "half-moon" on the bottom of the lens that corrects for near
No-line Bifocal: A bifocal lens that corrects both distance and near without a line. Also known as an invisible bifocal
Progressive: A no-line bifocal
Photo-Chromatic: Lenses react to UV and turn darker
Transition: A branded Photo-Chromatic lens. (Think Kleenex, actually being facial tissue)

And how you know a little bit more about their "secret language"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Christian Dior Shields

This one is made in Austria. It is a Christian Dior 2501 in color 49. These were made way before "bling" was a word and when they were designed to be works of arts and fashionable and not based on how many they could sell. They are black on the bottom with white trim on the top.

$150 frames only (I can provide a case)

Original Vintage Carrera

Check out this piece. It's an original Carrera not the throw backs that are made today. They are made in Austria, model number 5593 with interchangeable lenses. They have the instructions and everything.

Back in the 80's and 90's all the best eyewear were made in Austria. Even now Silhouettes are still made in Austria.

Sorry for the pics, I am trying to use a budget digital camera.

$200 (sunglasses, case, extra lenses with carrying case and instructions). Email me for details. Let me know which forum you are from.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Profile: Artreon

Established: 2009 (Brand new launch)
Location: New York, but produced in Japan
Founders: Kio Yamato Group

Philosophy: Quality craftsmanship that can be comfortable and still achieve a level of pleasure.
Inspirations: Art is not only found in a museum or an art gallery. You find art in your everyday lives and all around you.
Define ARTREON...
ART=Art around us
RE= Redefine
ON= On your face
What sets them apart:
The Look: It is NOT a copy of commercial products of earlier times, but something completely new.
The Material: 0.6mm Beta Titanium. Light, comfortable and flexible
The Coloring: Vintage coloring but with vibrate colors.
What keeps them going: The achieve and surpass the level of standard by the Kio Yamato group.

Questions in the Forums

For those of you who dont know, on StyleForum I have a thread where you can ask me questions and I will post answers (if I can answer them). Keep in mind that I'm not a Eyewear Guru. I try to help where I can and if I can't, hopefully someone else will know the answers.

If you want, you can also email me at

Great Bang for YOUR buck!

I get asked a lot of what I consider to be reasonably prices eyewear that has good quality for its price. IMO, as of this moment, bang for the buck there are several brands that I like. This is not to say that there are best brands out there. These are from brands that I know well and that I have had experience with.

<$150 range
Glasses+ Sunglasses: believe it or not, Paul Frank. Hand made in China but good quality for the price OR Hackett of London, good quality and good style.

Glasses: O&X, ProDesign
Sunglasses: Maui Jim

Glasses: Iyoko Ineyake, well painted and good design as well as good use of Wood at a reasonable price. OR Kio Yamato, very good quality and technical pieces
Sunglasses: Salt, polarized prism free lens

$500 +
Don't spend your money: buy 2 of something else

I'm sure there are TONS of other ones that I dont know, but these are the lines that I support and that I think are great bang for the buck.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Uncomfortable Glasses

Originally Posted by Teger

For some reason these glasses, which have the same prescription as my others, kind of give me a headache/seem different. is this something i need to get used to, or should I go back and have em looked at?

Headache could be from MANY things...

1. Prescription: They could be made wrong or slightly off, in which case can make you feel uncomfortable.

2. Angle at which the glasses sit: Your previous glasses could have been sitting correctly or may have been bent out of shape. In any case, they are sitting at a different angle from your previous glasses.

3. Your glasses are large: The focal point on your glasses might be slightly off. Usually they are made in the middle, but in your case, they would have to be slightly higher than the middle. When the focal points are out of place your eyes are basically looking out of a prism causing your eyes to strain.

4. Material of the lenses: Some people prefer certain plastics because their eyes become accustom to them. Some people find that thicker lenses are more comfortable, which is probably true because your vision out of thicker lenses will be more clear.

Replied by Teger

You turned out to be exactly right!

I went in today (had some extra time) and they angled the lenses a little more, to match my other pair, and now they are much, much better.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pastic frames sliding down the nose

I had a question on SF

I find that in the summertime my sunglasses slide a bit on my nose; is there anything I can put on the bridge to stop this? It is because of sweat/grease; they are fine in the winter time.

There may be several reasons.

1. They dont have any nose pads (only molded plastic) which will not allow them to grip.
Remedy: there are small rubber pads that you can put on them to prevent them from sliding. (think "hotel bathtub")

2. Poor fitting. They may not be tight enough
Remedy: Take them into an optical and ask them to adjust them. They may be too loose, but keep in mind that if they are too tight, they will hurt behind your ear.

3. Wayfarers in general do not fit well on many people. They have way too much pantoscopic tilt for them to be comfortable. (the angle at which it sits on your nose)
Remedy: an excuse to buy something new

4. Oil from your faces are making them slide.
Remedy: try cleaning the nose bridge occasionally to remove excess oil. You'll find that they instantly "stick".

Easiest option: 4
Best option: 2 after doing 4

LensCrafters' 30-day money back guarantee

Have you ever thought of why LensCrafters has a 30-day money back guarantee that nobody else can offer? There are several reasons.

I heard that LC claims to donate their returned glasses to their foundation of "Gift of Sight". I thought to myself, that is odd, I have never seen someone in the community get a free pair of Prada, Ray-Ban, Chanel or anything of that nature from LC. But then again, how many people actually return their glasses, right? But it struck me as odd, so I investigated further...

According to a few sales associates (1 being a family member of mine) and manager, the glasses are usually clean up and made sure that there are no visible scratchesg and gently placed back on the board to re-sell.

Why would they do this? Simple, it's a business. Some businesses just cut corners to reduce costs.

What does this mean to you? Sorry to say, but you might be getting a pair of glasses that someone has previously enjoyed (or NOT enjoyed for that matter).

Why would such a big company like that do something so unethical? It's not something that is done from a corporate level. The store managers just don't want head office to hear about returns, which translates to sales that are lost. So they cover their loss from the store by putting it back on the board. Why would a manager do that? Because they are not opticians. They are just sales managers. Don't expect much from these guys, not to say they are not good people or don't know what they are talking about. I'm sure they know more about eyewear and the industry than most health professionals.

The VP of Luxottica recently announced at a Vision Expo that their 30-day guarantee return rate is at about 2%. That's great, but probably not all that accurate seeing as how some make it back onto the board.

How do you know if it has been returned? Look at the lenses, if they do not have a logo on the lenses, like 99% of the frames out there, that means they re-cut a new plano lens into the frame. Stay away from it. Keep in mind, LC cannot order in a new frame. They only sell what they have on their board.

Happy Shopping!!!

Ray-Ban Fraud

I have a trade magazine in front of me.

and I quote
"A man in France has been sentenced to eight months in prison by Brittonic court for selling fake Ray-Ban sunglasses on the internet. The culprit has also been ordered to pay Luxottica (Company who makes Ray-Bans) more than 90,000 euros in damages and interest, as well as 43,200 euros in customs fines."

Buy on the internet, but be aware of what you are buying....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So you reckon you got a good deal at Costco?

Hi CityC,

I have been following your blog for a while now and I have some news to tell you. You talk about all these small stores and not going to LensCrafters and stuff. Well, I hate to tell you but youre wrong about the big box stores being more expensive! I went to Costco Optical today and found Tommy Hilfiger glasses for much cheaper than the small store down the street. It was roughly half the price. I guess they just have better prices because they buy more volume.

A. Fernandez

Hi A,
I know what you mean, you found a good deal.
You found yourself a deal, but is it really? You found a pair of Tommy Hilfigers at Costco for a good price but was it the best price?

A few facts about Costco Optical... (and this goes for most stores like Walmart Optical, Sam's Club and such)
1. They sell strictly discontinued models that distributors are trying to unload
2. They do have buying power because they buy in bulk, so they do have good prices
3. Their lenses are ridiculously overpriced for terrible lenses
4. They have a HUGE amount of overhead, as opposed to a small store
5. They RARELY do their own lab work, which means you have to wait a week for your glasses
6. Lack of a lab means that they have to pay someone else to do their lab work.
7. They do not have their own lenses, they use other labs for their lenses, so they dont have the same buying power in that aspect.

So, yes, you found a good deal on your Tommy Hilfiger glasses
BUT they are probably discontinued. This translates into no warranty and no after service for parts. Also, they are older styles. So if you break them, they are basically finished. Also, you probably paid double what you would have paid at another store. So buying there is a win and lose situation.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Polycarbonate is soooooo GOOD! or is it?

Polycarbonate is known to be a great material in the eyewear industry. Some companies use it to make lenses and even eyewear. But why do companies and store use Poly? Lets take a look at the pros and cons.....

-Bullet-proof: Well, that's what chain stores claim, but it's at a few inches thick that it is bullet-proof

-Scratches easily: Great for stores, because they have a repeat customer whether you like it or not.
-Poor vision: The material itself does not support great vision like other materials. It is basically the worst visually.

Why do all chain stores sell them?
-Liability: The lenses rarely break
-Scratches = repeat: they would love to see you back

In conclusion, the newer polycarbonate lenses are better than previous technology polycarbonate but still not as good as high index. BUT if you're looking for lenses for when you are out playing beach volleyball, you found a good product. If you are looking for something more than that, look into other materials. Don't let the chain store's advertising fool you into buying an inferior product. Be educated!

Colors, as of now!

A lot of people contemplate which colors are hot for the season and look around them for advice.

In my opinion, this season for sunglasses look into...


The mattes are looking good. Not a lot of companies are making the matte colored plastics yet, but give it a few months before everyone starts jumping on the band wagon.

They look great. They are not as flashy which gives it a subtle color and they keep it clean.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Established: 1985
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Founders: Optometrist Poul-Jorn LINDBERG and son Henrik LINDBERG, architect MAA.
Training: Industrial design and architecture, as well as 10 yrs in the eywear industry
Philosophy: Function and fashion. Looks nice, light weight, flexible, adjustability handmade craftsmanship, innovative design and materials.
Inspirations: Always seek global inspiration
What sets them apart: All designers at LINDBERG are design school graduates. Everything is designed in-house and surprisingly enough keep production in-house also.
What keeps them going: Beauty lies in the details. Be original and innovative

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who manufactures what?

There are several ways that companies and factories will manufacture frames. Let me take you through a few of the processes.

1. "Factory X" will see trends and start manufacturing models. Company B will buy the frames and stamp their names on it. Company C will stamp their name on it and sell it too.

2. Company ABC will buy the rights to a name like Prada. They will then have their "Company A designers" to design it and manufacture at "Factory Z". They will then distribute it and sell it. In this case, Prada actually has NONE of their own designers on the project. They may have a head designer that will give them the okay to produce it to their likings, but they will not deign it.

3. "Factory Z" will have models that they commonly make for companies like Company ABC. They will just sell the frames with a new name and there we have a "generic" frame with Prada styling. OR they will have left overs from a run that Company ABC made or their defects and then sell them to other companies. Voila the fake!

4. Then we have high end like "Designer 123". Designer 123 will design a nice model. He will then find a factory that has the machines and equipment to make it to his standards. He will then have sample made and see if they can create to his standards. If they are still to his standards, he will start production. Usually he will continue to maintain his standard by overviewing all the production.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anglo American Eyewear Profile

Established: 1882 (one of the oldest frame manufacturers)
Location: London, England
Materials used: Italian Zyl
Philosophy: Create the highest quality Zyl eyewear in the industry
What sets them apart: An old company that prides themselves on their history and craftmanship. All frames start hand made and re-inspected to ensure that the feeling and finish is not lost in the manufacturing process. They are made from Cellulose Acetate which is cotton based to ensure that it is hypo-allergenic.

Profile: Dita Eyewear

Location: L.A., California, USA
Founders: John Juniper and Jeff Solorio
Training: Grade school friends who have a passion for photography and design.
Philosophy: Create eyewear that will stand the test of time
Inspirations: Designers of the past and legends who carry themselves with their eyewear.
What sets them apart: An independent company who designs inhouse while working directly with manufacturers. No middlemen allow them to react faster to the market and keep better communication with their manufacturers and clientel.
What keeps them going: The clientel who appreciate quality products and craftsmanship.

Profile: Oliver People

Location: L.A., California, USA
Founders: Larry Leight
Training: Degree in Ophthalmology
Philosophy: Design stylish and very high end quality eyewear. To make frames that not only help you see well but also highlight the wearer with glamour.
Inspirations: The 50s and 60s were a time of glamour which is always shown in the collection. Also living in L.A. helps him keep his focus.
What keeps him going: The ocean and the beach of L.A.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Who is an Optician, Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Obstetrician?

People often confuse an Optician, Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Obstetrician. Let's break it down...

Fits and inserts lenses into eyewear. Also does contact lenses.

Does eye exams. Not an M.D.

A M.D. who specializes in eyes. They do surgeries like Lasik and Cataract surgeries. They will also do eye exams.

Delivers babies

Now you know!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Looks that will last

A lot of people are scared of getting new eyewear in fear that they will be "last season" by the time they are comfortable in them. When times are tough (like now) sometimes it's better to pick a pair that will last you a longer time. So how do you pick a pair that will last?

Pick neutral colours such as black, brown and tortoise. Colors like yellow, red, metallics, violet goes in and out of style by the season. Keep it simple

Pick a material that is simple in style. If it's plastic, try something with a simple shape without detailing that will be able to date it. If it's metal, try something relatively simple without huge amounts of detail, which brings us to the next point...

An example would be"bling", although it seemed nice at the time, at some point you will have hoped that you passed on them.

In short, if you want eyewear that will last, pick something that cannot be dated easily. Anything funky or "stylish" will be easy to date.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Christian Lacroix

The French Christian Lacroix is best known for this haute coutoure. Lacroix started producing his own line of ready to wear clothing in 1987. At a young age he was inspired to draw costumes and design fashion. Take a look at what he has produced in the earlier days of his personal line....

Monday, May 4, 2009


Cazal has been in the eyewear industry since 1975. They have been Made with quality in mind. Known as a company that specializes in unique designs, they have received global recognition.

Click on the pics below to see them super-sized. These are vintage frames.

See what Cazal is all about at

Friday, May 1, 2009

How to Measure Frames

To CityConnection,

I just read your post about how to read the frames, but I can't really understand how to read the sizes. Am I supposed to just eyeball the dimensions by looking at the pictures of the frames? I want to know that they are rectangular as opposed to square-ish. How can I ask for more measurements?

Jon C.

I know what you mean. Let me explain the dimensions that we usually measure in the industry.

A= Horizontal length of lens
B=Vertical length of lens
ED (Effective diameter)= The longest radius from the center of the lens to the furthest point of the lens, and then multiplied by 2.
DBL= Bridge width

There are sometimes slight variations depending on whether or not you you include the inside of the frame to the measurement. But in general this is how we (and now, you) measure eyeglass frames.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Made in China

This seems to throw people off. If we play a game of word association, when we hear the words "Made in China" we generally think "cheap, knock-off, cut corners, poor quality, mass produced..." and the list goes on. We have been accustomed to think that if it is manufactured in China that we don't want to buy it.

What if I told you some pieces from Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Gucci and may others were made in China. Natural instinct will say "they are ripping us off".

But like anything else, it doesn't matter where is it made. The quality will be reflected on "QUALITY CONTROL". The larger manufactures maintain a certain level of quality control by bringing in their own personnel to oversee the operation. It is not that the local are not capable of managing the level of quality, but it is just so that companies can implement their own measures to control quality.

What this all means: you can have 2 factories, back to back, using the same materials, machines and local people but produce different products. One factory will produce products for Company ABC while the other produces for Company XYZ. Company ABC wants aviators finished and out the door for $2 regardless of anything else and Company XYZ wants them made at $50 while implementing their own policies and quality control in the factory. Their quality will reflect in that.

So, if its made in Italy, it must be well made. MYTH! Same goes for Italy, Denmark and everywhere else. It's about quality control and not the country.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Read the Model, Color and Size

If you have ever looked on the inside of your frame, you will see that there are a bunch of number and letters all mixed together. Although they are all mix-matched, look carefully to decipher the "code".

You will find several important pieces of information
Brand: It will simply be the name outright, or a logo
Size: It will be a number (usually between 47-60) followed by a dash or box and then another number (between 13-22). The first number is the size of the lenses width and the second number is the bridge size
Color: It will either written as a code or the letter "c" followed by a number. Ex. "C.001" or "C.867" or sometimes it is a code like "1AB-0V0" (like Prada)
Model: It is usually a number OR letters followed by numbers. Ex. "1845" OR "LA304" (Lacoste)
Temple: It will be between 130 and 150. 140 is average.
Country of Origin: This one is sticky. It will sometimes say "Made in Italy" or "Frame Italy". Due to the technical aspects of this. It will be in another post of it's own.


Mont Blanc
Model: MB 80S
Color: J06
Size: 58
Bridge: 17
Temple: 140

Hope this helps you!

How to Find the Perfect Size

Dear City Connection,

I just saw a pair of sunglasses online and I think we were meant to be, it was screaming my name. The only problem is that I don't know if they will fit well. Are there any ways of making sure they will fit well and the size will be right? The last thing I want is to spend money and find out that I look like a doofus. Please help me.

Please help me,

So you saw a pair of sunglasses online and you absolutely love them. Only problem, you don't know if they will fit.

The best thing to do if you are buying online and haven't tried them on...

Get a good fitting pair of sunglasses or glasses. See how the size works for you, then look at the measurements on the frame. It will say a number then a box then a number Or a dash in between (52 'box' 15 OR 52-15). The first number is the size of the lens (horizontally) and the second number is the size of the bridge (connection between the lenses that go over your nose). Try to find something similar to what you have now.

It is a 75% fool-proof way to buy online. Why 75% and not 100%, you ask? Well, there are variables like wrap of the frame, thickness of frame or bridge, length of temple, fitting of bridge, bridge skew and so on. But take them in to a reputable store, tell them you bought them online and ask if they can fit it to your face (adjustment). Thank him/her for her expertise, throw the guy/gal $5-10, he/she will be as happy as you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anti Reflection Coating

Most people are generally misinformed about "options" for your lenses. Of those "options" is anti reflection coating, some times also called anti-glare or non-glare.

What is it?
Anti-reflection coating is a coating put on the lenses to reduce the amount of glare by makitng the amount of light coming through the lens more effective. It will also reduce the amount of glare when people are looking at you. Have you seen on TV when you can't see a persons eyes when they are wearing glasses? That is because they don't have the anti reflection coating.

Do I need it?
Yes, it is great for overall aesthetics and vision. They reduce glare, making them very good for night time driving and computer use.

Now you know...Anti reflection coating is for you! If your eyecare practitioner doesn't mention it. Ask them about it. Be an educated consumer.

(on the Left: WITHOUT anti-reflection; on the right: WITH anti-reflection)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ask Men's 2009 Eyewear List

Look at's predictions of this years trendiest eyewear. I can agree with some but not with others. I dont think Aviators will be as big this year. It will be more of a geek-chic/ conservative look. But in any case, take a look at what they have to say...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vintage: Quality or Price?

There are many things to consider when buying Vintage style eyewear.

-What material is it made of? Acetate, Optyl, Titanium, Stainless Steel...
-Where are they made?
-What kind of hinges and nose pads are used?
-How is the quality of the solder?

-Price varies quite a bit from place to place and online store to online store
-Best way to check current pricing is to check ebay, most of the online stores have current value pricing

Original or Reproduction

-Most people don't care whether eyewear is a real vintage piece or if it is a reproduction. But if you are looking for a true vintage style, I would suggest to find a real vintage piece. Most reproductions are made with inferior quality in order to cut costs.
-Re-production's are vintage-inspired, they are of similar style, but a true vintage will have many detailed parts such as hinges and solders that cannot be reproduced now-a-days within a reasonable production cost.

Vintage style, in or out?

Vintage is in! Whether you're into mainstream, budget or high-end brands, you know as well as everyone else that the vintage style is in.

What is vintage-inspired?
Styles from the 40s to the 80s. A retro style that is large, thick and at times over the top. They make a statement when worn. Most people associate the Ray-Ban Wayfarer as a classic vintage style. Thick, large, and loud colors.

Brick and Mortar Store vs. Online Stores

A lot people contemplate whether they should buy glasses in a brick and mortar store OR online.
There are pros and cons to both, let me take you through a few...

-Inexpensive: most online shops are not a large operation, hence reducing their overhead
-Convenience: Shop from the comfort of your own home
-Style: you cannot see if you like the style on you or not
-Adjustments: are your glasses lopsided? crooked?
-Warranty: what are their policies on manufacturer defect?

-Professional Advice: They know what works well for your RX and what looks good on you
-Precision: They will take measurements to make sure your glasses will be comfortable and in focus.
-Comfort: All
opticals will have someone who will be able to adjust your glasses to make them sit well
-Warranty: Any reputable store will be able to provide you with a warranty
-Try it on: Try them on and compare them with other frames. See what they look like back to back
-Cost: it may cost more than online but it is because they have skilled professionals on site
-Selection: A single store might not carry all the lines you want to see

Everyone has the choice to pick how they want to shop. Both have their pros and cons, it's your choice to pick what's most important to you.

Kristin Davis in Salt Optics

Kristin Davis from the 2008 movie Sex and the City wearing a pair of Salt Nikki sunglasses. Handmade from Acetate (plastic) with Prism Free Vision Lens Technology, which translates to sharper vision.