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....