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Thread: Optiboard's Re-Birth

  1. #126
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    I don't think there is enough of us ole geezers to appreciate history, and lineage anymore!

  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    I know this isn't going to earn me any brownie points, but I just saw Rayban. Their ophthalmic is pretty "wow" right now. It's new and moving forward and yet it is very strong in it's styling heritage. (It's almost like it has a heritage, which of course it barely does, but they are sorta re-inventing history, if you will.)

    I'm telling you it's going very strong.
    Agreed.

    Our office couldn't get rid of Rayban even if we wanted to spite Lux.

  3. #128
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    OK, saw Nike.

    I don't like Nike marketing at times. There's that. But I was looking for sport sunwear that could be Rx'd. This is in short supply with mainline vendors these days (and I've looked). Oakley is too burdensome for me, as is Maui. Adidas is gone. Under Armour is Under Developed. Wiley X would be good, if you don't mind a new vendor and an obscure brand.

    So they have the requisite matte black wrap frames with an attitude and mirrored lenses. Some were quite flat-fronted and some had about 15-20 degrees wrap and there were more than a couple of styles that had workable eyesizes. They also have some feminine sport stuff, which is very much appreciated. It checks this box well.

    Interestingly they have a crap-ton of stuff for the 8-12's in the kid's line, which are really kind of cheaply made but will be, I'm sure, irresistable.

    Their adult collection has plenty of stuff to bridge the tweener gap all the way through young adult, who I feel will be the target market. The frames are light, plastic, unadjustable and look to be of crappy quality but I'll hope for the best. It should be a hit.

    They have their more solid metal frames, too, quite heavy, probably too heavy, that should last forever and a year. I don't know if there's a market for the "full metal jacket"-looking frames but I got a limited few. There are a few grown-up lady sport frames that are so light and comfortable that I bought. Probably a mistake. They have jazzed-up Flexon frames that are expensive and unique and niche and I couldn't resist. They're the "Nike-est" of the collection.

    All-in-all, it's just a brand. They've got the attitude-y, sporty, plastic-y, color-y thing going. There's only a little bit of design/brand identity/integrity going on (which is what I pay attention to). Marchon's usually quite overpriced but they were dealing.

    If you want an alternative to Nike, I've seen Puma from Keurig and it's pretty much the same thing, and for a lot less. If you don't mind yet another vendor application!

  4. #129
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    And now Michael Kors.

    This target demographic is 18-40 young ladies (I believe) and it delivers unique styling and a strong brand, and yet it's priced "below market value". I think it's a very nice line to add some fun and style without a big investment on anyone's part. It's not a classic line in the slightest but a really nice trendy, trendy, trendy line right now.

    The college girls are going to like this one.

  5. #130
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    Any suggestions for men's frames? I am looking for a average price to higher end classic men's frame line. (considering nautica?) I am looking to replace a couple of lines where I have had no rep or service since Covid shut down. We have sold those down but now have a few left.

    Not Luxottica please.
    Last edited by mervinek; 11-12-2021 at 11:27 AM. Reason: forgot the Luxottica bit

  6. #131
    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mervinek View Post
    Any suggestions for men's frames? I am looking for a average price to higher end classic men's frame line. (considering nautica?) I am looking to replace a couple of lines where I have had no rep or service since Covid shut down. We have sold those down but now have a few left.

    Not Luxottica please.
    New York has an Esquire line that is very modestly priced but pretty good quality. Our New York rep suggested we try them and they have done well for us. We mostly carry Kasperek's Camelot and Pure T for our mostly senior patient base, so the Esquire offers a nice option for younger men that want something more contemporary. I've even been able to get some of my older gents to ditch the Jeffrey Dahmer-esque aviators/navigators for a more up to date Esquire style. Most of them are PAL friendly too.

    Also, WestGroupe's Evatik line has some really nice Men's frames. One of my favorites is E9215 - it's a stainless steel frame with matte black finish that fades to gold (like an ombre effect) at the bottom of the eyewire. The Evatik line would be probably mid range pricing, and it's not Lux!
    Last edited by KrystleClear; 11-18-2021 at 11:12 AM. Reason: typos - dang it!
    Krystle

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    I've even been able to get some of my older gents to ditch the Jeffrey Dahmer-esque aviators/navigators for a more up to date Esquire style.
    OMG! HA! I almost spit out my coffee! As far as Westgroup, We already carry the Evatik line and it is great! That's the price range we are looking at.

  8. #133
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Here to pimp.

    Try Dolabany's Sardi, in a dozen colors.

    You won't be sorry.

  9. #134
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    Alright we are thinking about shaking things up. Due to a misunderstanding we received a 6 foot tall kate spade display. So we are pulling them from our normal wall display which is going to leave a row open. We are also getting a new europa rep since ours retired so we are pulling a row from them since the frames aren't moving and are getting to be a bit too expensive for what they are. I know we aren't supposed to feed the beast but we are thinking about bringing in coach and michael kors. Does anyone have any opinions of these brands?

  10. #135
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Coach is pretty blah. I mean, it sells slowly, but it's pretty staid. It's conservative. It's pretty duplicative of Kate Spade, IMHO. Sunwear sells well.
    MK is eye candy, and it's pretty cheap stuff. It's fun and crazy. Sunwear are good.

  11. #136
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Saw Flexon today.

    Their reps are now VSP employees vs. independent reps, FWIW.

    As to the Flexon line: It stays in its lane.

    Obviously too expensive.

    Now they have a halfway decent memory metal plastic frame sub-collection. But that makes my head explode. For higher-end plastic, it's probably pretty good. I have Silhouette higher-end plastic, but it doesn't fly off the board.

  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Saw Flexon today.

    Their reps are now VSP employees vs. independent reps, FWIW.

    As to the Flexon line: It stays in its lane.

    Obviously too expensive.

    Now they have a halfway decent memory metal plastic frame sub-collection. But that makes my head explode. For higher-end plastic, it's probably pretty good. I have Silhouette higher-end plastic, but it doesn't fly off the board.
    We have been using titanflex from tura which is much less expensive and of a similar quality. They know what they are. Most of their frames come in three colors. Gun, Dark Gun, and Brown. As for the silhouette plastics we have found success people who are already in Silhouette for the comfort but want to be able to change up the look. They are also already used to paying silhouette prices which is nice.

  13. #138
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Well, at the risk of being repetitive I saw the updated Liz Claibourne today. Gotta say it's one of my favorite lines. It's deliciously mainstream. It ain't a bargain, but nothing is right now.

    Also saw Under Armour. Still needs a lot of work. A lot. It's extremely slow out of the gate to match the correct product with the killer branding. Tsk, tsk.

  14. #139
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Saw Prodesign today. They are kind of holding in place and riffing off of current style concepts. Always good. Lots of plastic. Can't seem to make it work for the dudes but the ladies like them. Nifties, if you haven't seen it, is a nice petite niche for male and female and trans, too. Ha.

  15. #140
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    Saw Missoni from Safilo today. It's unique (enough) and very trendy and not cheap. I liked it. It, of course, depends entirely on color and pattern which is pretty on-trend right now. It's certainly a "buy three colors" kind of line. We'll see how patients react to the collection.

  16. #141
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    Saw Tommy Hilfiger from Safilo, today.

    Yeah, it's an "off brand" type of collection (and Tommy Hilfiger? Is he not dead?)

    But we use it for "preppy females" (and there's "preppy boys" but that's easy to find anywhere), and it's been rather successful, surprisingly.

    So...now their designers are morphing it a little...less preppy. They have some (limited) interesting new styles.

    VERDICT: It's worth a look.
    Last edited by drk; 04-12-2022 at 01:25 PM.

  17. #142
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    And we also saw Chesterfield. I know it's weird, but that's a hot line. (Lady opticians, do you ever think you could find a guy with a big noggin' "hot"?) Because these big melon frames are really well-designed. No need to sacrifice style with Chesterfield XL.

    VERDICT: Killer line.

  18. #143
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    And the troika from today's rep: the horribly-named (along with Chesterfield Cigarette Frames) ADENSCO. (Who's Aden? And so what about his/her company?)

    This is positioned as a price line (all the wholesale prices are the same: $xx.xx). The styling is just right, though...it's anywhere from ultra-conservative through a little trendy-ish. And the quality is good for the cost.

    It's hard to position...it's really not cheap enough to be a true price line, but it's a pretty solid middle ground, for men (who are typically not picky). For the ladies, I find it difficult to find decent quality/style lower-cost frames (impossible, really, from mainline vendors) and Adensco delivers.

    If you are a "minimize the vendors/maximize the diversity/maximize the wholesaler's service" operation like ours...

    ...VERDICT: too useful to ignore.
    Last edited by drk; 05-03-2022 at 10:50 AM.

  19. #144
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    And we also saw Chesterfield. I know it's weird, but that's a hot line. (Lady opticians, do you ever think you could find a guy with a big noggin' "hot"?) Because these big melon frames are really well-designed. No need to sacrifice style with Chesterfield XL.

    VERDICT: Killer line.
    Chesterfield is low-key one of Safilo's best lines.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  20. #145
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    Chesterfield is low-key one of Safilo's best lines.
    It is a good line, but the A/B ratio sucks for anything requiring 6BC or higher.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  21. #146
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    They've gotten with the times, lensman!

  22. #147
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Hey, all. What do you think about Tura in this day and age? I think they have great quality, and are rather expensive. But what, if any, collections are "hot" for the ladies? (Men don't care.)

  23. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Hey, all. What do you think about Tura in this day and age? I think they have great quality, and are rather expensive. But what, if any, collections are "hot" for the ladies? (Men don't care.)
    Lulu Guiness has some fun stuff, and I use it as an option for my "Ladies with Large Noggins" fits. Brendel is a line that I love the stylings of, and we do ok with it, but might be a slight mismatch on our demographics for it. Humphrey's is awesome and I love it, fun colors, has some petite options available, but for whatever reason, it sits and sits for us, frustrating me to no end.

  24. #149
    OptiWizard
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    We do a fair bit of tura in the womens. We cary 3 rows which is 45 frames. We mix and match brands and that works well for us. So we buy what we like from each of them but ted baker does especially good for us.

  25. #150
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    So, had one of the employed Luxottica Reps in today. She's really cool. Very likable. Sometimes it's easy to forget that, while a company may be "bad", the people who work for it may be very "good".

    So I saw:
    1. Polo
    2. Ralph
    3. Ralph Lauren

    In reverse order:
    3. Ralph Lauren is now both genders and is going for the "higher end" of the middle. Frames are vaguely reminiscent of when Calvin Klein/Polo/Gucci ruled the roost in the mid-90's. It is going for the "classic" look but really it's underdeveloped. The idea makes sense, though.

    2. Ralph is getting to be very inexpensive and they have a odd angle that they're trying to take. They're trying to do what I call "eye candy" (inexpensive, throw-away, trendy-trendy-trendy) with a "Ralph" vibe...slightly more textural/color/clothes-ey (which is the "Ralph Lauren" identity) but it doesn't aim squarely at any age demographic. Young or old could wear it, and yet it doesn't seem aimed at either. It seems to be selling well in our office.

    3. Polo is the same idea...not expensive, good-to-great styling, very average quality. Just tons and tons of very Polo-oriented frames. It's the "purest" of the three lines, IMHO. You can buy almost too much of this stuff, because it's so "tight" on an idea, you can see multiple styles doing the exact same thing. But lots to choose from. It can't help but sell.


    Which brings me to my commentary on Luxottica, which I have a respect for, but not awe. They've pretty much turned their company into a pretty accessible brand factory. None of their frames are expensive. They have all the brand names that anyone could use. They don't focus on quality, just wearability. They're not selling a classic shirt or suit...just something to wear for a few seasons, and move on. They have very productive design teams that seem to know how to create a brand and its look. They are what they are. In a way, they are reminding me of online optical glasses.

    In a high end optical, there would be no Luxottica. In a low-end optical, they would well serve as "the good stuff". In a mid-level office like mine, it's serving more and more as the "category killer" that is built around...it is the base, and we go lower in just a collection or two, and higher in a collection or five.
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/categorykiller.asp

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