Getting an Eyeful at Indy


By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

I recently had the enormous privilege of attending my very first Indianapolis 500 car race on behalf of Vision Monday thanks to the wonderful folks at Viva and William Rast. (check out the story and photos on page 39 and see the full picture album at

Now, prior to this I was not a racing fan. In fact, I didn’t know a stock car from a go kart and the only reason I was familiar with the names Helio Castroneves and Danica Patrick was because of “Dancing with the Stars” and the Go Daddy! Super Bowl commercials (the commercials of course being the only reason I would watch the Super Bowl).

It was an amazing weekend. Not only were a number of preconceived notions about the types of people who attend car races shattered but I develop a wholly unexpected appreciation for the sport and was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who have truly embraced eyewear. It was everywhere!

Here in NYC you have a lot of glamour pusses wearing the latest designer “this” and hipsters wearing the newest underground “that” but in Indiana eyewear isn’t a fashion statement… or at least not just a fashion statement. It’s a necessity.

It was hot and bright and dusty and the Oakleys, WileyX, Silhouettes and Maui Jims, just to name a few, abounded. The William Rast Racing styles from Viva were the talk of the Speedway. Other drivers would come up to us at dinner and ask where they could get a pair. The Twitterverse was all atwitter with when the styles would be available to the public.

Jack Nicolson, Mark Wahlberg, Kim Kardashian, David Letterman and Ashley Judd were just some of the celebrities there and they too were all sporting some serious UV protection. As editor of VM’s weekly High Visibility and Bold Face features, you know how I love me some celebrities in eyewear.

I even ended up with enough info to do a brief roundup of some of the drivers and the eyewear they were sporting in the current High Visibility: Start Your Engines! now live on

Needless to say, I was in heaven. As a B-to-B editor, it is sometimes too easy to lose sight of the end consumer and who ultimately benefits from the information I deal in everyday. It was really an eye opening experience to be surrounded by so many people, famous and not, who have truly embraced eyewear and made protecting their vision a priority.

And yes, just in case you are wondering, I now know the difference between an IndyCar, a stock car and a go kart.