BUSINESS Collaborating With Elton John on a New Eyewear Collection By Staff Thursday, November 4, 2021 12:18 AM Rocket Entertainment CEO David Furnish (l) with Elton John and Sam's Club's Gretchen Oldt. BENTONVILLE, Ark.—The team at Sam's Club illuminated more this week about the work that took place on their new collaboration with legendary entertainer Elton John, an iconic eyeglass wearer, in a multi-faceted collection which is now being sold at both Sam's Club optical departments and soon at all Walmart Vision Centers, more than 3,400 Walmart and Sam’s Club Vision Centers in the U.S., as VMAIL reported on Tuesday. Sam's Club released further insights from about the process of developing several collections with the musician and what it was like to be inside some of the discussion and ideation that took place for the broad-scale initiative.The company said, "He's a world renowned icon, and he’s now at Sam’s Club. Elton John, one of the world’s most celebrated musicians whose music and personal style have made him a global superstar, has launched his first eyewear collection with Sam’s Club."The Sam's Club statement added, "Gretchen Oldt, a senior merchant at Sam’s Club, had the unique opportunity to work closely with Elton to help bring the branded eyewear to life in a way that’s not only impressive from a quality and design perspective, but also tells his incredible story.""Elton John loves the Sam’s Club eyewear collection," Oldt said. "He said we captured the essence of him and it’s exactly what he wants his fans to be wearing. We are proud of how he loves what we are bringing to our members, and he feels really connected to it."Sam’s Club is offering three distinct collections that celebrate his confidence and self-expression. The Frame Foundations Collection features an exclusive, evergreen assortment of core prescription and sun frames. The Capsule Collection, designed for collectability, showcases Elton’s musical journey. The Master Collection features luxury frames representing some of the musician’s most iconic looks. This signed and numbered collection will be released in limited quantities.The initiative furthers Walmart’s support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation's mission. For the eyewear project, Walmart Inc. will donate a minimum of $1 million annually from the Elton John Eyewear collection to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV education and awareness.As the collections were being created, Oldt said it was important to make sure they were authentic and there was a frame for every fan. "There are not a lot of ways to do circles, rectangles, and squares on your face, but there are a lot of ways to use materials, elements and contours to make sure the brand feels like accessible luxury," she said. "Elton John wanted to make sure the frames were accessible to all of his fans."Something that makes the eyewear so special is that every frame was named by Elton John himself."When they gave me the brand brief, they gave me hundreds of names that could be used to name the frames," Oldt said. "I told Elton John, and David Furnish, Rocket Entertainment Group CEO and Elton’s manager, that I would be happy to put names to the frames. Instead, they named every frame, every color, and every lens color. I can’t believe they truly named every frame, that wasn’t me. But, that kind of creative collaboration is why I think this will be so successful."Oldt reflects on the months of work that went into bringing the collection to life. And there are many memories she will never forget. "I will not forget the style out we had with Elton John in London," she said. "I got to go into his closet, and I think he has every frame he’s ever worn."Oldt, a lover of product, said she has had her dream role in this one project. "It’s a pinnacle in my career, for sure," she said. "What Sam’s Club has offered me is the entrepreneurial spirit to run after this and run fast. I never felt I had guardrails. I felt like it was my job to bring the best thing forward for Sam’s Club and for the organization. I am so excited to see how the members respond to the eyewear. It will be very telling if the Elton John music lover is also emotionally influenced in the way we brought this to life for them."Stated Elton John, "The line is designed to have something for everyone, so that no matter who you are, you can always look yourself. It’s not just about glasses, it’s about helping people live their true, authentic self."