Inspirations

Independents Feel the Love Ahead of Valentine’s Day

By Staff
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:45 PM NEW YORK—Taken, single, or somewhere in between, there’s plenty of love to go around this time of year. Although it can be easy to feel cynical—or to not want to play into the consumerism and wastefulness surrounding a holiday like Valentine’s Day—there’s also no question that we all need the little boost of brightness, love, and sugar-induced happiness, that Feburary 14 brings. When it comes down to it, celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean an expensive dinner at a stuffy, crowded restaurant. It can also mean spending time with your friends and family, or taking your dog out for an extra-long walk, or—as many independents are doing—getting in the spirit by decking out the office in more hearts than Kim Kardashian’s Instagram notifications. 

Independents Celebrate the Chinese New Year on Instagram

By Staff
Thursday, January 30, 2020 10:42 AM NEW YORK—Saturday, January 25, 2020 marked the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar, which also marks the beginning of a Lunar New Year. This time, we’re celebrating the Year of the Rat. According to chinesenewyear.net, the rat is the first of the zodiac animals, and can represent the beginning of a day, wealth and surplus. 

Going Bold at opti 2020

By Staff
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:02 AM MUNICH, Germany—The first trade show of the year, opti is always a fantastic place to get a feel for what might be trending in eyewear over the course of the next 12 months, and this year’s show was no exception. Packed with 28,000 visitors and 605 exhibitors, opti 2020 offered a landscape of trends, from new and exciting eyewear shapes to celebrity-inspired designs. While the trend forecast for 2020 is as expansive and varied as always, one particular trend seemed to stand out across the board: color. 

Taking Inspiration from Pantone’s Color of the Year

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 9:22 AM NEW YORK—Earlier this month, The Pantone Color Institute announced their 2020 color of the year: Classic Blue. Pantone describes the color as “a timeless and enduring blue hue elegant in its simplicity.” According to Pantone, it makes the perfect choice for 2020’s Color of the Year because, “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for stability.”

Independents Give Back on #GivingTuesday

By Staff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 1:13 PM NEW YORK—Last week, Giving Tuesday gave people all around the world the opportunity to give back and help others with donations of time, money, food, or anything else. Many large companies and non-profits in the eyecare and eyewear industries get involved with Giving Tuesday through large-scale fundraisers, volunteering efforts, or charitable initiatives to donate proceeds and products to those in need.

Independents Get Inspired—and Educational—With the Thanksgiving Spirit

By Staff
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:00 AM NEW YORK—By this time tomorrow, many of us will be camped out on a couch, stuffed to the brim with turkey and mashed potatoes, dreaming about pumpkin pie. But right now, people across the country are gearing up for Thanksgiving—and that includes ECPs, who are using Thanksgiving as inspiration for in-office decorations, special events and even educational moments. As you—hopefully—settle down for a long weekend and a whole lot of food, let’s take a little scroll through how the optical community is celebrating Thanksgiving this year. After all, is there any better way to get in the spirit?

Indie Brand Looks at Bugs for Inspiration

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:54 PM NEW YORK—Inspiration for frame design can strike from anywhere. We’re no strangers to terms like “vintage inspired,” or “travel inspired,” or “music inspired,” in this industry—but what about “bug inspired?” For independent brand Vuliwear, beauty is in the eye of the bug-holder. Vuliwear founder Dionne Ellison says she was struck by a magnified photo of a bug’s eyes, and began to design eyewear inspired by the colors and patterns of insects’ compound eyes. Working with Essilor Sun Solution, Ellison’s initial launch features six sun styles: BLKnBLU, Deuces, Zag, Flatliner, Pearl and Siren. Three featured styles, BLKnBLU, Deuces and Zag are lightweight unisex metal aviator styles inspired by the Blue Damselfly, Striped Horsefly and African Twig Mantis respectively.

Independents Get Involved for Breast Cancer Awareness

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 4:24 PM Depending on how you define it, “making a difference” can feel a little daunting. Most of us don’t have the net worth, or networks, to change the world—but that doesn’t mean we can’t change the small world around us. This past month, independents across the country have done their bit to help bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Through special sales, donations, charity events, parties, special edition T-shirts, and more, independent practices have proven the age-old adage that every little bit counts. As October comes to a close, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month--but that doesn’t mean we should write it off. This week, we’re taking a look at just a few of the ways independents have done their part this October; go ahead and take some inspiration from these ideas—it doesn’t have to wait until next year.

Independents Get Spooky for Halloween

By Staff
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:59 AM NEW YORK—With Halloween on the horizon, there’s no shortage of inspiring ideas for a little office spruce up. Last weekend, we took a look at some of the ways ECPs are getting excited for Halloween on social media, and independents are no exception. In fact, being independent might just mean a little more freedom to have some spooky, creepy fun in the office this October. When it comes to dressing up and decorating the office for Halloween, it’s pretty easy for ECPs to stay on brand. Eyeballs are a staple of Halloween décor, and some of the best Halloween costumes don’t just lend themselves to wearing glasses—they demand it. Imagine trying to dress up as Harry Potter, or Velma from Scooby Doo without the perfect pair? It just wouldn’t work. 

Pantone’s Colors of the Season May Influence 2020 Eyewear Trends

By Staff
Thursday, September 26, 2019 9:18 AM NEW YORK—Fall may have only just begun, but fashion is always looking forward. While we’re pulling out the sweaters and scarves, the fashion world is already planning for spring and summer—which means the eyewear design world is, too. And when it comes to predicting trends, there’s one authority in particular whose predictions are always eagerly anticipated: Pantone. At the end of every year, Pantone announces a Color of the Year for the coming year—2019’s is Living Coral—but they make trend predictions each season as well. Earlier this month, the company shared their color palette predictions for Spring/Summer 2020: 12 colors and four neutrals that we’ll likely be seeing everywhere next year, from clothes to frames. 

Independent Brand l.a.Eyeworks Goes International for 40th Anniversary

By Staff
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:03 PM LOS ANGELES, Calif.—This year, independent eyewear brand l.a.Eyeworks is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A staple of the independent eyewear scene for over a generation now, l.a.Eyeworks has spread far beyond its Californian roots. To celebrate 40 years, the brand is leading an international window display campaign, which kicked off on September 9. The campaign art will appear on the facades of more than 80 optical retailers in seven countries, and features a custom graphic design, printed on transparent vinyl. The graphic depicts two signboards which say “Raise Your Glasses!” and “Uncensored Visions Since 1979,” floating above the l.a.Eyeworks logo, which has been modified to add a decorative “40.” L.A.-based artists Nina Palomba designed the placard artwork, and graphic designer Mike Fink created the logo.

Autumn Colors Take Over Instagram

By Staff
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:00 AM Depending on who you are, these late days of summer either inspire you to daydream of cooler days to come, or have you clinging to what’s left of the sunny season. Either way, as of this weekend, summer is (unofficially) over. Fall weather hasn’t quite hit in most of the Northern Hemisphere yet, and we still have a month to go until the seasons officially change, but many of us are beginning to look toward shorter days, cozier evenings and chillier weather.

Optical Falls in Love With #IndieRetailerMonth

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:00 AM Back at the beginning of July, we geared up for Indie Retailer Month, a time set aside for celebrating and supporting independent retailers.  Indie Retailer Month encouraged consumers to support independent retailers from all industries, including the optical community, who embraced it with open arms. Now that August is speeding toward September, let’s take a look back at how some of the optical community celebrated this Indie Retailer Month, and maybe even take a few notes for next year. 

For Decades, Artists Have Looked to Polaroids for Inspiration

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:00 AM MONTREAL—This summer, the McCord Museum in Montreal, Quebec, is running an exhibition titled “The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology,” with Safilo's Polaroid as a corporate sponsor. The exhibition, which was organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, New York/Lausanne, in collaboration with the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the WestLicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, takes a look at the ways in which the world’s most famous artists have used Polaroid pictures in their inspiration process. 

Independents Gear Up for the Back to School Season

By Staff
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:00 AM NEW YORK—We may still be in the heat of summer, but there’s no doubt that the hustle and bustle of the back to school season is beginning to pick up pace. As parents and kids prepare to head back to the classroom, independent ECPs and brands are also preparing in their own way. For many kids, heading back to school for the year also means it’s time for their annual eye exam—and for a fun new pair of glasses to kick off the new school year. For ECPs, that means more appointments and brand new stock to celebrate the back to school season. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the ways independent brands and ECPs are already getting set up to head back to school.