NEW YORK—The See & Be Seen Frame Benefit will kick off on Saturday, June 18 and will remain active until June 25 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The benefit, presented by Tarrence Lackran (@TheOpticalPoet on Instagram), features frames with special significance designed by leading independent designers to support The Vision Council's Opening Your Eyes Scholarship (OYES). OYES provides full scholarships and paid internships to high school seniors from underrepresented communities who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry.

Frames of special significance to be auctioned include those that are one-of-a-kind and never released; high demand but discontinued; runway pieces; or part of a moment in eyewear history. All proceeds will be donated to OYES.
“I chose the theme See & Be Seen because it illustrates the need for more representation of people of color in our industry,” said Lackran who is VP, Community Relations – Diversity & Inclusion at Luxury Optical Holdings. “People of all backgrounds should be able to peer into our industry and see themselves represented in ECPs, executives, marketing and products.
"I look forward to engaging these designers and hearing about why the frame they donated is of special significance and why they are willing to part with it for this important cause. Any of the winning bidders on these frames will receive a piece of eyewear history that they can be proud of,” Lackran said.
Bidding will begin on June 18 at 3:00 p.m. EDT by visiting The bidding will kick off via Instagram LIVE through Lackran’s account @TheOpticalPoet at 3:00 p.m. EDT, where he will be joined by various participating designers who will explain the significance of the pieces they are donating. The kickoff date of June 18 was chosen because it’s the day before Juneteenth, a long-recognized day that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the U.S.
Participating companies submitting products to the benefit include: Akoni (Balmain), Anne et Valentin, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Barton Perreira, Blake Kuwahara, Cazal, Christian Roth for Optical Affairs, Etnia Barcelona, Jacques Marie Mage, Kerring (Cartier), l.a.Eyeworks, Lapima, Matsuda, Maybach, Morgenthal Frederics , Nico Roseillier for STATE Optical co., Rigards, Robert Marc NYC,  Selima Optique, Theo, Thierry Lasry, and Vintage Frames.
“OYES is very close to our hearts,” said Christian Roth, co-founder of Christian Roth and Optical Affairs. “We have always been perturbed about these rampant and shameful inequalities, and are thankful to be invited to take part since the beginning. In the midst of the pandemic, Tarrence Lackran took the incredible task to spearhead this initiative. At this year’s benefit, even more independent eyewear designers will donate to help support education of future opticians. Bravo Tarrence! And proud of our industry.”
A program of the Better Vision Institute, the related educational foundation of The Vision Council, the scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to minority high school seniors throughout the U.S. who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry.  The program launched in 2021 and the first round of recipients was selected in July 2021. 
Following the scholarship’s launch in 2021, The Vision Council announced in 2022 that it is expanding the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund from its three launch schools—Georgia Piedmont Technical College, New York City Technical College, and Middlesex Community College—to additional institutions within the National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS). 
In an effort to reach more potential applicants in more communities across the U.S., as of May 2022, additional partner schools include Durham Technical Community College, Durham, N.C. and Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, Fla.  For more information on the program, participating schools and institutions, and key eyewear industry supporters, click here.