Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vision Expo 2011

Went to Vision Expo in Las Vegas last week, one of the two largest optical industry conventions in the U.S. (the other is Vision Expo East in New York). It’s always fun to check out the new products and collections debuted at the show, and this is the third year I’ve gone.

Interesting this year was Legre’s wood imagelook collection. I’ve seen artificial wood finish frames before, we even have some cool one’s from OGI in the shop. The Legre frames take it to the next level with artificial grain motif and heightened wooden feel. It’s hard to tell they are not wood, and you might even think you could get a splinter!


Despite the natural wood looks, the frames are the same cellulose acetate as other good quality plastics, but laser-etched to give them the wooden finish. This is a good thing because wood, like any natural material, is flawed and finicky and presents more problems than solutions. Theses frame give all the style and appearance of natural wood, but maintain the lightness, durability, and adjustability of any other nice quality plastic frame. I added the collection to our shop, and Legre has promised more styles to come with the wood look.



Speaking of finicky natural materials, also cool is Tom Davies’ horn collection. These frames look a feel similar to well-made plastics, but are crafted from single multi-layered pieces of Asian buffalo horn. It’s an ultra-luxury niche in eyewear craftsmanship, and very difficult. Not only difficult to make, but difficult to maintain as horn is prone to deteriorated finish, drying, and warping due to it simply being real natural material and not synthetically perfected for eyewear. Of course, being Tom Davies' all frames are made to measure one at a time to each customer’s individual measurements, and built out of a single unique plate of horn the customer selects in the shop (plates are at the top left of the image).

This is something I would like to explore more in the future, but not something we will add to the shop anytime soon. Tom Davies couture custom design in acetate and titanium is already enough to keep us busy for a while.


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