Monday, September 30, 2013

New Eyewear from Gucci by Safilo

Gucci for women: For Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Gucci presents the new eyewear collection dedicated to the seductive and unequivocally feminine woman. The collection showcases glasses with large butterfly silhouettes, embellished with pastel nuances and fine elegant details which highlight the eyes of every woman. Read more.

Gucci for men: For Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Gucci presents the new sunglasses for men with a classic flair and contemporary notes: this eyewear perfectly reflects the alluring blend of casual elegance and metropolitan spirit of the House’s ready to wear collection.
The aviator model is dedicated to the contemporary gentleman, with its sophisticated, masculine feel, highlighted by unique stylistic touches, such as a stunning interplay of gloss and matte materials, the ultra-slim metal temples and the House’s iconic, discreetly engraved logo. Read more.

Gucci Viaggio Sunglasses: For Autumn/Winter 2013- 2014 Gucci presents Gucci Viaggio sunglasses designed to meet the modern globetrotters’ desire for highly versatile items. These sunglasses, with their unique aesthetic yet functional elements, are the perfect balance between formal sophistication and casual attitude, dedicated to people who want to feel stylish and comfortable when traveling. With its unique folding design, the model perfectly combines a relaxed urban attitude with a dynamic personality. The result is an ultra-lightweight and incredibly comfortable item: the hinge joints on the front and temples conceal an exclusive mechanism that allows the sunglasses to be folded and placed in a special case. Read more.

Eco-Gucci Sunglasses: Gucci renews its commitment to environmental responsibility presenting a new version of sunglasses made from Liquid Wood, a biodegradable and eco-friendly material that represents an alternative to the plastic usually used in the production of eyewear. Liquid Wood is originally made from bio-based materials: wood fiber from sustainably managed forests, lignin from the paper manufacturing process and natural wax. These new sunglasses feature a square upsweep silhouette shape with mineral glass lenses, which enhance the impeccable quality and the elegance of this new model. This eco-friendly style comes in new wood-effect shades, in nuances of grey, burgundy and brown. Read more.

New Candie’s Eyewear from Viva

Midwest Lens reports that “Viva International Group introduces four new ophthalmic styles to the Candie’s Eyewear collection this fall. The new styles feature feminine accents and pops of color, including floral lace patterns and hi-definition feather designs, which showcase the on trend playfulness of today’s Candie’s girl.” Read more.

L’Amy and A&A Start Program for Veterans

“L’Amy America and A&A Optical have joined forces to launch a charity program this holiday season that will provide eyewear to veterans in need,” according to Midwest Lens. “For every pair of L’AMY America branded frames (Ann Taylor, Bally Switzerland, Balmain, Columbia, Nicole Miller, Nina Ricci, Sperry Top-Sider, L’AMY Paris, C by L’AMY and Vision’s) and A&A Optical branded frames (Quiksilver, Roxy, Jimmy Crystal New York, Alexander Collection, XXL, Cruz, Jalapenos and Pez) bought by the end-consumer, one pair will be donated to a veteran in need.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Plume Paris

Plume Paris takes inspiration from many forms. For example, its Taden takes its inspiration from the French city of the same name. It’s known décor and architecture. Stainless steel, with a classy brow-bar accent. Our clients have a choice in color combination of green/brown, blue/grey, and red/black. With its innovative thin frame, with an impact design at the top of the glasses, that is where the contrast of color reigns. It is no wonder why so many have fallen in love with these frames. Read more.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

JD Power Releases Vision Plan Study

Just as the Affordable Care Act comes into effect next week and as Americans learn that adult eye care is not covered, J.D. Powers came out with its rankings for vision plans.

UnitedHealthcare Vision ranks highest in customer satisfaction among vision plan providers, performing particularly well in plan coverage and communication about plan benefits, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Vision Plan Satisfaction ReportSM.

Overall satisfaction among vision plan members is 673 on a 1,000-point scale.
Among members who rate overall satisfaction 10 (Outstanding) on a 10-point scale, 83 percent say they "definitely will" select their current vision plan provider in the future. Some 42 percent of members who rate overall satisfaction 10 (Outstanding) on a 10-point scale have single coverage.
The average monthly premium price paid for a vision plan is $36.33.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
  1. UnitedHealthcare Vision  704
  2. EyeMed 700
  3. VSP 687
  4. Report Average 673
  5. Davis Vision 630
The report is based on responses from 3015 verified vision plan members, questioned from this past August 20 through August 26. The report measures member satisfaction based on four factors (in order of importance): coverage, cost, communication, and customer care.

Blurry Images Become Clear Once in Motion

"Blurred images that are unidentifiable as still pictures become understandable once the images are set in motion," says Science Daily. "That's because of a phenomenon called 'optic flow' -- which may be especially relevant as a source of visual information in people with low vision, reports a study 'With an Eye to Low Vision: Optic Flow Enables Perception Despite Image Blur'... in the October issue of Optometry and Vision Science, [the] official journal of the American Academy of Optometry." Read more.

Spinning without Getting Dizzy

"Scientists have discovered differences in the brain structure of ballet dancers that may help them avoid feeling dizzy when they perform pirouettes," according to Science Daily. "The research suggests that years of training can enable dancers to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear. The findings, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, could help to improve treatment for patients with chronic dizziness. Around one in four people experience this condition at some time in their lives." Read more.

Inventor Explains Telescopic CLs

"We built a telescope into a contact lens. It is similar to a hard contact lens, but embedded inside are four tiny aluminum mirrors. These mirrors magnify the light, like a telescope, making images appear 2.8 times bigger," goes the post on Popular Science's website. "You can switch between magnified and normal vision by wearing modified 3-D television glasses. A button on the glasses changes their polarization. And polarized filters on the contact lenses determine whether the light passes through their magnifying part or their non-magnifying part. DARPA, a funder of our research, is interested in super vision. But the lenses may also work for people with macular degeneration, a disease that degrades the central part of the retina. Magnification makes it easier for those people to decipher small things, like text, with the healthy areas of their eyes." Read more.

In another report about the lens, BioOptics reports that "the lens' optics allow switching between normal and magnified vision with the addition of modified, off-the-shelf 3D television glasses: Without the glasses, the contact lenses superimpose both normal and magnified images. With the glasses on, a liquid-crystal shutter will switch open a window for normal or telescopic vision. The crystals change the way light is refracted onto polarized films embedded in the contact lens so that only light with a certain orientation, or polarization, passes through the glasses to the contact lens, hitting either the telescopic portion of the lens or the area designed for normal vision. The engineers are working on a hands-free infrared LED switch that will allow the wearer to activate one of the two functions by either winking one eye or blinking with both eyes." Read more.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Contact Lens Card Cheat Gets Jail in Europe

"An Italian has been sentenced to two years in prison after using infra-red contact lenses to count cards marked with invisible ink, in a daring poker scam believed to be 'the first of its kind in Europe,'" reports the Telegraph. "The self-styled 'player and cheat of international renown' impressed even the presiding judge for his sophisticated use of 'old techniques and high-end technology' to win thousands of pounds at a casino in the French Côte d'Azur resort of Cannes. The court in Grasse heard how Stefano Ampollini, 56 – code name Parmesan – turned up to 'Les Princes' casino in the Mediterranean resort in August 2011, wearing a set of infra-red contact lenses purchased online from China for 2,000 euros." Read more.

Bill Clinton Mimics U-2's Bono

"The joke’s on Bono this time," notes the NYPost. "Former President Bill Clinton answered back at the U2 frontman on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Wednesday, one day after Bono did a spot-on impression of Clinton at a panel event. Bono drew laughs for mimicking Clinton’s down-home accent, discussing a meeting between the two and charity work. Clinton, meanwhile, donned a pair of sunglasses before taking aim at the singer’s music career and humanitarian efforts." Read more.

Claudia Schiffer Starts a Rondenstock Eyewear Line

Gloria Schiffer wearing one of her new frames.
"She's already conquered cashmere so now Claudia Schiffer is embarking on a new project; eyewear," reports the Telegram. "The German supermodel has joined forces with her home country's leading manufacturer of lenses and optical frames, Rodenstock, to design a 15-piece collection of eyewear. The Claudia Schiffer by Rodenstock offering will launch in 2014 and feature eight optical styles and seven sunglass styles, each available in two different colourways, all inspired by the Seventies, the model's favourite decade." Read more.

New from Viva's Rampage Collection

Midwest Lens notes that "Viva International Group presents two new styles to the Rampage Eyewear collection this fall. Elegant design elements, including lace inspired temple treatments, marble colorations and soft metallic finishes, capture the edgy-sophisticated fashion of today’s Rampage woman." Read more.

ClearlyContacts Opens Brick and Mortar Store Months after WP

Opening day at ClearlyContacts new store in Vancouver, BC.
"When Roger Hardy looks at the next big opportunity for Coastal Contacts Inc., the online eyewear retailer, he looks at real estate—physical stores with front doors, signs and cash registers, the sort of overhead that e-commerce once eschewed," reports Canada's Globe and Mail. "Coastal Contacts, which operates as in Canada, opened its first domestic store—on Robson Street in Vancouver—earlier this year as little more than an experiment. It proved so successful that Hardy, the company’s founder and CEO, has now set his sights on opening one or two stores in every major retail centre across Canada." Read more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hubel, half the Nobel Prize Winning Team to Discover Retina's Role with the Brain, Dies

Wiesel and Hubel celebrating their Nobel prize in 1981.
"Dr. David Hubel, who was half of an enduring scientific team that won a Nobel Prize for explaining how the brain assembles information from the eye’s retina to produce detailed visual images of the world, died on Sunday in Lincoln, Mass. He was 87," reports the New York Times. "Dr. Hubel and Dr. [Torsten] Wiesel liked to recall that their initial discovery about how vision works resulted from luck. Working in a tiny basement laboratory at Johns Hopkins, the pair struggled for days to coax brain cells in cats to respond to images of dark and light spots. Becoming increasingly frustrated, they waved their arms, jumped around, and, in a moment of levity, displayed images of glamorous women from magazines. Then, as they shifted a slide in the opthalmoscope, a cell in the cat’s visual cortex suddenly started to fire. The edge of the slide had cast a straight, dark line on the animal’s retina. “It was what the cell wanted, and it wanted it, moreover, in just one narrow range of orientations,” Dr. Hubel said in his Nobel lecture. They studied the cell for nine hours, and then, Dr. Wiesel recalled, ran down the hall screaming with joy." Read more.

NEI Studies Link the Same Gene as Risk Factor for AMD

Three studies reported in Nature Genetics have converged on the same gene as a rare but powerful risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The new research, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, solidifies a link between AMD and genes encoding the complement system, a set of proteins that plays a central part in immune responses and inflammation. In particular, the findings bring a gene called C3 into the spotlight. Read more.

Another Smartphone App for "High-Quality" Retina Photos

"A US team has devised a smartphone system for capturing high quality photos of retinas to help diagnose eye diseases. The cheap and easy-to-use system could bring the advantages of affordable telemedicine to ophthalmology clinics," according to Medical News Today. "The researchers, from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, describe the new system and how they tested it in a recent online issue of Journal of Ophthalmology. The study evaluated the smartphone system's ability to capture photographs of the "fundus," or retina, in human and rabbit eyes." Read more.

Luxottica to Close Knoxville Facility

"Sunglasses giant, Luxottica, will close its Knoxville manufacturing facility in less than two months, the company confirmed on Tuesday. More than 300 employees are affected by the closure," according to WVLT News. "The plant is expected to close on November 19, according to the company. Support programs will be offered to employees." Read more.

New Eyewear from Bongo by Viva

"Viva International Group presents two new ophthalmic releases to the Bongo Eyewear Fall 2013 collection, featuring vividly designed temple treatments and crystal colorations inspired by the latest fashion trends," says Midwest Lens. "Innovative design elements, including milled animal print patterns and interior glitter illustrate the collection’s attention to detail...The bold design of models B Polly and B Punky feature handmade acetate temples accented by a stylish milled zebra pattern." Read more.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Statin Use May Lead to Cataracts

"New research suggests that use of statins, a class of drugs taken by millions of Americans with high cholesterol, is linked to a higher risk for developing cataracts," reports Medical News Today. "Dr. Jessica Leuschen, of the San Antonio Military Medical Center, Texas, and colleagues report their findings in a paper published online in JAMA Ophthalmology." Read more.

Pearle to Re-License 10 Shops in Detroit Metro Area

Pearle Vision will convert 10 of its neighborhood eye care centers in the Greater Detroit area from company-owned to licensees, according to a company announcement. Pearle Vision is seeking qualified candidates who want to operate their own Pearle Vision to purchase the Detroit locations. This is part of the company's 2013 expansion plans to re-license 34 company-owned centers in 10 states. Thus far, it has re-licensed 17.

On Oct. 10, Pearle executives will host a seminar and cocktail reception at 7:30 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant (2089 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI).To register, contact Mike Hosford at or (616) 204-9742.

Dodger OF Puig to Wear Rudy Project Sunglasses

"Rudy Project, Italian designers and engineers of precision sunglasses and helmets, is proud to announce a partnership with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig to wear its technologically advanced eyewear while on the baseball field for the remainder of his rookie Major League season in 2013," according to Midwest Lens. "The 22-year-old Cuban has rocketed into stardom after making his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers on June 3. With 44 hits in June, registering as the second-most in MLB history for a player during their debut month, Puig became the first player in baseball history to simultaneously win both the National League Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month Awards." Read more.

Retrofitting Eyewear with New Lenses Goes Online

The German media giant ProSiebenSat.1 is looking for startup operations that it can assist with what the company calls its three-month accelerator program in Munich, according to

Opticians might wonder just why this company receive any notice at all. "Eyeglass24 is a Munich-based eyewear startup that wants to offer a more affordable alternative to purchasing glasses by allowing customers to re-use their frames. Customers can send in their specs and Eyeglass24 will outfit their frames with new lenses and send them back." How many opticians have "retrofitted" a frame with new lenses because their customers wanted to save money or just simply "loved" their frames? Point to note, however: Eyeglass24 is taking a traditional optical function and put it online. Read more.

New Eyewear from Pierre Cardin

The new Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Pierre Cardin eyewear collection asserts itself with a sophisticated personality and the knowledgable blending of French style and Italian creativity - for which the celebrated brand is renowned. The new sunglasses and optical frames feature a timeless allure and precious detailing, which give an aura of pure elegance to the collection. Read more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Website for People with Low Vision

Prevent Blindness America has launched a new online resource: Living Well with Low Vision, lowvision.preventblindness.orgThe goal of the site is to make it as easy as possible for people to educate themselves about vision loss, to meet the challenges resulting from it, and to maintain their quality of life. The site is said to be developed from the point of view of patients and their advocates, making it a good resource for any customer dealing with the issues that come with low vision.  Read more.

America Selects State Winners of Most Beautiful Eyes Contest

Prevent Blindness America has announced the state winners of its 2013 “Most Beautiful Eyes Contest.”  You can see a photo gallery of Most Beautiful Eyes state winners. State winners received a free pair of Real Kids Shades (RKS) sunglasses and a copy of the book Jacob’s Eye Patch by Beth Kobliner Shaw and Jacob Shaw. They also advance to the final round and a chance to win a $10,000 educational scholarship from Marchon Eyewear. Additional contest sponsors include Eagle Eyes® Optics and Walters Golf. Read more.

New Sunglasses from Adidas

"Adidas Eyewear is launching the brand new tycane pro at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes next month," according to the Moodie Report.  It is said to feature "hydrophobic filter technology, a wide field of vision, and an innovative design ...Large, strongly curved 10-base filters and shatterproof, water-resistant LST filters help to create a wide field of vision for the wearer and ensure an optimal view at all times. A hydrophobic coating and a particularly flat frame design quickly repel water droplets, without leaving any annoying streaks on the filters – particles of dirt and dust are simply washed away." Read more.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pearle Expanding in South Florida

Pearle Vision plans to convert four of its neighborhood eye care centers in South Florida from company-owned to licensees, according to a company press release appearing on 4-Traders. Pearle Vision is currently seeking qualified candidates who are interested in owning and operating their very own Pearle Vision to purchase existing locations for sale in South Florida. This is part of the company's 2013 expansion plans to re-license 34 company-owned centers in 10 states. Read more.

New Yves Klein Collection Gets His Blues

"The electric hue known as 'Yves Klein blue' has an unexpected effect on those who encounter it. According to Daniel Moquay, director of the Yves Klein Archives, one of the French artist's blue monochromes had to be taken down from display at the Museum of Modern Art. 'Everyone had been putting their hands on it,' he said." So begins the Wall Street Journal post. "The heavily pigmented ultramarine is now available in a form less likely to alarm museum guards: Barcelona-based optical brand Etnia has joined with the artist's archives on a collection of glasses for men, women and children called International Klein blue. ...The line includes 12 optical frames and three styles of sunglasses whose blue lenses are manufactured with pigment provided by the Yves Klein Archives

Another Story about Eyewear and Hip-Hop

"As apart of their ongoing series exploring eyewear in hip hop, The Vintage Frames Company dives back into their popular segment for a fifth installment. This time around, they head to Brooklyn to chat with one of the cities finest, Talib Kweli," according to the post on Stupid Dope. "While his reflection is eternal and he is most definitely a Black Star, Kweli’s unique story channels his younger days in The Planet walking the borough with his pops. He recalls those times along with others that explain his authentic story revolving around a few of his fond memories in hip hop history. Born and raised in New York City, Talib draws back to his first memory of eyewear – when his father drove the family from Brooklyn to Long Island where he taught school." Read more.

New from Columbia

"L’Amy America, a division of global eyewear group TWC-L’Amy, announces the worldwide launch of 2 new models, utilizing new and exclusive frame design and material named F90-Ultra Lite Adjustable." So goes the Midwest Lens post. "The new models feature stainless steel frame fronts, combined with F-90 injection-molded temple stems. 'To create our new adjustable temples we started with a metal alloy core, then wrapped it in our exclusive H-90, Hyper-Lite 90, injection-molded material, transforming it into a super-slim, flat profile temple. The F is for flattened, the 90 represents H-90 and the A stands for adjustability—F90A,'” said Worldwide Brand Manager Connie Reiss. “'Despite the metal core, our F90A offers ultra-lite comfort and soft-rubberized surface for long term, secure wear in the outdoors' said Reiss." Read more.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reservations Moving Fast for OpticalCEUs Fall 2013 Conference

"Reservations for our fall conference are coming in quickly," notes Linda Conlin, founder of the OpticalCEUs continuing education program for opticians. The program permits licensed opticians to renew their licenses and receive the ABO/NCLE certificationi with a7-credit program from F.E. Enterprises at the Grand Pequot Ballroom, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT on Sunday, October 20. Participants can register for the conference by clicking this link.

The seminars include the following:

1. The Miracle of Sight and How to Preserve It Speaker: Deborah Kotob (2 ABO) 9am-11am NEW!
2. Grading Contact Lens Complications Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 11am-Noon
3. Fitting Irregular Corneas Speaker: Joe Forte (1NCLE) 1 pm-2 pm NEW!
4. Beam Me Up! Understanding the Slit Lamp Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 2 pm-3 pm NEW!
5. Diseases of the Eye Speaker: Joe Forte (1 ABO) 3pm-4pm NEW!
6. Augmented Reality Contact Lenses Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 4 pm-5pm

For more information about the conference, send an email to

In addition, speakers for the conference have achieved several milestones in the past six months.

ABO/NCLE (American Board of Opticianry/National Contact Lens Examiners) has approved OpticalCEUs speaker Joe Forte as an Advanced, Level III speaker for ABO/NCLE courses. Level III speakers can give level I, II or III courses.

Earlier this year, Deborah Kotob, a sales consultant for Vision-Ease and an OpticalCEUs speaker, received an ABO Advanced Certification. According to ABO/NCLE, “the Advanced Certification designation, ABOC-AC is earned only after a practitioner has attained several years experience, completes a prescribed curriculum of advanced education, and achieves a passing score on the rigorous examination."

At the same time, Linda Conlin, founder of OpticalCEUs and a speaker at all the conferences, was recognized by the NAO. "In this issue, we are choosing to use this space to highlight a particularly amazing [NAO] ambassador" Linda Conlin. That's the start of an article (page 16) in this month's Vision of the Industry, the official publication of the National Academy of Opticianry.

Darius Rucker and Transitions Promoting Eye Health

After multiple outreach events across the country, Transitions Optical and GRAMMY and CMA Award-winning country music artist Darius Rucker have made healthy possible for hundreds of children. This summer, hundreds of students from the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School participatedd in a summer camp sponsored by the Country Music Association’s Keep the Music Playing program. They also received a visit from Transitions Optical and industry partner VSP Vision Care’s 40-foot-long mobile eye care clinic nicknamed “Eyenstein.” The children received comprehensive eye exams, and if prescription eyeglasses were required, they chose a new frames fitted with Transitions lenses at no cost. Rucker also wears Transitions adaptive lenses. Read more.

San Diego Chargers Promoting Vision Screenings in Schools

"San Diego Chargers football star Dwight Freeney was at Baldwin Hills Elementary on Tuesday, not to teach students how to cream quarterbacks, but to celebrate Vision To Learn, a local non-profit that has provided 10,000 low-income students across Los Angeles with free vision care," says the LA School Report. "Freeney was joined by Vision To Learn founder, Austin Beutner, and Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson, along with dozens of students who have received free eyeglasses from the organization, their parents and teachers." Read more.

Protein for Visual System Might Affect Alzheimer's

A class of proteins that controls visual system development in the young brain also appears to affect vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease in the aging brain. The proteins, which are found in humans and mice, join a limited roster of molecules that scientists are studying in hopes of finding an effective drug to slow the disease process. That's the word from the National Eye Institute. Read more.

Menicon Offering TSA Guideline Travel Pack for CL

Contact Lens Headlines notes that "starting this month, Menicon will begin offering their Unique pH lens care pack for gas permeable contact lenses in a travel size that meets TSA guidelines. The pack contains two 60 mL bottles of solution and a lens case." Read more.

L. Vuitton Wins Privacy Case against Australian Importer

"French fashion giant Louis Vuitton has won a David and Goliath battle against a local importer who was caught selling fake products to Australian retailers," according to a Herald Sun report on News.Com.Au. "The famed luxury retailer took Federal Court action against Sonya Valentine Pty. Ltd. after the company was caught selling fake Louis Vuitton sunglasses emblazoned with the renown floral emblem of the high-end brand. Louis Vuitton products have long been the target of sophisticated global counterfeit operations because of their high price-tag and popularity with celebrities. The court heard the wholesale company imported the fake sunglasses from China in two shipments between May and July last year before selling them on to local retailers." Read more.

New from Seraphin

"Seraphin is proud to introduce the next level of neoclassical revival – the embodiment of retro style with an ultra modern twist," according to Midwest Lens. "Projecting confidence and time-honored style, each style is a modern interpretation of vintage classic. Featuring an innovative new combination construction, each of the 5 new styles features a stainless steel core enveloped in luxuriously colored premium Italian acetate. This unique core acts almost like a skeleton, offering superior strength with lightweight durability and chic pops of color. The overall look and feel is something completely different, as each style exemplifies the spirit of time-honored fashion, infused with modern technology." Read more.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gene Mutation Linked to AMD

Medical News Today notes that "an international team of researchers, led by scientists at The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, has identified a gene mutation linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD)." Read more.

New from L'Amy's Sperry Top-Sider

"Sperry Top-Sider, in partnership with L’Amy America, will launch an eyewear line at Vision Expo West in October 2013," writes Midwest Lens. "The eyewear collection, offered in a wide range of rich colors with artisan details, is inspired by the authentic American style of Sperry Top-Sider – the brand that gave the world its first boat shoe when company founder Paul Sperry invented the style back in 1935. Iconic details from Sperry Top-Sider’s footwear collection have been tastefully integrated into the eyewear designs – including signature grommets, skip lacing and the wave-siping pattern. Anchors and leather integration have also been used throughout the collection, combining vibrant color combinations and superior craftsmanship to create timeless yet modern styles." Read more.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alcon Reportedly Bribes Doctors in China

"Global eye care giant Alcon has been accused of bribing doctors in China in exchange for using the company's products on patients, reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald," reports WantChinaTimes. "According to an anonymous whistlebower, Alcon bribed eye care specialists under the guise of a post enumeration survey program that provides "research funding" to more than 200 eye hospitals and specialists across China." Read more. Another version of the story appears on the BBC.

J. Crew Honcho Joins Warby Parker as It Turns to Brick and Mortar

"Retailing icon Mickey Drexler is joining the board of Warby Parker, a move that adds gravitas to the three-year-old online eyewear maker as it expands into brick-and-mortar stores," reports Fortune magazine. "Drexler's directorship solidifies the informal relationship he had already developed with the company's co-CEOs, Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa. The J.Crew honcho has been having lunch regularly with Blumenthal and Gilboa and advised the two on scaling their business. He invested in Warby Parker in what Blumenthal says was "a meaningful way" earlier this year." Read more.

New from Proof Eyewear

Proof Eyewear recently released their all new Fall- Winter Environmentally Conscious Optics (E.C.O.) Collection, according to a company press release. The company entered the sustainable eyewear industry in 2010 with a handmade wood collection. A year later, it introduced the ECO collection blending environmentally friendly, biodegradable cotton acetate frames with certified woods accents. Read more.

New from Guess

"Taking inspiration from modern design through color, silhouette and material, the Fall 2013 collection features new unique details and fashion forward shapes that are perfect for the Guess guy and girl," according to Midwest Lens. "The Fall 2013 optical men’s and women’s collections include 9 new women’s styles and 6 new men’s styles." Read more.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cheating at Casino with Contact Lenses

"A New Jersey man has been accused of cheating at the Mohegan Sun Casino after marking cards with an ink-like substance that he could see by wearing special contact lenses, according to state police." That's the lede for an NBC Connecticut post. Read more.

Leadings Causes of Blindness/World Sight Day

With World Sight Day also on October 10th, Lenstore has been researching the prevalence of avoidable blindness and vision impairment around the world, and looking at the people most affected. To generate awareness of their findings, they have created an infographic on the state of the world’s eyesight. Read more.

A Look at Cutler & Gross

The New York Times takes a look at a renowned British optical shop: "In an old church annex in northwest London, the walls of the Cutler & Gross offices are lined with colored eyewear that looks like fragments of stained-glass windows. Today, with the 30-year veteran Marie Wilkinson as its design director, the company continues to sell its own 1,000 styles while expanding relationships with some of fashion’s trendiest designers." Read more.

New from Puma

Midwest Lens reports that "each new Puma style features cool design features which express a passion for action and a keen eye for the latest trends. Colors are fresh and eye-catching with a dazzling selection of classic tones and cool metallics in color-blocked or layered variations." Read more.

Visionworks Becomes Optical Retail PGA Sponsor

Visionworks,  a 15-store Atlanta-based optical retailer, has become the Official Eyewear Retailer of the PGA Tour. The retailer will sponsor player health and fitness trailers at more than 60 tournaments, including this week’s Tour Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Visionworks associates will provide free vision screenings and eye health information as well as eyewear giveaways. Event goers can stop by the Visionworks expo booth,  in the PGA Tour Pavilion at the main entrance. Read more.

Best Image to Sell Only to Brick and Mortar Stores

In a bold effort to protect the optical dispensary and boutique from being “show roomed” to potential customers who intend to purchase online, Best Image Optical has had a firm company policy in which their eyewear brands (Dolabany Eyewear, Mario Galbatti, & Plume Paris) are only available through brick and mortar locations and not to be sold online or to chain-store discounters. They wanted their customers to rely and depend on that message. So far, they have received an overwhelming response from customers. Read more.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Refac and U.S. Vision to Buy Nationwide Vision

Refac Holdings and its subsidiary U.S. Vision, both based in Glendora, NJ, have signed an agreement to acquire Nationwide Vision. The 28-year-old optical chain has opened 64 locations and two surgery centers, making it the largest optical chain in Arizona and 19th largest in the U.S. Should the buy-out get the necessary regulatory approvals, Nationwide will become part of Refac by the end of this quarter. Refac’s main operating company, U.S. Vision, Inc., is the sixth largest U.S. retail optical chain with 769 stores.

Eyewear Pitchman Dies in Jail

"Michael Yuchnitz, a prominent local businessman and TV pitchman who was awaiting trial for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife, was found dead Saturday morning," reports MySanAntonio. "Yuchnitz, 60, was pronounced dead at 9:07 a.m. at the InTown Suites in the 6400 block of Bandera Road, according to the medical examiner's office." Read more.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Smartphone & Plastic Bioculars Replacing an Autorefractor?

“Vitor Pamplona isn’t a doctor. He’s not even an optician. He can’t write you a prescription for glasses, or sell you a pair. Still, he’s pretty sure he’s going to disrupt the $75 billion global eye-care market.” That’s the start off a post on MIT Technology Review. “At EyeNetra, the startup he cofounded, goofy curiosities like plastic eyeballs line the shelves, and a 3-D printing machine whirs in the background. It’s printing out prototypes of a device that will attach to your smartphone and, in a minute or two, tell you what kind of eyeglasses you need. The device, called the Netra-G, is based on some clever optics and software Pamplona came up with—a way to measure the refractive error of the eye using a smartphone screen and an inexpensive pair of plastic binoculars. The whole setup might cost a few dollars to make. It does the job of a $5,000 instrument called an autorefractor.” Read more.

Colored CLs and Athletic Performance

“New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes became the latest athlete to wear tinted contact lenses last night, giving his eyes a reddish hue in a game against the Patriots,” reports Yahoo! Finance. “The company that makes the contacts, Sports Tints, claims that they boost performance by aiding a player's ability to focus on certain colors and objects. The amber color, for example, supposedly helps baseball players read the seams on the baseball to recognize the pitch type easier. NBC in Miami did a last year report on a bunch of athletes in Florida who swear by the contacts. And in the past few months we've seen baseball players, football players, and even golfers wear the lenses in competition.” Read more.

3M Adds Scotchgard Anti-Fog to Safety Eyewear

“3M takes safety eyewear to the next level by adding Scotchgard Anti-Fog Coating. The proprietary coating provides at least 12 times longer lasting fog resistance than traditional anti-fog coatings to help increase eyewear performance in rugged, dusty, steamy and wet work environments. Scotchgard anti-fog coating retains its effectiveness for at least 25 washings with water, allowing workers to wear the lens longer, which may result in lower cost,” reports Safety Online. “Scotchgard anti-fog coating is available in four styles of 3M safety eyewear: Maxim Spectacles, Maxim Plus Dust Goggles, Lexa Dust Gogglegear Safety Goggles (med. & lg.) and Lexa Splash Gogglegear  Safety Goggles (med. & lg.). …All styles meet the requirements of CSA Z94.3-2007 and ANSI Z87.1-2010.” Read more.

New from ProDesign

“The retro-wave continues strongly into the Fall/Winter season of 2013. Where the retro frames used to be very chunky, with thick, heavy temples, ProDesign have created a light and more sophisticated collection, still with that unmistakable feel of the 60’s and 70’s, but twisted in a direction towards the more simple and ‘intelligent’ look,” writes Midwest Lens. The collection has four new shapes, two feminine and two unisex, each available in four colors. Read more.

OpticalCEUs Speakers Receive Recognition

ABO/NCLE (American Board of Opticianry/National Contact Lens Examiners) has approved OpticalCEUs speaker Joe Forte as an Advanced, Level III speaker for ABO/NCLE courses. Level III speakers can give level I, II or III courses. ABO/NCLE grants certification based on education, work experience, teaching and/or speaking experience, specialized training and certifications. OpticalCEUs is pleased to have Joe offer this level of education to our attendees.

Joe has lectured at CUNY Tech, specializing in contact lenses and was program director of the Interboro Institute College of Opticianry where he taught optics, anatomy and physiology, contact lenses, fabrication, and ophthalmic mathmatics. He has lectured at Vision Expo and Optifair. He is currently director of contact lens services for Raymond Opticians and a contact lens specialist for Greenwich Ophthalmology. Joe is also a percussionist and was a member of the orchestra for Miss Saigon on Broadway.

Earlier this year, Deborah Kotob, a sales consultant for Vision-Ease and an OpticalCEUs speaker, received an ABO Advanced Certification. According to ABO/NCLE, “the Advanced Certification designation, ABOC-AC is earned only after a practitioner has attained several years experience, completes a prescribed curriculum of advanced education, and achieves a passing score on the rigorous examination. Professionals with advanced certification credential are equipped to work in a variety of practice settings, such as: independent opticians, ophthalmology practices, university hospitals, commercial offices, HMO/managed care offices, optometric offices, large clinics, optical product manufacturers. In short, Advanced Certification equips you in all settings which provide eyeglasses to clients."

Another the same time, Linda Conlin, founder of OpticalCEUs and a speaker at all the conferences, was recognized by the NAO. "In this issue, we are choosing to use this space to highlight a particularly amazing [NAO] ambassador. Linda Conlin...has been an NAO fellow since 1999 and an ambassador for many years. Her work for us is consistently wonderful that she has won our Ambassador of the Year Award twice." That's the start of an article (page 16) in this month's Vision of the Industry, the official publication of the National Academy of Opticianry.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New from XOXO

“Blending timeless looks with the season’s most current trends, the XOXO Eyewear collection feature fashionable frames that transition from day to night. Available in three colors, Aspire combines a sexy feminine eyeshape and intense colors for a bold look,” says Midwest Lens. “Aspire combines bright colors and modern animal prints into a sexy chic frame with a rounded angular eyeshape. The front features a punch of the printed acetate with a modified snake skin design on colorful temples. Aspire is available in Red Black, Blue Black and Brown. Visit our website,, to view the entire collection.” Read more.

Ashley Olsen Dating Eyewear Exec

“Ashley Olsen has a new boyfriend,” writes ContactMusic. What’s the big deal for the optical industry? “The 27-year-old star is dating David Schulte, the Chief Executive Officer of eye wear brand Oliver Peoples which produces glasses and sunglasses.” Read more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pearle Opens First Store with New Design

Pearle Vision will unveil its new store design on Sept. 17 in Legacy Village, located at 24539 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst, Ohio. The new design includes a new brand logo, updated signs, modernized displays, and a different floor plan. Pearle unveiled the design earlier this year at its annual licensee conference the new brand image with an updated logo and re-designed color palette for its centers. Current Pearle Vision licensees will have the opportunity to incorporate all or some of the new design elements into their existing centers.

New Computerized Method of Diagnosing Glaucoma

“A team of researchers led by Jun Cheng of the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore, has developed a novel automated technology that screens for glaucoma more accurately and quickly than existing methods,” reports Science Daily. “The computerized technique developed by Cheng and his colleagues measures the CDR from two-dimensional images of the back of the eye. The technique uses an algorithm that divides the images into hundreds of segments called superpixels and classifies each segment as part of either the optic cup or the optic disc. The cup and disc measurements can then be used to compute the CDR.” Read more.

New from Jalapenos Eyewear

“A&A Optical announces the release of three new styles from Jalapeños eyewear: Cant Hold Us, Legend and Who Says.” That’s the word from Midwest Lens. “Jalapeños eyewear captures the attitude of the young adult market utilizing the latest trends in graphic treatments, shapes, colors and materials, enabling the wearer to re-define their look and express their own personal style. Jalapeños® brand identifies with today’s fashion minded teens in addition to appealing to fashionable adults with small faces. Rock your style and attitude in Jalapenos eyewear.” Read more.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ophthalmologist Becomes Dictator

FYI: According to a variety of sources, President Bashar al-Assad never had plans to head up the Syrian government. Bashar studied medicine at Damascus University. He served in the Syrian army as a physician. He then studied at Western Eye Hospital, one of the London-based teaching hospitals affiliated with St. Mary’s group. The ophthalmologist was promoted to president designate when his older brother died in a car accident.

VSP Launches Online Game

VSP Vision Care (VSP) launched an online game called “Time Crunch Sweepstakes” on the website Gamers can win a chance for the grand prize: an island vacation trip for two.  The easy-to-play interactive game teaches participants about the importance of eye health and vision health plans. Participants also can play the instant-win round for a chance to win a pair of designer sunglasses, a Visa gift card, or other prizes. Consumers can earn up to 10 additional daily entries to the grand prize drawing just by sharing the game through social media channels.
Play the game by following these simple steps:
  • Visit, select “Have Fun and Learn” from the top navigation, then “Time Crunch Sweepstakes.”
  • Enter your email address to be eligible to win the grand prize.
  • Complete three fun rounds to the game: Eye Trivia, Eye Blink and Eye Chart:
    • Eye Trivia – Series of five questions on eye health that you must answer as quickly as possible
    • Eye Blink – Look for eyes to appear on the screen; click on them with your mouse, or your finger if you’re playing on a mobile device, before they disappear
    • Eye Chart – Find the hidden phrase in an eye chart and type it out.

New Drug for Treatment of RP

Dompé’s investigational drug based on the recombinant human nerve growth factor (rhNGF) discovered by Nobel Laureate Professor Rita Levi Montalcini has been granted orphan drug designation by the US FDA for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), according to a Dompe spokesperson. This gives new hope for the treatment of this disease for which at present there is no cure. The orphan drug designation comes a few months after orphan drug designation was granted by the European Medicine Agency (EMA).

Gene Mutation Cause of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (in Dogs)

“Newly-reported findings by researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) provide the first phenotypic evidence that a mutated gene causes one form of progressive retinal atrophy in papillon dogs,” reports Medical News Today. “Progressive retinal atrophy is analogous to one of the leading cause of inherited blindness in humans and the findings may lead to new treatments for blindness in humans.” Read more.

New from Badgley Mischka

“Elegant designs seamlessly integrating contrasting colors and textures are a hallmark of the Badgley Mischka brand. Riva and Lela, the latest additions to the Badgley Mischka eyewear collection, feature a unique combination of colors, eye shapes and embellishments to create eyewear perfect for the modern, couture woman.” That’s the word from Midwest Lens. Read more.