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Sunday / June 16.
HomemifashionThe Brains Behind the Aesthetics

The Brains Behind the Aesthetics

The team at Isson Eyewear export to seven countries, producing their creations in-house, from product design through to sales and marketing. While their passion for eyewear is palpable, it is their understanding and translation of modernised vintage and modern shapes that provide the brand with the grounding for its designs.

Ever wondered what goes into making those posters and counter cards displayed in-store to promote a brand in your practice? While most marketing campaigns and point of sale material are created by multinational advertising agencies using huge marketing budgets from European or American industry giants, this Australian boutique brand creates it all in-house.

Isson Eyewear

Isson Eyewear’s sunglass collection is based on a fusion of design principles, timeless styling, and appeals to an audience whose sense of fashion is bold, rather than flamboyant. Isson is considered to be wearable cool for people who appreciate quality and style, without needing to impress others.

Over the years, Isson has held design competitions and presented guest lectures at university design schools in Sydney, collaborated with fashion designers, artists, musicians, TV/film, and designed collections for a number of other brands. This year, Isson was invited to exhibit in the Boutique Trend area of the Japan Optical Fair in October, and was selected as the exclusive eyewear for Channel 7’s programme, Make Me a Super Model. Isson has also been invited to co-exhibit with Germany’s iconic trend brand, ic! Berlin, at MIDO 09, with designer Ralph Anderl.

Two of the trickiest parts to model selection for a sunglass campaign are finding a model that has that special something after their eyes are covered, and most importantly, a model that suits the sunglasses

Campaign Theme

Isson Eyewear develops an annual campaign to coincide with the styling of its sunglass collection and the design ethos of the brand. The images are used primarily for the annual catalogue, point of sale, web site and the occasional print advertisement in fashion and design magazines. This marketing campaign is essential in creating images that are an expression of the brand, and a significant amount of investment goes into developing new and fresh concepts each year.

This summer, Isson Eyewear’s 08/09 collection exhibits a retro thread underpinned by the contradiction of chunky looks and refined 50s styling, offering consumers a modernised and re-inventive style.

To arrange a viewing of the Isson Eyewear collection, contact Eye Candy Optics on (AUS) 1800 008 139 or go to www.isson.com.au.


Catherine Federici, Eye Candy Optics Managing Director, gave mivision an exclusive, behind-the-scenes first-hand diary account of the campaign development and photography shoot for this summer:

Two months to go

We have a couple of months before we shoot and we’re starting to think about concepts for the campaign and are collecting images from magazines, books, websites and pop artists. There’s a lot of negotiating with the manufacturer to secure an ETA on final samples so we can use them in the shoot.

One month to go

Just one month away from the shoot and we arrange a meeting with a stylist on his return from a shoot in South America. We have so many ideas for the mood to suit the retro theme through the collection, and examples of things we don’t want – in particular, not to look like every other eyewear campaign on the market!

Three weeks to go

This week, we’ve finalised the story board, which we will discuss with the stylist in the next few days. We’ve decided on using one boy and girl for the shoot. There’s so much to do, including: finalising the shoot concept, styling, prop needs, location arrangement, hair stylist, make-up artist and photographer. So far, the budget is AUD$6,000 for the shots, with additional product photography and catalogue printing costs extra.

Two weeks to go

Our stylist returns from the shoot in South America, but he’s thrown his back out and our meeting is postponed! Just to make things more interesting, my nine month old daughter, Charlie, falls off a chair, fracturing her arm. Between the stylist’s bad back and our regular hospital visits, our meeting has been re-scheduled so many times that I’ve lost count!

Ten days to go

Finally, we meet with the stylist. He’s busting with ideas and vision, but is unavailable for the next three weeks! There’s no postponing the shoot any longer. We have spent too much time and effort in organising the models and venue and the show must go on. So, the last straw is to finalise the shoot ourselves.

One week to go

Our photographer, who has worked with us across our Isson advertising campaigns for the past few years, returns from New York and meets with us – jetlag and all. We discuss our story board, throw around a few ideas and use Photoshop on a few images to see if these concepts are feasible. We have a theme and we know we’ll be shooting in the photographer’s studio!

Six days to go

Arranging the model casting

I contact several modelling agencies to send suitable models to the casting. We aim to have a close head shot, with the girl posing almost full profile to the camera. This means she has to have a great nose and facial profile with a cute but sexy Gidget look. The guy we’re looking for must appeal to both girls and guys; his look is arty, unique and needs to have a 50s vibe about him.

Two of the trickiest parts to model selection for a sunglass campaign are finding a model that has that ‘special something’ after their eyes are covered, and most importantly, a model that suits the sunglasses.

Five days to go

All is planned and good to go with the hair stylists. Our sunglass samples arrive from the manufacturer today! It’s cutting it a little too close for comfort, but that always seems to be the case of late!

Four days to go

The model casting is scheduled over a three hour period today. We have around 70 models come in to show us their portfolios, try on the sunnies and let us take a photo for reference and further discussion.

Two days to go

We drive over to the photographer’s studio with a 2m x 3m sheet of Perspex tied to the roof. We have visions of it flying off in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and a warning announcement coming over the radio by Tunnel Watch!

Fortunately, we make it without any drama. We’ll need this sheet to diffuse the light and colour gels – the basic concept behind the shoot.

One day to go

The models we really fell in love with, are booked for tomorrow and their costing and usage charges are finally negotiated. It is standard practice that using the models for creating a catalogue is considered as one usage. We then need to add on top of this, usage for window displays magazine advertising, web sites etc.

Just when we think things are falling into place, the make-up artist regretfully calls to let me know she’s booked on another job at the last minute and unable to make it. She sends me five other contacts and I start ringing. Everyone’s mobile phones are switched off or going to voicemail, until I finally reach one who is affordable and available tomorrow!


Hair and make-up kicks off at nine o’clock in the morning as planned, with the shoot scheduled to start at ten thirty. But what a night I had! Sick baby, sick mum and no sleep, but somehow we arrive at the studio to deliver the photography lighting gels fifteen minutes before starting time.

The hair and make-up artists stick around all day making sure the models are perfect for every shot, while the crew gather several times throughout the day to discuss how the shoot is going and other viable options.

The photographer’s assistant downloads images from the digital camera’s memory cards. This provides us with the opportunity to view and comment on the shoot so the photographer can tweak the shots and ensure we get everything we need. With digital, we are able to make immediate adjustments rather than hoping for the best.

It’s an all day affair but we’re certain we’ve got the shots we planned for.

Days following

Over the next few days, we go through 1,200 photos to pick just three. It’s a huge task with plenty of debate. These hero shots will define the brand in the marketplace for 12 months, locally, and later, internationally, and become vital to brand positioning, marketing and as an aspirational tool.

The next step is retouching the selected photos and getting them ready to use in various point of sale material and marketing purposes. Marco begins the epic task of product photography. The catalogue artwork is completed in-house, printed locally with a number of proofs being made so that final touches can be added on the printing press. Then, voila, we have a new campaign!