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HomemifashionThe Business of Designing Cocoons

The Business of Designing Cocoons

It’s fair to say there’s greater awareness today than ever before, of the need to protect the eyes from damaging UV rays. Yet some customers who need vision correction simply can’t afford to buy prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses. Just as well then, for creative minds like Kieren Hardy, who have taken up the technical challenge to design decent looking over-rx sunwear options.

Having worked in the business for some years, Kieran Hardy could see the opportunity to supply independent optometry practices with value-for-money, professional grade over-rx frames. And so that’s exactly what he set about doing.

He resigned in 2001 from the American company he was contracted to establish and in 2002 launched Live Eyewear and its flagship brand, Cocoons at the International Vision Exposition in New York. That same year, he appointed Aviva Optical to distribute his frames to the Australian market, and the rest, as they say, is history.

We asked Kieren a few questions about the business of designing Cocoons …

After being flattened (by a car) and reassembled, they
are as good as new

Q. Who do you design for?

The typical Cocoons customer is not someone looking for the latest fashion trend in sunwear. They are value minded, feature oriented individuals who wear prescription eyewear and want a convenient optical grade sunwear option to maintain their corrected vision while protecting their eyes from damaging UV light and blinding glare. More than anything, they want a solution that works, and nothing works better than a pair of Cocoons.

Our customers range from avid sporting enthusiasts that require the highest level of visual acuity to achieve peak performance in their outdoor pursuits to the casual every day wearer that wants maximum protection from damaging UV rays and blinding surface glare encountered in every day activities.

As testament to the fit of our frames and quality of our lenses, among our customers are some of America’s elite anglers, like Mike Iaconelli and Ish Monroe.

Q. You said your customers aren’t looking for the latest fashion trend – other than sun protection – so what attracts them to Cocoons over other products?

They’re looking for performance. So we’ve developed technical features like our Soft Touch frame finish and patented Flex2Fit temples to maximise frame fit.

The Soft Touch frame finish is incredibly durable, flexible and increases the comfort of the frame. In fact, to demonstrate the resilience of Cocoons, we created a short video and featured it on YouTube. It shows a Cocoons frame being run over by a car. After being flattened and reassembled, they are as good as new!

We also focus on making Cocoons extremely comfortable because this is a very important feature of a successful over-rx sunglass. So our Flex2Fit temples can be contoured by the wearer to provide a custom fit that is secure and remains comfortable during extended wear.

In terms of UV protection, the integrated brow, side and underside protection incorporated into all of our frames deliver 40 per cent more protection than other frames on the market.

Q. How do you achieve optical clarity when the wearer must look through what is effectively two separate lenses with each eye?

Clarity is critical to the performance of any sunglass worn over prescription eyewear. The presence of any distortion or haze in the sunwear lens can adversely affect the intended performance of the prescription lenses. With Cocoons, we fit the 100 per cent polarised Polaré lens system, which is stronger, more scratch resistant and, we believe, optically superior to competitive brands.

Our side lenses are not polarised because they don’t need to be – in fact you’d only need polarised side lenses if your eyes were on the side of your head! However, they are precisely regulated to match the tint and transmission properties of the front lenses so that vision is stress free on the eyes.

Q. Tell me about the manufacturing process?

Cocoons are manufactured with a two shot molding process, which enables the temples and overall structure of the Cocoons frame to be extremely robust. This patented molding process fuses the temple receiver to the flexible earpiece (the core element of the Flex2Fit temple design), which virtually eliminates any possible separation of the temple components.

Q. With myriad optical frames on the market, how can a customer be sure
that Cocoons will fit their favourite frame shape?

We’ve developed seven patented frame designs within the Cocoons range to comfortably fit 99 per cent of prescription eyewear frames. At the International Vision Exposition in New York during March we added to the range with the new Style Line Collection.

The Style Line Cocoons frame design is based on the elongated rectangle shape of our top selling Wide Line model. That model enjoyed immediate success when we first introduced it, due to its ability to OveRx ophthalmic frames that have a wide temple-to-temple dimension and a narrower frame height.

Ever since, we’ve received numerous requests for a frame size that maintains the narrow frame height of the Wide Line, but has a larger internal capacity to sit over even wider Rx frames.

In response to these requests, we designed Style Line. Even though the frame has a larger interior, we kept a fashionable, slim look by softening the edges and incorporating smooth corners in the
frame geometry.

As with all Cocoons, Style Line is available in seven Soft Touch frame finishes with a choice of grey (standard or photochromic), amber (standard or photochromic), copper, yellow or blue mirror Polaré polarised lenses.

For more information on Cocoons contact Aviva Optical on (AUS) 08 9353 2814.