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Thursday / May 30.
HomemifashionStanding Out: Office Frames Shed Their Conservative Image

Standing Out: Office Frames Shed Their Conservative Image

Has the work from home shift prompted consumers to step out a little in their choice of professional eyewear? Wanting to stand out in a screenful of meeting participants is as good a reason as any to encourage your customers to introduce a little adventure into their work frames this season.

With the last of the sand shaken off our shoes, and the obligatory greetings of ‘Happy New Year’ finally starting to peter out, February is the time when businesses ramp up.

Your clients, who have used last year’s optical health fund benefits for a new pair of sunnies before the December expiry, may be looking to use their 2023 benefits on an updated pair of professional frames.

BUT WHAT ARE PROFESSIONAL FRAMES?

The term ‘professional frames’ perhaps conjures up images of conservative, perhaps somewhat boring, designs that some optometry stores might hide in a bottom drawer, keeping their displays for edgier options.

But that’s changing as we become less tethered to the traditional office environment. As well as the increase in the number of people working from home (WFH), we’re also moving into co-working spaces. And don’t forget work wear also covers those who may need safety frames, outdoor eye protection, even sports spectacles.

Rowan Carson, Director of Temple Eyewear in Bulimba, an inner suburb of Brisbane, says it is obviously important to understand what type of work the customer is doing.

“You have to understand where, when and what they are using their eyewear for to understand what kind of lens they need, and that’s part of a two-fold discussion while selecting frames.”

“People do make decisions about what they want to wear at work and what they want to wear when they play, but we don’t choose frames that way, we choose frames to suit faces and personalities, it’s the lens choice that often separates tasks,” Mr Carson says.

“There are certain segments of professional workers who have the desire to have a particular look when they’re in the office, and a particular look when they’re not, but neither of those need to be dull.”

STANDING OUT

He says people “don’t want to have the same glasses on as their patients, or their customers, or their workmates”.

“It doesn’t necessarily need to be the brightest coloured or the shiniest frame, but they definitely want a different shape or something that is unique about the product. Quality also matters for our customers.”

And Mr Carson believes this trend has been accelerated by the rise of WFH, and the increase in online collaboration.

“People are still spending time in an office, but that office is highly likely to be 50% of the time in your own house.

“So, there’s an awful lot of people sitting on Zoom, on screens and cameras. And certain eyewear can look like a black blob or can disappear. So, eyewear choice around how people look when they’re on screen is really important because a pair of glasses can make you look just like everyone else.”

READING YOUR CLIENTS

Owner / Dispenser Mark Holloway, from Eye Can C, says the type of work frames required by customers will very much depend on geographic location. He says customers at his practice, in the Melbourne coastal suburb of Williamstown, have a more “relaxed, chill pace” and that’s reflected in their choice of frames.

“It’s more like a country town in the city, and very different to the CBD. People are more intense in the city,” Mr Holloway says.

When connecting with his customers, Mr Holloway encourages them to “try things they normally wouldn’t go for” when they are selecting frames, and choose something that reflects their personality.

“We’ve got stuff that’s a bit out there. It’s not way out there, but it’s not conservative.

“I’ve actually got draws full of frames. I get the cool stuff out on display, but I can still cater for the no frames look if that’s what customers really want.”

Mr Holloway says when fitting customers, he makes suggestions based on their features, hair, skin tone and eye colour.

He says while some people are hesitant to try a new frame shape or colour, it is usually only because they’ve created an image of themselves and need time to get used to something different.

“It’s like bad haircut that will look alright in a couple of weeks. People will adapt (to new frames) in that time.”

A GENDER DIVIDE

Mr Holloway says in his practice, where clients have a higher disposable income, men still tend to “get the pair for work that is for everyday while women are a bit more fashion conscious” and frequently buy multiple frames.

“The face is your first presentation, so why not have different glasses for different moods, for weekends or going out, and for work,” Mr Holloway says.

Mr Carson finds a similar trend in his practice, with men “generally more likely to be in the one pair space”. However, he says he’s found men are starting to seek “more interesting things – they want more interesting design, shape and colour”.

He said brands like Talla, Blake Kuwahara and newcomer to Australia, Tavat, have piqued men’s interest at his store.

“They might buy one pair every year and end up with a couple of looks over a two-year period”, with the purchase often driven by an interest in new lens technology.

Professional Eyewear to Stand Out from the Crowd

ic! Berlin

This is Liam, an oversized square-shaped frame from the Classic collection made of acetate. Classic is for purists seeking unique, understated eyewear. Like all ic! berlin frames, Liam is 100% designed and manufactured in Berlin. Pictured in Brown Driftwood.

Contact: Eyemakers (AUS) 02 9960 7766

Aaron Eyewear – OVVO

The OVVO Surgical Steel & Titanium Collection implements patented technology that defies the limits of design and performance. Each frame is constructed from a military grade surgical steel and titanium composite consisting of 70% steel and 30% titanium.

This hypoallergenic metal, first discovered in spacecraft development, offers remarkable durability, lightness, flex memory, and heat resistance.

Contact: Aaron’s Eyewear (AUS) 07 3367 8447

De Rigo Escada

Featured on the Fall Winter 22 advertising campaign, VESD56 presents some of Escada’s most refined, rich and sophisticated details – the contemporary square shape and metal chain temple decoration highlight the confidence and independence of the Escada professional woman.

Contact: De Rigo (AUS) 02 9428 1500

eyesaBOve

These beautiful artworks are painted by Aboriginal artists Melissa Napangardi Williams and Risharna Nakamarra Dickson from Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu.

With respect to the artists, eyesaBOve uses Italian Mazzucchelli acetate and German hinges. The acetate is also laminated to keep the artwork sharp and clear.

10% of sales go back to the artist and community.

Contact: eyesaBOve (AUS) 0402 353 912

Talla

Talla is an Italian Eyewear brand that offers a great range of professional but stylish eyewear for men in business. Their new Americani collection, inspired by 1950s fashion, features a combination of high-quality opal and glossy crystal acetate models.

Contact: Frames Etcetera (AUS) 1800 708 771

Lindberg Guillaume

With eyewear known for minimalism and the absence of decorations and even logo, this air titanium rim collection embodies the Lindberg design DNA.

The concept is based on an extensive modular system that can personalise frames to the consumer.

The new rim models of 2023 are dominated by the two modern double-bridged models Andreas and Giullaume (pictured). Rim Guillaume is an oversized square in shape, it has an inherent masculine feel, that can excel on both female and male faces.

Visit: lindberg.com

Calvin Klein

Modern and minimalist, this Calvin Klein retroround optical frame is elevated for the office and beyond. Classic colourations, black and dark Havana, for a more understated look, while the honey and petrol colourations can be worn for a standout look. Pictured is model CK22504.

Contact: Marchon Eyewear (AUS) 02 9697 8080

Tom Ford Private Collection

Tom Ford presents sophisticated glasses with geometric lines that reimagine modern luxury, showcasing a premium mix of buffalo horn and Japanese titanium. Model: FT5851-P_063 pictured.

Contact: Marcolin (AUS) 02 8456 0946

Maui Jim

Swift to impress, MJO2141 offers an engaging silhouette, intricately crafted with an etched Monkeypod design. The textured brow line features a thin keyhole bridge leading to smooth stainless steel surrounding the squared lenses. Its lightweight frame is paired with adjustable silicone nose pads to create the most comfortable fit. This style is the clear choice for everyday wearability in a petite and professional profile.

Contact: Maui Jim (AUS) 02 9452 5575

TMA LaLigne

Silhouette’s TMA LaLigne combines the modern look of eyeliner with its minimalist, timeless icon.

Reflecting a widespread trend in makeup of fashion-conscious women applying their eyeliner above their eyelids, tracing the contour of their eye upwards with a flick, Silhouette has proven how flexible the timeless icon Titan Minimal Art (TMA) can be.

Whether on the catwalk, in the office or in a café, the TMA LaLigne with its modern, threedimensional accent ring always looks stylish.

Contact: Mimo (AUS) 02 9970 1800

Paname


Paname offers a complete collection of optical frames with an offbeat look and identity.

With the biggest Silmo release yet, Paname is setting a high standard for distinguished design, material and colour combinations.

Contact: minervaoptics.com.au

The Elusive Miss Lou

The Elusive Miss Lou presents the world’s premier colourful, handmade fabric collection.

Using techniques developed over decades of design and manufacturing, these optical frames are wearable artwork.

The Dee is a small rectangular frame, with a keyhole bridge and that fabulous ‘face life angle’ to the sides, while The Tiger (pictured) is a large panto style with a retro feel that’s totally unisex.

Contact: The Elusive Miss Lou (AUS) 0414 908 841

Scotch & Soda

The Scotch & Soda Optical collection provides an array of bold and modern optical models, capturing the liberal spirit of the brand’s Amsterdam roots.

The design philosophy is entrepreneurial, adventurous, and curious in both the heritage and the future of our world. The wearer is creative and independent in work and lifestyle, tech-enabled, not tech-fixated.

Contact: Mondottica (AUS) 02 8436 6666

Opticare Instyle Plus

 Opticare’s Instyle Plus collection provides attractive styling, all-day comfort, and flexibility for individuals seeking more lavish eyewear choices.

The Instyle Plus range adds an affordable solution while maintaining a professional and well-designed look.

Contact: Opticare (AUS) 1800 251 852

Paul Taylor Eyewear

Paul Taylor’s massive new collections are his most exquisite yet in almost 30 years of designing distinctive eyewear and sunglasses. Oozing colour and creativity, combined with superior quality that stands the test of time, the collection is made in Japan with German hinge components, Italian acetates, some of which are designed by Paul in Milan.

Visit: paultaylor.com.au

Struktur

Professional doesn’t need to be boring. Stylish collections like Struktur Eyewear, a French eyewear brand based in Normandy, deliver smooth lines and vibrant colour.

Struktur is dynamic and exclusive in its design and colouring, with an edgy matt finish on many of the male models which are attractive and very wearable in a professional capacity.

Contact: ProOptics (AUS) 02 8007 6041

Ryan Adda

The Ryan Adda collection of acetate and titanium is designed for both Asian and Caucasian fitting, offering a variety of styles with adjustable nose pads for those who need extra bridge stability.

They are made of hypoallergenic sustainable organic cellulose acetate front and the temples are made of titanium which makes them lightweight for more comfortable end-of-day wear. It is functional as it has a minimum fitting height of 30mm for easy fit of any digital or progressive lenses that may be required.

Visit: ryanadda.com

Tree Spectacles

Tree Spectacles fuses classic and contemporary with a special palette of colours and ingenious designs as its main features.

Through combinations of titanium with acetate detailing, Tree expresses a minimal and modern interpretation of the 70s icons.

The exciting shapes and stylish details play with thicknesses and contrasts, colour and pattern, proposing bold square eye shapes for Taide and Igea (pictured), and a statement rounded ‘rectangle’ for the elegant model Medusa.

Visit: treespectacles.com

Levi’s Eyewear

Levi’s sunglass and prescription collections are now made from Eastman Tenite Renew, which is composed of minimum 42% bio-based content and minimum 20% recycled content.

The resulting material offers the same premium feel and outstanding comfort of acetate with excellent fit adjustability.

Contact: Safilo (AUS) 1800 252 016