Passion for Eyewear Fashion – Asian Style

DIOPS expo in Daegu, South Korea was colorful and just plain fun!

We’ve just returned from the annual Daegu International Optical Show (DIOPS 2014) in South Korea, to which we were invited as VIP participants.  It was obvious as we approached the expo site that this city is in love with eyewear.  Bus stops, buildings and even light poles are decorated with giant eyeglasses.  Maybe it’s because major eyewear factories are only 3 kilometers away from the expo site, but still, you don’t see that kind of excitement in other cities with nearby factories.

Even light poles in Daegu celebrate eyewear.

Eyewear bus stop in Daegu

And it’s not just this city.  Asia itself seems to be in love with eyewear.  Even people who don’t need glasses wear them.  Celebrities have led the trend for more than three years by wearing fashion frames with no lenses.  They have a particular passion for big, chunky frames that make a statement.

One of the challenges for Asians and ethnic Asians living in the West is that American and European eyewear manufacturers don’t take the Asian facial geometry into consideration when they design their frames.  That is, until now.  Because Asia is the fastest growing market for the eyewear industry, Western manufacturers have begun to redesign some of their most popular models to fit the Asian facial structure more comfortably, with different nosepads, front lines and tilt.  Oliver Peoples was a leader in this trend, and Ray Ban soon jumped on the band wagon in a big way – 44% of its export models offer a version specially altered for an Asian fit.

Thin, lightweight, translucent temples with Ultem symbols.

Most popular eyewear shape in Asia in ultra-thin Ultem.

Though we in America tend to think of the latest fashions as emanating from New York, Paris or Rome, in the eyewear industry, Asia plays a leading role.  South Korea, for example, which just happens to be the fourth strongest economy in the world, is the birthplace of Ultem – a super-flexible, lightweight, heat-resistant (think sunglasses sitting on the dashboard) material that has revolutionized eyeglass frames.  Because of its superior strength, manufactures can now create ultra-thin frames, which previously could only be achieved using metal. Ultem also offers an amazing array of color possibilities ranging from transparent to multicolored.  Best of all, it’s a relatively inexpensive material.  Frank Custom and DASA both produce frames made of Ultem, which you can see and try on here at Providence Optical.  We also have a great collection of exciting Paul Hueman (South Korean) acetate and metal frames in sleek, trendy styles, offered at amazingly low prices.

Faster Smarter and Now More Fashionable: Google Glass Could Be the Next Step in the Information Technology Revolution

Remember when you decided it took too long to fire up the laptop, so you got a smart phone and started doing most of your day-to-day communicating on the go?  Email just wasn’t fast enough, so you went to instant messaging.  And then Facebook wasn’t quick enough, so you had to add Twitter to your life.

Well, let’s face it; the smart phone is becoming annoyingly slow too.  Let’s say that you see something happening and you want to get a picture or a video.  You have to dig the phone out of your pocket, purse or briefcase, turn it on and select the photo app.  By then, the event you were trying to capture is over.  Bummer!

Or, you’re driving in heavy traffic and you suddenly remember something you need to take care of.  You’re afraid you’ll forget.  You need to write it down or record a memo.  Where is that stupid phone?  It’s dangerous to use it while driving, but you don’t want to risk forgetting to do this thing.  Argh!

Enter the newest smart technology that doesn’t need to be hunted down or turned on — a device that’s always at your beck and call, just waiting for you to tell it what to do next and streaming information to you on the go:  Google Glass.

Early versions of the product, which you may have seen in TV ads, made the wearer look like a malevolent warrior from a Sci Fi movie – not the sort of image you’d want to project if you value your business contacts or if you want to make new friends.

 

Thankfully, Google has seen the light and its geeks have sought the assistance of fashion experts to create a new line of eyewear with the Google Glass computer built into the frame. To compensate for the added weight of the computer, designers used über- lightweight titanium for the frames.  The design puts the computer screen just above your field of vision when you’re looking straight ahead so that it doesn’t interfere with your normal vision, yet  you only need to glance to the upper right when you want it.  You can control the computer with either voice commands, or, if you want privacy in a crowd, touch commands along the right temple of the eyeglass frame.

Watch the video to see how it feels!!

Is this just a fad or is it the next step in the information technology revolution?  It’s too early to tell, but here’s an interesting indicator:  Medical Doctors Carl Spitzer and Craig Rosenberg have teamed up to launch Healium, a company that develops software for the Google Glass device that can be used by EMT squads, in emergency rooms, or during surgery.  Making a medical professional’s use of technology hands free is huge.  It saves precious time, which could save lives. In the same context, Rhode Island Hospital’s Emergency Department announced that it will use Google Glass technology to stream live images of a patient’s medical condition to a consulting specialist located elsewhere. It’s the first in the nation to test Google Glass on medical conditions, see the link below:

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140307-r.i.-hospitals-emergency-department-first-to-test-google-glass-on-medical-conditions-video.ece

Want to see what it looks like?   We have samples available to try on and explore.  They can be fitted with your prescription in a variety of lens styles, including single-vision, sunglass or progressives.  Frames and lenses are even eligible for subsidies through the VSP insurance program.  Come explore with us!

Dear Santa: Please Bring Me the Latest Electronic Gadgets … and Protection from Them!

Have you asked Santa for a new smartphone, laptop or the latest lightweight tablet?  Are you hoping a new big-screen television or maybe a handheld e-book reader will appear under your tree?  These devices are wonderful entertainment, a great means to stay connected to family and friends, and they can be educational.  Some of them are even must-haves in today’s educational system.  But the scary thing is, they emit significant amounts of blue light, which carries a variety of health hazards. 

The white light that we know and love as daylight is really a sort of packet containing light in all the colors of the visible spectrum, including blue light.  During the day, blue light is a good thing because it helps you to remain alert and lifts your mood.  At night, however, it can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates body rhythms and helps you to get a good night’s rest.  Preliminary research at Harvard Medical School indicates that reduced levels of melatonin may be a contributing factor in certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  And, if you’re having trouble sleeping due to exposure to blue light, Harvard researchers say you have a higher risk of depression, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Digital Eyestrain

As we increase our use of electronic media, our eyes are struggling to cope.  Children and adults alike experience symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, itchy eyes, and neck or back pain.  In fact, digital eyestrain has surpassed carpal tunnel syndrome as the leading cause of computer-related maladies in the United States.

 

Why Is Blue so Bad? 

The study finds red light least harmful, while blue light is worst.

Of all the colors in the light spectrum, blue causes the most problems for a couple of reasons.  First, because it is the shortest of the light waves, it bounces around more, which causes haze and glare and makes images on your screen look blurry and hard to read.  Secondly, blue light is high energy and this means it causes more damage to your retina than any other color of light.   In fact, this high-energy light is a major contributing factor to age-related macular degeneration.

Don’t Throw Away Your Electronics

From Essilor statement: “We are able to determine the precise toxic wavelenths in the blue-violet spectrum.”

The good news is, vision technology is keeping pace with the changes in digital technology.  Crizal Prevencia, for example, blocks the harmful short rays of blue light (as known as “bad blue light”) while letting in some longer wave, or “good,” blue light so that it doesn’t alter your color perception.  You get protection from damaging rays and a clearer screen image all in one.  And yes, of course, you can get it here at Providence Optical.

Made in Italy 2.0 – Sleek and Innovative

Sleek, thin and made of high quality materials — Italia Independent delivers it all.

The I-Velvet line looks and feels like real velvet, but it’s a lot more durable.

Some of the world’s most covetable goods are “Made in Italy.” Italy has long been famous for exquisite leather accessories, high fashion, and craftsmanship. And our most recent addition is no exception. A little known fact is that Italy is renowned among eyeglass manufacturers for high quality and artistically dramatic plastics.  And now, Italy is home to an amazing and innovative eyeglass manufacturer: Italia Independent, which has declared that its mission is to raise the image of Italian manufacturing techniques to “Made in Italy 2.0.”  Perhaps not surprisingly, the company was created by Lapo Elkann, grandson of Fiat’s founder — after he rescued granddad’s auto company from the brink of extinction.

It doesn’t get any thinner than this!

If you want high fashion, but you don’t like chunky frames, this new brand of eyewear may be exactly what you’re looking for. Italia Independent – or II as the company likes to call itself – specializes in sleek, lightweight designs with materials that you won’t be able to stop touching.  The I-Velvet line, for example, has a special UV LUX® treatment that feels just like velvet, but it’s not fragile.  It’s scratchproof and fade resistant.  I-Thin Metal eyewear products are super light and have a rubber matte coating that gives them a soft touch.  If you want glasses that are barely there, yet still stylish, you might just fall in love with II’s I-Thin line, which features frames only 1.6 mm in width,  in both metal and plastic, with a wide range of transparent and opaque color options.

II sunwear is available in regular or prescription lenses.

We’re pleased to offer a broad selection of II’s products.  Come touch them for yourself and fall in love.