Why rimless? W.EYE not?

It’s a crazy time out there in the world of optics. Yet underneath the everyday orders, sales and repairs, little stories are being told about new and exciting things to come. About people trying new things and no longer settling for what we are used to in Australian Optics.

W.EYE is a collection of rimless designs, based on and around feedback from Optometrists and Optical dispensers on what they feel is missing from the market, and feel the end consumer needs. Originally a repair solution at Frame Care (Legends!), Australia’s ‘go-to’ for all unusual and difficult repair solutions. It started back in 2013, and still today has the same team of 4 people working away to develop a rather unique collection for independent Optometry practices.

I was lucky enough to get a bit of info from one of the creators of the brand Kyleigh this week.

Kyleigh: “Our main objective when we designed W.EYE was to make a 100% handcrafted and owned Australian product to be sold in Australian Independent Optical Practices.

Peter (another of the 4 original team members) designed a set of jigs that enabled him to craft new parts to replace broken temples and bridges of (current) rimless frames. The parts he handcrafted had a universal fitting system that would fit the existing drill holes in lenses on popular (other) rimless brands.

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We originally marketed W.EYE to be different to other ‘invisible’ rimless brands by making our frames neon bright in colour. Our first campaign highlights this – “Bring out your wild colours”. Feedback from both customers and our partners was that they wanted neutral hues as well. So now the collection has two campaigns:

  • Eyewear Art – for those wanting to create a unique, colourful and bright piece of art for their face.
  • Minimalist Movement – for those wanting an invisible look

Currently the W.EYE collection is stocked in 23 independent practices in Australia, and 2 in Denmark. We also offer our frames on consignment to independent Australian Optometry practices.”

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One of the W.EYE customers in Denmark

 

What I love about the W.EYE collection is that they’re actively listening to the people in the industry, and also the end consumer. They’re not trying to create trends or follow fashion, but rather react to what the wearer wants and catering to this. Being technicians that deal with other frame faults, repairs and weaknesses on a day to day basis, they are well aware of design strengths and floors and develop the collection using this knowledge.

The colours in the Eyewear Art collection are vibrant, fun and carry an energy that the wearer can select based on their personal style. The tones in the Minimalist Movement collection are easy to wear, will go with everything, but still have that beautiful, classy finish, creating an air of sophistication with the look and feel of the end product.

To view the entire collection, or to find out more about the W.EYE products, please contact them on the below:

Insta: @weyeeyewearaustralia

Online: http://www.weyerimlesseyewear.com

A huge Thank you to Kyleigh for supplying some images, and taking time out of her busy day for this. Also, all of her support of The Eyewear Girl ox

Em xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titanium Frames

When purchasing eyewear there are many things to consider. Size, style, colour and comfort just to name a few. The materials the frames are made from have a huge impact on not only the design, but also the fit and weight of the frame. Today we are going to take a quick look at the benefits of titanium in frame design, vs other metal options.

The most common metal frame materials across the industry are titanium, nickel alloy, stainless steel, zinc, copper, beryllium, silver and gold. The easiest ones to find in store are Nickel alloy and titanium. Copper, Gold and Silver frames are not as easily sourced, due to their price. Beryllium frames are lightweight and fairly erosion-proof, however have large limitations on design. Stainless steel frames are definitely around but have many colour limitations so are not exactly ‘fashionable’ a lot of the time. And zinc….I’ve never actually found or sold a zinc frame!

 

 

Nickel alloy frames are easily the most popular. Not because customers look for them specifically, but because they are the most affordable and easily sourced. There are hardly any design or colour restrictions, it works well with most lens styles and can be adjusted to fit different faces easily, without damaging the design – provided the Optical dispenser knows what they are doing 😉 So why the focus on Titanium?

There are two main reasons people search specifically for Titanium frames:

  1. Titanium is a lighter weight material, great for people with sensitivity issues on their nose
  2. Anyone that has a nickel allergy – Titanium is hypo-allergenic.

While there are some limitations on Titanium as a material in terms of design, if you’re after a minimalist classic look you will find a lot to choose from. Designers are branching out with it as a material these days too, trying to push the traditional limits to create interesting pieces made in a more ‘skin’ friendly’ material.

 

Titanium frames are also recommended for anyone working in environments that are likely to make metals rust, as titanium doesn’t corrode.

Of course, being a more premium material, titanium is more expensive than a nickel alloy, although in most cases you will find the warranty on them is longer as well. If you’re allergic to nickel but prefer a minimalist look with your eyewear, I suggest investigating your options thoroughly. Even in the last 12 months I have come across many new brands specialising in titanium ‘fashion’ collections, that are absolutely beautiful.

As always, when investigating eyewear always ask questions. In independent practices, there is a reason why the prices for frames are what they are, the higher prices are usually determined by the handwork, details and also higher quality materials in each design.

The Eyewear Girl x

The Eyewear Girl does MIDO 2019

MIDO 2019 – Where oh where do I start?

My whirlwind of a month started 3 weeks before MIDO, when I found out I had been sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency to attend.

Yes, that’s right…3 weeks’ notice to attend one of the top experiences on my  work bucket list!

So with my newly started identity (theeyeweargirl) , thrown together business cards, a last minute (VERY expensive) passport and an open mind, I headed off from my small town coastal home town in Victoria, Australia to Milan.

Having been in the Australian optical industry for over 17 years, I’d heard many stories about MIDO – the size, the product etc but nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience.

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Ultra Eyewear @MIDO

 

The 7 halls of innovative materials, products and technology instantly made me feel like an ant. Tiny. My passion for quality product has been there from the start but what I’d been exposed to before now was nothing in comparison.

My role as The Eyewear Girl is to give confidence to the consumers in Australia to ask questions and understand what they are spending their money on. To experiment and not just follow the ‘branded crowds’, and that it is worth understanding and investing in the right product.

MIDO opened my eyes to a world of opportunities and grew my passion for quality even more.

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Pugnale Eyewear @MIDO

 

Obviously there were a LOT of beautiful frames, new colours, material combinations, brand launches and opportunities to see new release products before the rest of the world. Then, there were the displays and marketing ideas, that feel like an extension of the brand rather than just a ‘standard pillar’ window display.

But for me, this was all secondary.

What truly got me, was the people. I was blown away by the passion of the designers for their products. Their reasoning for being so meticulous with their design and material choices, their brand and model stories and their willingness to share themselves and ask questions to help us broaden our understanding of their craftsmanship. There is NOTHING like someone that has unwavering commitment to their craft and their passion is contagious. I couldn’t help but appreciate how much these designs are more a work of art than just a ‘frame’.

 

 

 

I’ve always been an advocate for eyewear being an extension of someone’s personality, and MIDO sure delivered that idea in spades.

I came away from MIDO with so many things

–       A bigger appreciation for people behind the brands

–       A fascination for asking ‘Why’ to every design decision

–       Many new relationships and industry friends

–       Inspiration to embrace individuality in every single form

–       An obsession with colour

–       A sound belief that while I may only be one person, I’m going make a difference in the Australian Eyewear Industry. ‘Quality Eyewear’ in Australia is worlds away from what our end consumer thinks it is, and MIDO showed me even more how important education to our consumers really is.

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Daniel Hector Eyewear @MIDO

MIDO for me was an eye opener. In between running from booth to booth to help select new product I couldn’t help but notice how happy everyone was. It’s exciting to be surrounded by like-minded people who appreciate quality.

So, will I be attending again? OF COURSE!

I’ll also be pushing every way I can to get to as many more shows and events that I can so that I can help inspire people to appreciate our Industry and the people behind it.

And if someone were to ask me why I would suggest attending MIDO? Because there is no better way to be inspired, than directly from the source.

M.