ODs, designers, consumers all play 'the frame game'

September 1, 2009
Nancy Groves

Independent optometrists will increasingly need to differentiate themselves in their market. Forward-thinking eyewear designers offer an array of styles, shapes, colors, and materials that can help set your dispensary apart from the pack.

Key Points

"When times are difficult, people want things that reflect happiness and are fun and out of the ordinary, like bright colors," said Jason Kirk of Kirk Originals. He is creating frames in hues such as bright blue and orange and offering asymmetric colors and patterns.

"People are going more conservative," Kramer said. "Eyewear colors are becoming toned down, muted."

Rather than using bright colors as an escape from tough times, some consumers employ an alternate coping mechanism by entrenching themselves in the familiar, the tried and true. Therein lies the paradox, according to Kramer.

While one segment of the market buys muted, conservative colors, they also want products with an air of the exotic-frames made of leather, mahogany, or Buffalo horn, all of which are offered by Teka Eyewear.

"Consumers are looking for something special in material or design," Kramer said. "With exotic products, consumers find value. That's where people are putting their money."