By Denis Langlois
Eyewear sales are continuing to climb in Canada.
According to the latest VisionWatch Canada report from The Vision Council, Canadians purchased about 7.5 million pairs of frames in 2017 and spent a total of about $1.42 billion on the new specs. About 66.8 per cent of Canadians used prescription eyeglasses in 2017.
Each of those numbers have risen over the past several years.
Canadians bought about 7.3 million frames in both 2015 and 2016, spending a total of $1.40 billion and $1.39 billion in those years, respectively.
About 65.7 per cent of Canadians used prescription eyeglasses in 2016 and 65.3 per cent used Rx specs in 2015.
In recognition of the growth in eyewear sales in Canada, we’ve put together this digest of some of the new collections and products now available from companies with headquarters in Canada.
WestGroupe, which has its headquarters in Quebec, has been named the Canadian distributor of the new Moleskine eyewear collection.
The functional collection is launching this spring with seven optical frames for men, five styles for women and three unisex models.
The frames all have a clean yet distinctive design. The glasses are both naturally elegant and innovative, as well as functional and extremely lightweight. Ultra-thin and ultra-light with uniquely designed temples and hinges and manufactured in the finest materials available, the eyewear collection speaks to the ethos of the Moleskine brand and its timeless and distinctive spirit.
Visit www.westgroupe.com for more information.
PLAN ‘B’ EYEWEAR
Plan ‘B’ Eyewear, which has its headquarters in Ajax, Ont., has added Nano Vista’s new Nano Solar Clip models to its portfolio of products available in the Canadian marketplace.
Nano Vista designs such as the Re-Play, Fangame and Crew now offer the option of a solar clip-on for complete UV protection.
The Solar Clip models are made from the patented Siliflex material that makes all Nano frames flexible, lightweight and indestructible with the added bonus of a sunglass clip.
Each clip is polarized and features patented Blue Block technology to block harmful blue light from children’s developing eyes. Some clips feature a mirrored lens while others offer a more standard polarized look.
The frames, available in a variety of colours, are for girls and boys and start at a size 42.
Visit www.alternativeeyes.com or call 1-888-399-7742 for more information.
CANADIAN OPTICAL SUPPLY CO. LTD
Silhouette eyewear, distributed in Canada by Montreal-based Canadian Optical Supply Co. Ltd., has released a new collection with frames that are a hybrid of classic rimless and conventional full-rim eyewear.
The Titan Minimal Art – The Icon. Accent Rings – collection features delicate SPX rings that adorn the edges of the lenses like rims. The delicate rings accentuate the shape of the lenses, lending greater contour to classic shapes. Cut-outs on the Accent Rings bring excitement and highlight the feminine shapes. The collection boasts a choice of six lens shapes, six Accent Ring colours and six frame colours, offering more than 200 possible variations.
Visit silhouette.com for more information.
Verne is one of the frames in Toronto-based Rapp Optical’s spring collection, which it brought to this year’s Vision Expo East in New York City.
Rapp Optical designs and manufactures all of its frames in Canada from raw acetate and raw titanium materials. The Canadian-made products are then exported internationally.
The frames are available in limited runs and the only way for retailers to view and purchase the products is to visit the company’s booth at Vision Expo East, Vision Expo West or Silmo in Paris. Rapp staff also make infrequent road trips to visit retailers.
Visit rappoptical.ca for more information.
Spectacle Eyeworks Inc., the Canadian design house, has added four new frames to its RETRO line of frames.
The upbeat, suave new styles bring a different perspective to the classically larger shapes of past designs but prove that great things sometimes come in small packages.
Mehran Baghaie, operations director and chief designer at Spectacle Eyeworks, says, “I wanted to bring a fresh approach to the geek chic look and design smaller, sleek shapes while playing with more vibrant colours, creating what I like to call hip chic.”
Each new addition, namely Bruce, James, Mark and Minus, is available in seven colours including a topaz, emerald and classic black and white.
Visit spec-eyeworks.com or call 1-888-722-3322 for more information.
Optika Eyewear, based in Saint-Laurent, Que., is now featuring the Nat & Coco Sunglass collection, which is all about impact, colour and style.
Twelve models, in both stainless steel and handmade acetate, are part of the collection. All of the sunglasses can be worn as either a regular sun or prescription model.
Six of the models feature coloured lenses, which Optika says is one of the biggest fashion trends this season. The sunglasses come with CR39 lenses which also protect against UVA and UVA rays.
Visit optikaeyewear.com for more information.
Toronto-based Specsy has announced that it is planning to offer custom 3-D printed metal frames later this year.
In the long-term, the company also has its sights set on adding materials like wood and acetate to its product offerings.
Specsy provides optical professionals with a retail-ready app to design custom glasses tailored to the patient’s aesthetic preferences and technical requirements. The Specsy retail app uses augmented reality, allowing patients to design frames on a live image of their face. By utilizing 3-D facial scans and a digital design process, Specsy provides optical professionals the opportunity to offer a truly custom frame.
Specsy utilizes an in-house multi-colour 3-D printer to craft their plastic resin frames.
Visit specsy.com for more information.
Bushnell Outdoor Products Canada, which has its office in Vaughan, has launched Bolle Boxton sunglasses in Canada.
The easy-to-wear neo-classical frames are perfect for both casual and business situations. They feature a stylish eye-catching stainless steel bar in bright colours for the daring or brushed metal for a classic styling.
The Boxton boasts metallic blue flash mirror lenses that absorb reflections across mirror surfaces. These shades are available in polarized lenses with anti-reflective, oleophobic and hydrophobic treatments.
Visit bolle.com for more information.