By Troy Patterson
THE LATEST FRAMES ARE USING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS TO COMBINE STYLE OPTIONS, DURABILITY AND COMFORT FOR THE CONSUMER. THE MOST POPULAR MATERIALS IN DEVELOPMENT HAVE A FOCUS ON LIGHTWEIGHT, BUT DURABLE DESIGNS, WHILE THREE-BARREL, FIVE-BARREL AND SCREWLESS HINGES OFFER VARYING OPTIONS IN MODEL TYPES TO COMPLEMENT THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF EACH COMPANY’S LATEST STYLES.
Hinge designs offer a variety of different supports for different types of plastics and metals with durability suited to the ever-changing lifestyle needs and environments of consumers. Triplebarrel hinges can offer quality support, while five-barrel hinges can up the ante in frame support, both designed like a standard door hinge, but with a small screw fitting the zipper-like barrels together, with more barrels generally increasing the durability of the frame.
Screwless hinges and integrated spring hinges are also options for sports needs, or at times when consumers want to keep their frames snug to their temples. They can also be used in varying styles to achieve the look and durability that suits the need of the consumer.
With companies showcasing their 2016 fall and winter collections, companies like Westgroupe, OGI Eyewear, Centennial Optical and Match Eyewear have new styles and
designs that use unique hinge designs, lightweight materials and combinations of acetates
and metals to offer options that stand out in a competitive marketplace.
OGI Eyewear’s new 7161 frame, part of the Heritage Collection, is handcrafted from three layers of premium acetate and features temples that are fastened to the frame by robust
“Designed in a soft-rectangular shape, the 7161 is available in a range of neutral colour options.”
OGI has also added two new models to its Red Rose brand. Both the Barone and Bellaria are cut from a single block of stainless steel to ensure structural integrity and are equipped with screwless hinges.
The Barone boasts a round silhouette and keyhole bridge, while the Bellaria is a flattering feminine frame with adjustable temple tips.
“At the forefront of modern optical design, OGI constantly releases trendsetting styles that set the most demanding standards in the industry, pushing the parameters of affordable luxury with frames that are unrivaled in quality and value,” the company says.
The key trend in eyewear design is a focus on lightweight materials for Westgroupe.
Titanium, beta titanium, stainless steel and high density, ultra-thin acetate are the “must-have” materials.
“Titanium, despite its higher cost, has become more and more desired, particularly for men,” says Beverly Suliteanu, vice-president of product development at Westgroupe. “For
the Evatik fall collection, we expanded our titanium selection with the launch of two new titanium models. With a block titanium front and beta titanium temples, E-9133 and E-9135 are almost weightless and incredibly comfortable due to the fl exibility of the beta temples.”
The company said it’s constantly experimenting with the mixing of materials in order to develop new and interesting design elements.
High-octane accent colours and screwless hinges add a “sporty element” to the designs, Suliteanu says.
Match Eyewear is taking the AERO collection in a new direction with lighter-than-air styles and “click and twist” screw-less hinge technology.
The collection, consisting of three styles for men and one for women, offers the latest advancements in screw-less hinge technology combined with the weightlessness of injected
“With a mere “click” and “twist,” the temples can be interchanged with an alternate colour, allowing the end consumer the ability to customize their frames to their personal colour
preferences,” said Ethan Goodman, president of Match Eyewear. “Our new screw-less hinge technology makes light work of changing temples with three easy steps.”
Centennial Optical is excited about materials and technologies that provide sleekness, comfort and a weight that is less noticeable to the wearer.
“We know that the consumer is wanting thinner, lighter and more comfortable eyewear,” says Linda Mulford-Hum of Centennial Optical. “In response to that, the global acetate manufacturers have developed CM or compressed molded plastic material.”
Think of it as a panini press for plastic, Mulford-Hum says.
“This method allows for the frame to have the lightness of injected molded frames but with the finish and durability of handmade plastic,” she said. “All the colours, patterns, laminations of sheet plastic can be compressed. Our TLG, (Thin, Light, Glasses) feature
compressed molded plastic frames.”
Mulford-Hum said titanium is a material that has been around in eyewear for decades, but not in the case of molded titanium, which once had restrictions on thickness and shape of titanium.
“But not anymore,” she said. “Our ‘Zipper’ molded titanium temple found in the TLG collection proves that today’s titanium really has no limitations.”
The model also features an “integrated spring hinge” and temple design exclusive to TLG that provides a more substantial temple without the weight, in a traditional-looking shape.