Metal Matters: Hot New Looks Featuring Metal Designs

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When it comes to eyewear, frame designers know you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. The classic trend of metal eyewear frames never goes out of style, but that certainly doesn’t mean these frames are boring. Far from it.
Metal is one of the never out of trend materials used in eyewear today,” said Fabrizio Gamberini, CEO and General Manager of Marcolin USA/VIVA. That’s not just because metal is a practical material. It’s about personal style. “Metal frames also have a generally more conservative and elegant look and feel; our consumers appreciate a sophisticated look.”
Gamberini attributes the ongoing success of Marcolin’s metal framed collections to a combination of comfort and appearance, noting that unlike plastic frames, the versatility of nose pads allows the frames to fit varying face shapes, contours and sizes. And for those with heavy Rx needs, lightweight metal offers a thinness that appeals to wearers.
“Some of the brands actually are very strong due to metal and a combination of metal and acetate,” said Gamberini, adding that the pairing offers a rich and elegant finish, frequently
appearing in the Tom Ford and Balenciaga collections.
The anticipated GUESS Fall 2014 collection will feature five new metal frame styles.
“For the men’s assortment we see the combination of metal fronts with plastic temples, including temples of GU 1835 and GU 1836, which have stylish fronts with a flat metal construction and a matte shiny effect on the temples,: Gamberini explains. “For the women’s GUESS assortment, GU 2469 and GU 2470 have transfer paper animal print detailing on the front and temples,
which adds something special to the flat metal construction.” Paul Storace, President of Alternative Eyewear Inc/Plan “B” Eyewear says his company keeps their metal frames relevant by
focusing on style and creativity.
“There is so much you can do with metal frames and we like to constantly push the boundaries,” said Storace. “We add epoxies, embellishments, textures, patterns, interesting shapes, and so on to keep metal eyewear interesting and engaging.”
While metal frames are featured in each of his collections, several product lines stand out for Fall 2014.
“We’re very excited about our newest Glacée, Headlines and IceCream models,” Storace said. “Our IceCream 8981, Glacée 6713 and Headlines 265 are all great new metal frames that are going to be perfect for the end of summer leading into fall.”
He is equally proud of the new men’s styles in the Headlines Collection and upcoming brand new collection, Staag Spectacles, featuring high quality and well-designed metal eyewear.
Storace believes his customers appreciate enduring appeal of the metal frame eyewear option.
“Our metal frames are high quality, meaning people get the look they want and they last under regular wear and tear,” Storace said.
At Match Eyewear, Liz Tontodonati understands the value of offering consumers brand that embody comfort, design and quality craftsmanship at a cost that is affordable to the consumer.
“You will always find metal frames in our best selling collections such as Adrienne Vittadini, AV Studio and Danny Gokey,” said Tontodonati.
She says the uniqueness of these individual brands allows them to stay on trend and stay true to the craftsmanship consumers expect.
“Every single brand has its own nuances, so it is easy for us to keep things relevant and timeless,” Tontodonati said. “For instance, the signature Adrienne Vittadini chevron pattern can be found on the temples of new AV Studio 80, and adds a subtle bit of flair to a classic style.
The Adrienne Vittadini AV 1148 features a floral de-bossed temple pattern with stone embellishment. We find that when adding embellishments such as stones, keeping it to a minimum gives it longevity.
The Danny Gokey DG30 features a flat, full rim with an acetate inlay on the temple.
Beverly Suliteanu, Vice-President of Product Development for WestGroupe says metal is a prominent element of her eyewear design.
“it is such a versatile material and I feel you can include many more design elements with metal than with plastic including more textural nuances, colour combinations and design detail,” she explains. “I incorporate metal models in all of the WestGroupe collections including Kliik, Fysh, Evatik, Superflex, Bertelli and Izumi.”
Suliteanu takes her inspiration from the world of fashion, staying current with evolving trends in clothes, be it colours, patterns or textures and transferring them to eyewear.
“For the fall season, we are using different techniques to add some texture and depth to our metal designs,” she said.
The Kliik K520 is a very sexy, cat eye retro inspired model with a digital animal print overlay on the front and temple that is available in both neutral tones of brown and grey as well as trendy tones of turquoise and purple.
Bringing in the small checked patterns found on the fashion runways, Fysh F3523 uses 3D digital printing on the brow bar and temple to create a three dimensional pattern effect.
The patterned brow bar is offset by a warm tone front finish giving this frame a dramatic, but extremely wearable look.
Using strong colour combinations and intricate design, the Izumi OS9190 makes a statement in women’s eyewear combining the the key trend of a strong brow bar and laser cutouts in one frame. The laser cut circular cutouts give lightness to the frame while the solid colour brow bar anchors the frame.
Tried and true, metal frames are classic option in comfort and style, but assured, these aren’t your professor’s old spectacles. With the elements of design, colour and embellishments to be had, metal frames are here to stay and they’ve never looked better.

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