When choosing eyewear there are countless alternatives. Few companies offer the variety of unique styles and design options as Alternative Eyewear.
Classic and edgy designs are a company staple. Each piece is uniquely crafted and detailed. A process that is carefully overseen by President and CEO Paul Storace.
Having spent more than 30 years in the industry, Storace has been able to transform his expertise and design inspirations into fashionable eyewear that clients keep as staples in their wardrobe.
“Nobody ever impressed, changed or modified by following the status quo,” Storace told Optical Prism during an interview at Vision Expo East in New York City. “There is more reward and personal satisfaction when you do things a little different.”
Storace notes his own passion for the eyewear industry is what has driven him to develop eyewear that goes beyond traditional style convention.
Drawing on technology from the past and present, he has been able to add modern flare to classic designs and vice-versa.
“I got into design by necessity. I have always been passionate about the eyewear I sold. I started to sketch things and make changes,” he said. “I went to factories and learned how are things made.”
He took this knowledge and transformed it into a long series of collections which capture the beauty and individuality clients are looking for in eyewear.
He adds there are several styles which remain timeless. Storace takes these pieces and adds new depth and dimension to provide a more personalized look with a modern twist.
“The cat eye looks amazing on young and old. It is flattering and sexy. I love it and have many in my collections both with embellishments and plain, but always flattering,” he said.
Storace says the frames available through Alternative Eyewear add a new level of design with distressed detailing with a clear coat lacquer.
Storace believes lacquer is a fantastic way to draw out both the design elements and overall style of a frame.
“It makes a beautiful frame much more of a show piece,” he said.
Plastic frames are also making a strong return to the eyewear industry. Storace has carefully worked on ways to make this popular choice more fashionable for all ages.
“Plastic is really hot right now. The ability to make a plastic frame is one of the oldest technologies in the world. We have spent time and money to make it look good,” he said, adding the polishing and shine process is what truly makes plastic frames stand out. “It’s a lifetime piece. It can be in your eyewear wardrobe for years. These pieces have a lot of life and a lot of ‘face time’.”
Alternative Eyewear is also revamping traditional foil transfers with the addition of laser detailing which gives a stronger depth of colour.
“I like being able to see the next colour as you get closer to a piece of eyewear,” he said noting designers need to be more experimental when it comes to colour and explore more vibrant and eye catching hues.
Storace has gone to great lengths to make colour an intricate part of the overall look of Alternative Eyewear pieces. He has found countless ways to integrate many colours into one piece while still being able to capture the individual beauty of each shade.
“I think if you avoid colours like coral, you are missing the boat. I think if you avoid colours like lavender, you are missing the boat. I think there is so much to be had if you are a little bit out there,” he said.
For those looking for a more muted approach to eyewear, the traditional and classic colours and designs remain true even today.
“We are selling a lot of pink and tons of light blue. Black is still king and tortoise isn’t going away,” he said. “Above all, style is first and foremost. Design is everything and it has to be interesting or it will not sell.”
Storace says he is always looking for new ways to impress and inspire with his eyewear. He notes it is difficult to pick a favourite piece because the wheels of design are always turning.
“The thing that inspires me the most is everything new. What’s in the oven? What’s cooking right now?” he said. “It’s about having
frames that not only make you look good, but make you feel good too.”