by Kelly Waterhouse

In 2014, the sky is the limit to what consumers can expect in quality sunglasses.

Among the many fashionable choices this season are Sunlens which offer both single vision and digital progressive lenses available
in polarized, UV400, anti-glare.

“For the high season Nikon will be launching a new Sunlens package,” said Chantal Gravel, Product Marketing Manager for Nikon Optical Canada.

“One of Nikon’s assets is that we have a wide range of our products available on various base curve options to match frame styles without compromising
the visual quality with either Nikon Sunstyle tints or polarized options,” Gravel said.

Staying on trend, Nikon plans to continue with the success of their Blue Light Control Technology.

“We believe that polarized lenses with anti-glare is the best combination for the consumer as it offers a complete glare protection and the best visual comfort. As a matter of fact, Nikon’s multi-layered treatment SeeCoat Blue becomes a true benefit as its proprietary Blue Light Control Technology filters the bother hig
energy visible blue light, increasing contrast and visual comfort,” Gravel said.

Beverly Suliteanu, Vice President of Product Development for WestGroupe sees two big trends in her product lines this year, beginning with Evatik mens sunwear collection for prescription sunglasses.

“The Evatik mens sunwear collection is designed specifically to meet the needs of RXable sunwear. The sun collection has the same high quality and fashionable styling of the Evatik eyewear collection and each model is designed with a six base curve to ensure easy fitting of all prescriptions,” Suliteanu said. “Even though most consumers will replace the existing plano sun lenses with a prescription sun lenses, all Evatik Sun come with high quality cr-39 lenses with an A/R backcoat. There is also a polarized lens option within each style.”

Suliteanu says WestGroupe is also focused on educating customers on the merits of Spy Happy Lens, a bold angle in sunglass lens technology.

“With all the new models and coatings offered in the Spy collection this year, we are sure to see tremendous growth with this brand,” Suliteanu said.

“In addition to making you feel good by letting in the “good” rays, the Happy Lens provides superior color and contrast enhancements. The lenses are impact and scratch resistant and are fantastic for those that love sport and style. This year, many of the Happy Lenses include Spectra coating which reflects strong light and glare,” Suliteanu explains.

Oakley is making sure their brand extends to the needs of consumers who want their signature styles, but require a higher prescription for high-wrap sunglasses. This January the company announced the Oakley True Digital Edge, available with Oakley Authentic Prescription Lenses.

“Oakley’s proprietary process begins by reformulating the prescription using Oakley True Digital (OTD) technology,” said Ryan Joergensen, Product Manager for Oakley Sun and Goggle. “This optimizes clarity and accuracy of vision from the center of the lens to the edge, even for our most extreme- wrap sunglasses. Oakley Thin-Zone processes follow, and we’re able to thin the lens edge by as much as 40 per cent to enhance aesthetics, safety and comfort of vision. The finishing stage entails a frost treatment to block any visual noise or distortion.”

Oakley True Digital Edge increases the prescription range up to +4.00 and up to -6.00, giving patients the clarity they need and the style they want with a minimum 120 degree binocular field of view, eliminating the peripheral distortion that can result when prescriptions are applied to high-wrap lenses, a common aspect
of optical physics.

He insists this is good news for ECPs, allowing them to offer a better range of products for prescription needs.

Serengeti Canada will introduce their attractive new Serengeti Signature collection. Rene Gerber, Marketing Manager for Serengeti Canada, believes if customers are purchasing expensive sunglasses, they need to ensure they are buying premium frames and lenses with the latest lens technology.

“Serengeti continues to promote the Polar PHD lens which offers stunning visual acuity and the utmost UVA/UVB protection but are lightweight and very comfortable,” Gerber said. “Serengeti now has ultra-light glass lenses, so you can still get that unparalleled view but without the weight of glass.”

Gerber points to two features that add to the optical acuity of this brand: Spectral control and photochromic technology, an innovation Serengeti pioneered.

“Spectral control works like a visual equalizer which selectively manages light waves so haze and glare is diminished and contrast is enhanced. This eliminates blue light, which also causes eye fatigue and your vision is sharper and crisper showing only true colours,” Gerber explains. “Photochromic technology is engineered into every Serengeti sunglass so the wearer can be assured of the optimal amount of light at all times thus eliminating eyestrain.”

The bottom line is, today’s lens technology have made sunglasses more than just a fashion statement. With leading edge technology and uncompromising quality, sunglasses are an investment in eye health. And the future looks bright in the Canadian eyewear market.