CANADA IS HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND STYLISH EYEWEAR COMPANIES IN THE WORLD. WE LOOk AT SOME OF THE INDUSTRY LEADERS AND TRENDSETTERS WHO OFFER THEIR THOUGHTS ON DOING BUSINESS IN THE CANADIAN EYEWEAR MARkET.
Founded more than 50 years ago, WestGroupe is one of the longest serving eyewear companies in Canada. Divided into three divisions Western, Wescan and WestGroupe USA, the company has reached in- ternational status with a reputation for unique designs and selection.
“We are proud of our Canadian identity and the fact that we have been able to thrive in an industry with so many large international competitors and that our customers share in the pride of our Canadian and international success,” said Michael Suliteanu, President of WestGroupe.
Offering several brand options including value brands such as Superflex, Bertelli and Izumi along side designer brands such as Spy and Perry Ellis, WestGroupe has always offered an eyewear solution for any wearer.
“From the inception of our company 54 years ago, WestGroupe has always focused on producing and distributing products that resonate with Canadians. Being Canadian gives us insight into our domestic market, both from a retailer and consumer perspective, that foreign companies selling into Canada might not appreciate,” added Beverly Suliteanu, Vice President of Product Development.
In an industry where buyouts
and acquisitions have seen many ‘independent’ operations disappear, WestGroupe has held strong and built the brand including adding several international premium brands such as KLIIK Denmark, FYSH UK and EVATIK.
“We have always created products that we felt would resonate with the Canadian consumer,” she said. “Even when we started selling our brands in the U.S. and Europe, our styling always focused on satisfying the Canadian marketplace as we found what sold well in Canada translated well internationally.”
Safilo is the second largest manu- facturer of eyewear in the world and has built a strong presence in Canada in recent years offering several leading luxury and premium brand options.
“As a global leader in fashion eye wear we bring a team of professional reps to showcase our over 30 brands right to your location. With such an extensive portfolio the team at Safilo can truly customize your experience,” said Robert Eggett, National Sales ManagerSafiloCanada.”Dispensers have a diverse clientele and needs so our goal at Safilo is to ensure we have the product, marketing needs, world class web sight and experience to exceed expectations.”
Unlike other larger companies, Safilo is involved in the entire business cycle including product development and design to ensure there are always new looks for each season. Offering high-end brands such as Fendi, Dior or Celine paired with many house brands, there are many options for ECPs to offer their patients.
“If it is introducing an entry level Rx sun program using Polaroid rxable sunglasses, building your sport segment with Smith, expanding your men’s selection with Boss or Carrera to finding a selective distribution line like Fendi, Dior or Celine, our mission is to ensure we have the right product and understanding of your needs,” Eggett said.
Spectacle Eyeworks has been designing unique and creative pieces since 1996.
Original concepts and the expert use of materials has made this line a favourite among eyewear lovers. “I believe eye care providers need to choose Spectacle Eyeworks because we are unique, beautiful, independent and Canadian,” said Mehran Baghaie Director & Chief Designer at Spectacle Eyeworks.
Hard work and creativity has driven the company to international recog- nition. The company’s first line is now comprised of over hundred
styles including one which won “Eyewear of the Year Award” at the prestigious International Optical Fair of Tokyo. The addition of three other original-concept lines – Pussy Galore, RETRO and Wood & Horn collections offer wearers a fun, chic and independent way to express their style.
“I believe eyeglasses are fashion accessories and therefore eye care providers need to help optical frame wearers to make a fashion statement with their glasses,” he said. “They need to assist consumers to feel good, feel unique, feel beautiful with the ever enchanting Canadian brand Spectacle Eyeworks.”
Optika Eyewear serves the Canadian and international market with adult and kids eyewear lines. The company has a proud tradition of offering exceptional attention to detail when it comes to both the product it offers and how it works with eyecare providers.
“Our company is proud to offer one of the best customer service assistance in the industry. Our office staff are well trained, and always there to help our customers needs,”saidRichardAllan,VPofSalesfor Optika Eyewear.
“As well, our sales team, is dedicated, and committed to offering a pleasant sales experience with our company.”
Designed in France, the “Nat and Coco” eyewear collection is a blend of haute-couture styling and fashion excess.
“People are always looking to make a statement, and specifically, our Nat and Coco Eyewear, meets that niche,” he said.
Featuring innovative temple designs, coupled with new and exciting color combinations, this collection exudes opulence and elegance. This collection is available in both metal and acetate styling.
“This collection has a distinctive edge:
Our metals are all made of a unique super light-weight composition of stainless steel, which provides extra durability and comfort. As well, our acetates, offer unique colour combinations that push the boundaries of colour,” he said.
Other lines offered from Optika include Mizayake, Soho and Reactive.
Marchon is one of the largest eyewear companies in the industry serving more than 100 countries including Canada.
Offering some of the finest eyewear in the industry from brands ranging from Calvin Klein, Chloe, DVF, Karl Lagerfeld and Salvatore Ferragamo.
In light of the consolidation of the eyewear industry and the visible reduction of vendors within a practice, our goal is to become a pillarofreferencetotheopticalprofessionals,” said Kristina Simeone, Marketing Manager of Marchon Canada. “Our expertise and
knowledge which lies not only in the frame industry but in vision insurance, lenses, and information technology, is helping guide the independents through the transitioning market.”
The company strives to present pieces that represent innovative design and cutting edge technology such as AirLock.
The Canadian office ensures eyecare providers are able to have quick and efficient service to deliver the product faster.
“We service our customers from a Canadian office and distribution center, allowing us to offer best-in-class customer service and operational excellence,” Simeone said.