All The Rage

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Specs appeal: the eyes have it

April 29, 2012 |  7:02 am

Eyewear LA Eyeworks, Salt and Oliver Peoples
Remember when everyone who needed prescription eyewear seemed to be sporting a pair of barely there rimless spectacles with low-profile lenses barely bigger than a pair of postage stamps?  

While that look (circa 2002 to 2005) hasn't gone away completely, over the past half decade there's been a decided shift in the opposite direction and today ophthalmic glasses are treated as much like a fashion accessory as are their in-your-face, dark-lensed sibling sunglasses.

Why and how that happened is the focus of my story in Sunday's Image section, which has eyewear industry experts near (L.A. Eyeworks' Gai Gherardi, Oliver Peoples' Larry Leight and David Rose from Costa Mesa based Salt Optics) and far (Milena Cavicchioli, from Milan, Italy-based eyewear behemoth Luxottica Group) framing up the factors that helped eyewear, in Cavicchioli's words "step out of its traditional cage and expand into different areas of the fashion world."

In fact, eyewear frames have become such a popular accessory that even people who don't need to correct their vision are wearing glasses anyway. And we're not the only ones that have noticed -- even as Sunday's Image section was going to press, I received an email pitch on just that topic from the LasikPlus folks who noted: "Even celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Kim Kardashian who underwent LASIK have been photographed wearing frames again."

For the record, we have no idea if or when either of the two aformentioned celebrities underwent said laser vision correction procedure. But we do know that Brad Pitt turned up at the Oakland premiere of "Moneyball" in October sporting a pair of eyeglass frames with lightly tinted lenses -- which just so happens to be another topic I tackle in Sunday's Image section.   


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-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The current crop of eye-catching eyewear includes, from left, L.A. Eyeworks' Dip (in Two Mints, $230), Salt Optics' Annabel (in Toffee Tortoise Pink, $315) and Oliver Peoples' Reeves (in Pewter/Matte Black, $440) Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times