INSIGHTS Fashion Meets Function By Jamie Wilson Monday, August 28, 2017 12:00 AM I got my first pair of glasses in the fifth grade, and oddly enough I was initially very excited. At the time, glasses were still more widely viewed as a medical device than a fashion statement. So, by the time I got to sixth grade, the newness wore off and I switched over to contact lenses, wearing my glasses sparingly. Fast forward to today and the entire landscape of the frame world has taken a major turn toward fashion and style. Not only are there fashion bloggers and influencers who speak solely to eyewear, I’ve met many people who wear optical frames without a prescription for the sake of accessorizing. The perception of glasses has evolved and are a sure way that some choose to mark their personal style and identities. This is not exactly new seeing as Kurt Cobain, Jackie O., Iris Apfel, John Lennon and Malcolm X are all individuals who are known for their distinctive eyewear and sunglass choices, but it has become more mainstream for people to think of glasses and fashion in the same terms. Many ECPs are tapping into this as they carefully choose inventory for their locations and appeal to their customer base which is what VM’s assistant editor, Stephanie Sengwe, and I will be discussing in our Pop-Up Talk during Vision Expo West this year. Titled “Trunk Shows & Beyond—How Independent ECPs Build the Ideal Inventory” and inspired by Vision Monday’s Style.Pages “Check.Out” feature we’ll dive into the styles, trends and tactics that ECPs use to appeal to their customers while setting themselves apart from competitors. As for me, I’ve made a 180 since my first pair of frames and am definitely a fashion meets function convert. Working in optical has given me an entirely new perspective and appreciation for the craft of frame making and frame selection and opened up my personal style to experimentation.