What are the top three brands at the office right now?
We got Tom Ford, Ray Ban’s always good, We have the new Gucci line. LA Eyeworks
Tom Ford is pretty high-end or middle ranged brand, and it's nice for men or women to wear. What would you say is unique about Tom Ford to you, as someone who sells it? What do you think your patients look for when they want to get a Tom Ford brand?
It's really a brand identification, Those who love Tom Ford sees its quality. The frames themselves tend to be a little bit more of a retro, sort of heavy plastic. A strong sort of retro aesthetic.
Does that mean that Tom Ford last longer?
No, they just look kind of like 60s 70s in their styling. The chunkier plastics, black tortoise style is not really colorful. It’s a stronger look.
Ray ban, is one of the few sunglasses that basically kind of trumps everybody. What’s your average Ray ban buyer?
It's a name that older people and younger people associate with. Both for men and women, and often people speak of Rayban like ‘I think I had worn it before and I’m used to the name.’ Or, ‘I wore these when I was a kid.’ Just like in the 80s or so, and it's back and they're wearing it again. And the price point is low so in general, it becomes an everyday sunglass for a lot of people. Because people don't have to think about it when they're getting Ray bans, they kind of go with it.
As far as the younger crowd, they wear it because their parents wear it or they wear because it's just fun?
Younger people are wearing bigger styles, often with more mirrors, while the more trendy Ray bans like they have the series that are flatter. That's what some younger people are wearing.
How has the new Gucci been?
What happened with Gucci is that they switched over manufacturers, so we stopped carrying it, and people were looking for it. Now we have it back with all new designs. A lot of their designs have the logos on them. Some people like the logos, others don't. But people who didn’t have them for a while are kind of happy to see them back again.
Is Gucci classy? Are they like a Tom Ford equivalent?
I would say yes. Tom Ford is a little funkier and Ray ban is more classic.
Are they mostly for women?
Yes, I would say we sell more for women. They make more for women. And the branding on the Gucci brand is a lot more obvious. It's got like big G's on the side or three-dimensional cats sticking out of the side, or big stripes.
Are they also plastic?
Most of them, yes.
LA Eyeworks, is a really unique brand. Do you know how to kind describe that one?
LA Eyeworks is mainly for people who are into color, people who want something funky and different. It's just a lot more unusual. Every piece they do is limited edition. Every season they come up with new models and they don't keep reproducing the same frames. It’s more limited edition eyewear.
Are they a large retail or are they a smaller company?
It’s a smaller company. It started here in Los Angeles, and the designers are from Huntington Beach. They opened the shop on Melrose in 1979 and started making the frames in about 1980 or 81, and the same woman still designs them today. They do sell worldwide, but it's a small company. They have about 20 to 30 employees. Their tagline is, ‘A face is like a work of art., it deserves a great frame.’ You know they try and be funkier and a little bit more different.
These brands are mostly meant for people in their 20s or older, but do any of these brands carry for kids?
Ray bans has a junior line, Ray ban Junior and that’s for kids.
Does that do well for your practice?
Yes, that does really well. You know we have two other kids lines that do really well too. We have Penguin Junior, and we have the Gwen Stefani GX for kids.
Do you have Lamb by Gwen Stefani also?
Yes, we have Lamb, but Lamb is an adult line. GX does both adult and junior. We carry The Lamb and the GX adult collections, and we also carry the GX kids collection.
The GX for kids looks fun and colorful. Do kids like that?
Oh, yes, it's great. It has a frame with emojis, magnetic emojis that snap on and off the temple. It’s really very different.
I can see kids getting stuck on that for hours! For most of these frames do you find that through their insurance they can get them?
For the Gucci, LA Eyeworks, and Tom Ford those frames are closer to the $400-500 range. Insurance covers $150 for the frame so the person spends quite a bit more for the frame. But for Ray ban and GX, they are a lot closer to the coverage.