Epoxy resins are a type of plastic used in eyewear as an alternative to acetate. One of the most advanced epoxies is Optyl. It can reduce the weight of plastic frames by a third and has a brilliant finish and allows for stylish colour effects. Developed by Carrera of Austria in the early 1970’s, Optyl’s patent was bought by Safilo of Italy who later used it in their Gucci collection.
DAME EDNA EVERAGE
Next to Harry Potter, the most common name to come up in my shop is Dame Edna Everage. She’s an anti-fashion icon like no other. Any design with a wing and an upsweep will be written off with, ‘way too Dame Edna.’ No one wants to look like Dame Edna. The only thing that I can say in her defence is that my frame-maker David makes all her frames and a lot of hard work and craft goes into them.
The biggest manufacturer of lenses in the world, Essilor of France gave me an early break when I rather brazenly bowled up to their MD and suggested we go into business together. This we did, and I took over their frame-glazing operation in 1997. Since then, Essilor have grown even bigger by merging with Luxottica, the biggest manufacturer of frames in the world, creating an industry giant with tens of thousands of retail outlets worldwide. I, however, don’t stock any of their ranges in my shop as I much prefer my independence.