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Design versus licensed labels.

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If you ask me if we carry brands like Prada, Coach, Dior, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Lacoste, Burberry, or Dolce Gabbana — my answer would be “We used to!” 

Over the past few years we have lost interest in carrying these luxury frame bands simply due to value. I’m not saying that Prada and Gucci don’t have cool frames: they certainly do.  But when it comes to value and the “you get what you pay for,” these brands simply don’t offer that. 

Lets take Prada for example. The average frame is about $400. That frame is mass produced in a factory where thousands are made in a minute. In fact, it is highly likely its the same factory that mass produces all the other brands too.  Brands such as Dolce Gabbana, Coach, Burberry and Rayban. Many of these brands crossover in shapes, colors and styles. After a few weeks, a trained eye can tell that the frames are a bit inbred, lol. 

The $400 Prada frames share the same factory and also the same tooling that a $200 Rayban frame is made with. So why the price difference? It’s all in the logo that is on the side of the frame. You just paid an extra $200 for your frame to be stamped “Prada.” 

The rub here is the value proposition. If I pay $400 for something, I do expect it to work better, faster, longer than something that costs $200. But what we were finding at Oakland Vision Center Optometry, Prada frames were breaking. Coach frames were breaking. Jimmy Choo frames were breaking. Most breaks were at the hinge (a weak part of the frame since frame arms are opened and closed everyday), and this was happening at about the 1 year mark . . . somewhat forcing the consumer to purchase another pair of Prada frames! What we needed were frames built with a quality that could withstand wear and tear. 

As a solution, we started looking around for a better value proposition product. We are constantly searching to answer that question on behalf of our fabulous patients. So far we have come up with some pretty cool products. In our search, we found that the products with the best value proposition came from companies that only made glasses.  No handbags. No shoes. No clothes. No fragrance. Just glasses.  Here, we have frames that are made in small batches, because they can be. Sure you may spend $200, but it’s worth that. You may spend $400, but it’s also worth that.  You may spend $600, but it’s worth it. You are getting what you pay for . . . craftsmanship, unique shapes, unique colors, durable hinges and best of all — no $200 logos.

Yours truly,

Dr. Gill





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  • Written by Tanya Gill

    Dr. Gill is also a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. In addition to her Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gill also has a BA in Integrative Biology and a BS in Vision Science, both from UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
    In 2015, Dr. Gill developed and founded We Love Eyes, which is a green cosmetics company that produces eyelid and eyelash cleansing products that are natural, non-toxic, and vegan.

    More Articles by Tanya Gill

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