Bespoke anything is good. To have a bespoke dress or suit is to have a fashionable, customized piece is unique and valuable. Having something designed for you puts it above anything else in the wardrobe. It takes your look to the next level, to know an item is one-of-a-kind and made to fit you perfectly. And in the case of glasses, fit matters. Like our last blog already went over, face shape and brow shape, as designer Tom Davies describes, matters most when looking for a new pair of glasses. Tom Davies takes this principle to the next level, ensuring each piece of eyewear designed is better than the last, because it is specially made for the individual.
But the days of bespoke eyewear being exclusively for the wealthy and social elite are numbered. Eyewear company King Children is taking the now-established 3D printing technology, and applying it to the creation of uniquely customized eyewear frames. By using a 3D scanner to measure your facial structure and, most importantly—your eyebrows, they can create a one-of-a-kind pair of frames.
Now, 3D printed frames themselves aren’t new. Heck, MODO makes a pair that are 3D printed with bio-based materials. We even sell them! And yes, we absolutely think you should come see them in-person, because they’re really cool. But in the day and age of constant technological advancements, it’s refreshing to see a company not re-create (or in this case, print) the wheel, but rather take it into a creative direction. For a lot of people, eyewear represents more than just better eye health. It’s a personal statement. It’s front and center and noticed by everyone, and therefore has the unique ability to reflect your personality. Bookish types like myself might prefer the black and bold frames, while my better half, being a social butterfly, prefers modern, colorful frames.
If our frames are meant to match our personalities, then having King Children offer the same bespoke services that Tom Davies offers at a fraction of the cost means we can rethink the exclusivity of bespoke fashion, and especially the future of eyewear fashion.
My prediction: technology and fashion converge at eyewear. Okay, this prediction might be a little biased. And yet, all the same, it’s a legitimate claim. 3D printing, for example, has changed how we manufacture things. While traditional manufacturing exists, 3D printing allows us more complex and unique things at a fraction of the cost of traditional means. In terms of eyewear, this means frames can be printed with more unique and revolutionary designs in mind, while maintaining an affordable price tag. And the fun doesn’t stop with 3D printing.
Take a moment to consider transition lenses. Yes, the same ones every middle schooler thought were cool until they wore them, only to realize it took 20 minutes to change back to their normal state when you would come inside, and still never really look as clear as they originally did. What could once be brushed off as a fad is now coming back in full swing, with new technology to back it up. Now we have transition lenses that shift to dark in under a minute, return to their completely clear state, can be totally darkened, and (drum roll please), look cool. There’s a high possibility my next pair of glasses will be transitions, because why not take the best of cool tech and rock it.
Transitions are even hitting at the Black Mirror-ish future, now available in contact lenses. You read that right: contact lenses that darken when exposed to bright light. I know this probably has you wondering if you look like a zombie out of The Walking Dead, but the effect they have isn’t that dramatic. In fact, they use that quick-shifting technology to adjust ever so slightly to cut down glare and prevent squinting in bright daylight.
The intersection of technology and fashion is one to watch in the coming years. While we still don’t codone using online eyeglass retailers for EVERYTHING (did I mention we can add lenses to frames bought online?), King Children stands out for offering its custom solution to so many. It’s something to keep an eye on as technology advances to become more personalized to an individual.
Yet, with all the diversity and increased options available in the eyewear fashion industry, frames don’t have to be custom printed to be unique. What’s most important when choosing a frame is choosing one that best matches your current style and function. With hundreds of frames available in-store at Downtown Vision, and knowledgeable (and stylish) opticians ready to help you, every eyewear purchase can be as bespoke as you make it.