I’ve been on the prowl for a new pair of glasses and on the way came across a concept that was so entirely new to me that it pretty much forever changed the way I’ll shop for eyewear now. I walked into a recommended eyewear shop in San Francisco and tried on a few frames while the salesman looked on. As I put down a pair he walked up to me and said, “Oh, I knew those wouldn’t look good on you, what you need is to come over here. The ones in this case will be perfect for you. These are made by a Japanese designer”
Ok, I thought…well, here we go, some white guy thinks this Chinese girl is Japanese—great. WELL, little did I know he was going to school me in a seriously awesome way. He hands me a pair, and I slip them on. So comfortable, the right size, the right profile. I turn to him with this look of incredulous bliss.
He says, “You know why those are so great? Because they’re made for low-bridge faces. Asians often have a low-bridge while caucasian faces have high bridges.”
Did you just hear that little *poof* ? That was Ann’s world transformed by this man’s magic knowledge. He went on to explain that most of the designer frames that exist in all stores and boutiques are created by Caucasian people who have high-bridges. I just kept nodding my head in agreement. I tried on a few more before I eventually walked out empty handed. (I wasn’t ready to drop $700 on frames) But I left emboldened by this whole new perspective on shopping for my eyewear.
So of course I go home and google “Eyewear for Asian Faces”. And to my surprise, Oakley Asian-Fit Eyewear pops up first in the results! After doing a little bit more googling I discover that lots of personal blogs have threads evangelizing certain brands (Kio Yamato: O&X) for their great fit on Asian faces.
I went to the O&X website only to discover they don’t say anything about how their frames fit great on Asian faces. So then I go on a mad search to see if ANY designers talk about an “Asian-fit”, and I come up with almost nothing. I sit back, and think, damn, that’s a great opportunity for ANY company creating eyeglass frames. Especially if you can get away with charging $700…just let that simmer for a sec. $700!!
Target the asian population and you’ll got a wealth of growth opportunities there. OK, so Oakley has got the sportswear and sunglasses covered, but what about optical eyewear? Calling all eyewear designers! Ethnic profiling for eyewear could do wonders in your biz. Just think about all the price points you could offer—from standard to luxury bespoke. I know at least one low-bridge gal that would certainly appreciate it.