Gone are the days when sitting on a frame triggered the end of its wearable life. Today, thanks to innovative eyewear design, the development of high tech materials, and sophisticated engineering there are plenty of frames to accommodate the needs of customers who aren’t as careful with their eyewear as you’d hope.
A few weeks ago, while at the beach, I left my brand new sunglasses on my towel and went for a swim. When I returned to them, the right temple was twisted and the lenses were covered in sand. The beach wasn’t busy. There was plenty of room for kids to run around without jumping on my sunnies (and my towel). But it happened. And it will again.
Titanium is the true hero of the flexible eyewear category
It’s a familiar story and no doubt over the summer you’ve had plenty of customers coming into your practice to have their frames gently manipulated back into shape. It takes time and skill to do so, and it comes with the risk of breakage… unless the frames you’re working with are flexible.
Whereas once, practical frames that could easily withstand the rough and tumble of everyday life were typically clunky, solid in their style and heavy to wear, today it’s a different story. There are now plenty of durable options for men, women and kids that are fashion forward, incredibly lightweight, and available in a multitude of colours and shapes. The fun thing about many of these frames, like Dosuno’s Silflex frames for instance (above), is they can also be twisted and turned in all directions – they’re the acrobats of eyewear.
MATERIALS THAT FLEX
Titanium is the true hero of the flexible eyewear category. This strong, lightweight metal is extraordinarily resistant to heat and wear and because of this, alloys of titanium have long been used by the aerospace industry as well as in medicine, chemistry, and even the production of missiles. Titanium is also used for sports equipment, like tennis racquets, skis and ski poles, golf clubs, and helmets.
Despite its strength, titanium is around 40 per cent lighter than steel, and with a low modulus of elasticity it’s super flexible – in fact it can return to its original shape after bending, hence the term ‘memory metal’. On top of that, titanium is non-toxic and non-allergenic, making it an ideal material from which to craft flexible frames.1
But titanium is not the only material being used to craft flexible frames. Several eyewear brands have come up with their own proprietary materials that offer the advantages of flex and memory.
Dosuno (Aviva and Mann) frames are made from highly resistant Silflex, which the company claims recovers its original shape after stress and strain, even at low temperatures. This very low density, super light frame material is complemented by hinges with total flexibility, enabling temples to be rotated to 360º without suffering deformation or breakages.
On top of that, Silflex is organic – it’s manufactured from natural vegetable resins and is 100 per cent recyclable.
Maui Jim’s new MauiFlex alloy is another proprietary material that ‘remembers’ fit and, according to the company, “retains its shape longer than traditional metals”.
Meanwhile, Silhouette combines SPX+ polymer composite temples with high tech titanium for super flexibility and durability.
Let’s face it. For those who need optical assistance, frames are a necessary expense. Regardless of how much your customer loves his or her new frame, they’d probably have preferred to spend their money elsewhere. If they’re likely to twist or break a frame, perhaps it’s time to suggest a flexible option, at least for every day?
- https://www.thebalance.com/metal-profiletitanium- 2340158
Frames that Flex
Jensen’s technical collection for men includes JNB706M (top) with its deep, retro inspired eye shape, memory metal bridge and temples. This lightweight, durable frame has embossed temple inners that add a textural finish to the designer look and feel. Model JNB403 has an ultra lightweight TR-90 front, teamed with patented titanium ‘fluid flex’ temples, laser cut and accordioned to offer a technical, springless hinge.
Contact Aarons Eyewear (AUS) 07 3367 8447
Classic forms translated into modern stainless steel constructions create the distinctive aesthetic of Mykita’s Decades collection. Working with novel etching techniques, Mykita introduces a new depth of expression – Charlene’s simplified butterfly shape gets its attitude from the half etched, coloured portion along the top line. Armstrong is a classic panto with an architectural edge.
Contact: Mykita (AUS) 0420 208 123
Seiko’s titanium frame is for the person who values strength, durability and comfort. The unique design of model 1090 (pictured) provides flexibility and comfort throughout the day.
Contact: De Rigo (AUS) 02 9428 1500
Dosuno frames are produced with Silflex, a proprietary organic material that’s manufactured from natural vegetable resins and is 100 per cent recyclable. This exclusive material ensures maximum resistance and is complemented by flexible hinges capable of 360° of rotation without suffering deformation or breakage.
For added flexibility, each Dosuno frame comes with a headband, enabling the wearer to switch from wearing glasses with temples for a more secure fit.
Contact: Aviva Mann Optical (AUS) 1300 850 882
Eschenbach’s Titanflex eyewear is the original flexible collection. Originated in 1988, today Titanflex offers expansive choice for men as well as over 50 SKUs for women. The elegant Fineline Titanflex models for women feature Titanflex’s unique bridge for strength and flexibility.
Contact: European Eyewear (03) 8805 1555
Weye, Australian made rimless eyewear, is handcrafted from one millimetre flexible titanium wire, providing resilience and great comfort for the wearer. Custom options in hardwearing colour finishes, designs, and sizing allow for flexibility to create an individualised and durable piece of eyewear.
Contact: Framecare (AUS) 07 4032 4141
The beauty of Haleiwa is in its subtleties; refined hinges, brushed finish, and parallel temple wires that reflect the natural desire for balance. The comfort of this frame is in Maui Jim’s proprietary MauiFlex material – a flexible metal that ‘remembers’ fit and retains its shape longer than traditional metals.
Contact: Maui Jim (AUS) 02 9452 5575
AuraFlex + is the newest addition to the Optique Line range. This premium memory flex eyewear collection features architectural forms constructed with titanium fronts and beta titanium temples for flexibility. These durable frames are well suited for adventurous customers expecting a little more from their eyewear.
Contact: Optique Line (AUS) 03 9853 0796
Ugly Fish recently released ‘Optics by Ugly Fish Eyewear’, a collection of frames that’s suited to active kids. The range features flexible temples, light weight frames and matching ear locks, all at a highly competitive price.
Contact: Ugly Fish (AUS) 02 4284 7888
Flexon eyewear fits, feels, and forgives. Pictured is model E1110, featuring sharp laser cuts along the temple to create a unique masculine design element.
Contact: VSP Australia (AUS) 1800 251 025
Flexible beta titanium frames recently introduced to the Mars Fashion collection are unisex, classic in style, and designed to suit most faces regardless of age. In addition to traditional black, grey, gold, and silver, the range includes two tone colours.
Contact: Bonastar (AUS) 02 9310 1688
In order to obtain the flexibility and lightness of this piece, Nine Eyewear created a more delicate and complicated structure than normally used for its optical frames. The flexible frame features an extra flexible top bar, rivet hinges with four pins, and an acetate rim with excessive CNC cutting, drilling and front bending.
The latest Essence collection from Silhouette pays tribute to the ultra-minimalistic design of the iconic TMA frame, with the addition of SPX+ polymer composite temples. Together with high tech titanium, this composite facilitates production of an extremely lightweight and flexible frame for unparalleled comfort.
Contact: Mimo (AUS) 02 9970 1800