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Lunetterie

10/11/2005

Ihave seen the future of media, and it is staring me in the face. In fact, it is attached to my spectacles. Before you all start making Gallic gestures of impatience and incomprehension, I suppose I had better explain. Recently I was asked by a fashion magazine to cover an event called Silmo, the eyewear industry salon, at Porte de Versailles. My mission was to write an article about eyewear trends. Having worn glasses for about, oh, 20 years now, I thought it would be an interesting assignment. But what has that to do with media, I hear you ask? Well, I noticed that in their desperation to find new media spaces, brands have started using the arms of spectacles to communicate. Once thin and discreet, spectacle arms are growing ever wider and thicker, to better accommodate the large logos of fashion brands. But one company, California Specs, has transformed sunglasses into a means of communication. The arms of its shades come emblazoned with messages like «I love surfing», graffiti tags or tribal markings. Plus, you can change the arms each time you go out, to express a different message.

You can see where my ­thoughts are heading. If spectacle arms are a new communication space, how long will it be before they are adopted by mainstream brands? Sunglasses sponsored by Coca-Cola, sun protection lotion, holiday resorts? Come summertime, we'll all be turned into walking billboards. The idea has a bright future. So bright, you gotta wear shades.

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