[caption id="attachment_16015" align="alignright" width="344"] Pascal Jaulent, Lee Miles, and Daniel Brunson[/caption] I flew into New York on Thursday afternoon and made it quickly to the Yotel. I loved my stay there. This is a very technologically advanced place. Check in is done on a touch screen kiosk entirely without the use of humans. A machine spits out your room key and a peice of paper with your room number. Your room automatically turns on the light and air con unit when you enter. The location was perfect as I could walk to the Javits Center in about five minutes. I will definitely stay there again next year. After I got settled in to my room I made my way to the Loft for my appointment with Lee Miles and Pascal Jaulent of Face A Face. The Loft is basically a co-operative between Face A Face and other luxury eyewear brands to create a separate space away from the hubbub of the Galleria to offer their clients a more intimate atmosphere. Lee showed me the new eyewear, which I have to say is stunning, and I spoke to Pascal about the video I was about to make with him later that evening. After that a I had a class back at the Javits center from 3:45 to 4:45. When my class finished I went back to the Loft to shoot my interview with Pascal Jaulent. He is the Creative Director at Face A Face, and he has been designing the collection for the past twelve years. He has a rich French accent and I can not wait to see how my video turns out. He speaks in a very elegant, colorful way as he describes the ways in which his frame designs are imagined and then made.
That night I went to dinner with Sam Kotob of eyeOs. Sam had also invited opticians from two other boutiques, and I met two really nice guys named Ken Wakefield and Ken Melies of Europtics in Denver. We spent the night swapping stories and eating good Mediterranean food. Day 2: A Night of Amazing Parties I woke up Friday morning, ate breakfast and headed off to a morning of classes that took me through to lunch. I was fortunate to have been given an Optimum pass by the organizers of the show compliments of Robert Marc Eyewear, which gave me certain perks including access to a private lounge with free lunch daily. [caption id="attachment_16009" align="alignright" width="423"] Mercer Street in SoHo[/caption] After lunch I spent the afternoon looking at eyewear. I met with some vendors who I know and others who I was meeting for the first time. I looked at an interesting German collection called OVVO, that is made of a steel, titanium hybrid material that is strong enough to pull a Cessna sized plane. I also met with Claus Bellinger who showed me the raw materials and the step by step process of how his carbon fiber frames are made. We have carried his collection called Blac for about ten months.
After a long day of eyewear and education I went back to my hotel to get ready for the Robert Marc party. They provided dinner, drinks, and an amazing band. It was very classy and elegant like a 1920's era jazz ensemble with a female vocalist whose talents included not merely an amazing voice but also a song in French. After the party I went with some friends to the Loft Party. This one was wild. There were three DJ's. They handed out headphones to everyone, and each set could be tuned to one of three stations. Each station was associated with one of the three DJ's and each was marked by a color. You could decide which DJ to listen to simply by flipping a switch on the side of your head phones. The head phones would light up in orange, blue, or green depending on which DJ you selected. I ended up staying out way to late. Day 3: A day of icons and celebrities I spent the morning looking at eyewear. I met an icon of the optical industry named Oliver Goldsmith. He is a charming Englishman whose father, also named Oliver Goldsmith, designed eyewear before him in the early 1900's. His eyewear has been worn by celebrities such as Michael Cain.
[caption id="attachment_15926" align="alignright" width="461"] Daniel Brunson & Tom Cody[/caption] Later in the day I traveled to Soho to visit the Cutler and Gross store. On my way there I stopped by the Morgenthall Frederics store and bumped into actor John Slattery from one of my favorite TV shows called Mad Men. While he was picking out some new specs I spoke to him and took the opportunity to tell him that I am a fan of his work. I've long since been an admirer of his acting and his eyewear wardrobe on the show. I made my way back to the Javits center to catch up with Pat from Leisure Society and there I met Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO. He and Shane Baum launched a collaboration collection this year. Mark was kind enough to take a picture with me and after we spoke for a wile I realized he is the art teacher on the show Yo Gabba Gabba!, which my four year old son is a huge fan of. I finished the day by enjoying a nice dinner with my friend Tom Cody of Zero G Eyewear. Other guests included Yoshi and Yasunori of Masunaga Optical, some of the Zero G crew, and some of our friends from Selima Optique. After dinner we walked down to Times Square on our way back to the Yotel. The picture at the top of this page is near Times Square. Pictured with me are Yoshi and Yasunori. Final Thoughts: My trip was very productive overall and while I was there I got a chance to look at many exciting new collections some of which we will be introducing shortly so stay tuned!