Glasses Are So Hot Right Now

Fall '08 looks, from left, Michael Kors, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Betsey Johnson. Photo: imaxtree

If you can't afford Lasik in the Great Recession of 2008, or the recent reports of the surgery permanently marring some patients' vision freak you out, you're in luck. Or if you've endured the procedure but miss your geeky frames, fret not! Because glasses are just so hot right now that buying them without a prescription — for cosmetic reasons — isn't that unusual. Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, you're not the only one doing it! The Wall Street Journal reports:

Eyewear boutique Robert Marc, with eight stores in Manhattan and one in Boston, says that in the past two years, it has seen a fivefold increase in requests for glasses from people who don't actually need them to see.

Luxottica Group SpA, owner of more than 6,000 eyewear stores world-wide, including LensCrafters and Pearle Vision stores, says U.S. store managers have reported steady increases in sales like these. Buyers are quite frank about not needing a prescription, particularly in cities like New York and Los Angeles and mainly among artists, architects and other creative types.

You can also get frames at American Apparel for use with or without a prescription. Over the past three years its ratio of sunglasses-to-glasses stock has gone from 90/10 to 60/40. Glasses were also hot on the runways during Fashion Week, as you see above. So men are the new women, women are the new men, and geek is chic. Embrace it.

Life After Lasik: A Clear-Eyed Urge To Wear Glasses [WSJ]