Christmas came early for the staff and patients of Harrison & Graham Optometrists in Ponsonby Auckland, with a personal presentation of the new J.F. Rey and Caroline Abram 2018 collections by Eric Bleakley from Image Optics.
“It gives the public an opportunity to see the latest, full ranges in their entirety,” said principal dispensing optician Steph Cawte, who also runs Poppet Optics and admits to being a particularly big fan of both Caroline Abram and J.F. Rey’s kids’ ranges. “They are such fantastic ranges it’s really hard to arrange them in store, so [Eric’s visit] gives us the opportunity to show them all and create some excitement in-store for our customers, who can just focus on the product and their face.”
French optician, Caroline Abram began designing accessories for the eyewear market in 1998 before moving into frames in 2008. Her success with adult frames led to a number of customers requesting a children’s range, which she launched in 2014. The brand’s growth has been phenomenal, said Bleakley, with the brand growing here primarily through word-of-mouth. “We’ve found people wanted something different.”
Bleakley speaks both highly and warmly of Caroline Abram and Joëlle and Jean-François Rey, who he meets annually in Paris around Silmo, the fabulous, annual European optical fair. “Caroline is very elegant, and a very smart, creative person. Anyone can look glamourous with her frames.”
Joëlle and Jean-François Rey, meanwhile, have been designing collections for men and women since the ‘80s, adding a kids & teens collection soon after. Today, the pair are responsible for four brands:
- J.F. Rey – its main brand, crafted from metal, acetate or a combination, urban and architecture inspired, it also includes three sub-labels: Kids & Teens; Petite and Jean-François Rey (Au Masculin, 1985), the more luxurious end of the brand
- Boz Eyewear – created by Joëlle. A colourful and passionate range for bold, individualistic women
- Volte face – J.F. Rey’s Parisian acetate label, featuring feminine and glamorous shapes
- Sky Eyes – the company’s “100% fashion” sunglasses range, with strong colours and shapes at an affordable price.