Fashion meets Functionality

Opticaid launches its first licensed range of reading glasses and credit card blockers
Optical solutions specialist, Opticaid, has launched its first licensed collection of reading glasses and credit card blocker wallets in collaboration with iconic British brand, i like birds.
The venture coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Leeds-based family business, which serves a mixed client base around the UK and is a well-known fixture at trade exhibitions such as Spring Fair, INDX and Harrogate.
Opticaid director, Gillian Marchbank said: “We create our own range of Remaldi reading glasses twice a year and these have become design-led and fashion-oriented over the past decade. We mirror the current optical trends with certain colours and styles so licensing was the next logical step and we were keen to see if it would work in our market”.
“We met i like birds founder, Stuart Cox, at Brand Licensing 2018 and decided we wanted to create our first licensed collection with him. We are obviously very new to licensing and he really held our hand throughout the entire design process. It wasn’t just a case of buying the images and off you go, he designed each individual pair of glasses for us and we’re thrilled with the result. This is an instantly recognisable brand which already has some great licensed products on the market which sit very well alongside this new collection he’s designed for us”.
Founded in 2014, the award winning i like birds has become synonymous with founder Stuart Cox’s twin passions for nature and design and has a huge global following. Starting life as an indie greeting card publisher, the brand has spread its wings to cover a wide range of products from teapots to stationery.
“We are very excited to see how customers will react to this first collection,” Gillian adds, “and going forward we have the intention to create glasses cases, cloths and other accessories.”
The entire process took a year to come to fruition, from concept through to stock delivery of eight different glasses designs (each in six different categories of lens strength) and 12 different credit card blocker wallets. Some of the designs are more on the subtle side and geared towards darker colours and subdued design elements, while others are more flamboyant with vibrant colourways to suit the more outgoing customer. There are designs to suit both men and women.
In a market where fashion meets functionality – with around 70% of people in the UK using glasses or contact lenses and consumers switching to contactless credit cards - Opticaid is making well-used everyday products into must-have fashion accessories.
“It's a growth market”, says Gillian. “People buy glasses to look great but also because they need them, and a lot of people have many pairs dotted around at home, in their handbags, cars and desks. Ours are excellent value and we’re making them modern, trendy, a little bit preppy but with wide appeal. They are attractive accessories and ladies in particular match different designs to different outfits”.
The reading glasses are packed full of features not found on “less than premium” frames, including a fully recyclable quality box; optician quality scratch-resistant aspheric lenses, offering clearer vision and a thinner, more flattering finish; Spring loaded arms for durability and a matching neoprene case, all conforming to British standard and backed up by the renowned manufacturing, sales and support expertise of Opticaid.
With an RRP of just £7.00 for the credit card blockers and £23 for the glasses these are a great price point for gifting.
As well as Spring Fair in February (Hall 4 Stand C73), Opticaid will exhibit at Scotland’s Trade Fair (Stand F 19) for the second time in January 2020. “The brand has roots in Scotland so we felt it would be good to launch the i like birds collection there so we could try to reach some of the historical sites and tourist areas,” said Gillian.
Alongside the regular reading glasses Opticaid sell sunglasses, driving glasses to counteract the glare from LED car lights, night sight over glasses designed to be worn over prescription eyewear and even special glasses for fishing in.
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