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Filed under Boas, Fashion Jewelry, Novelty Hats, Seasonal Jewelry, Sunglasses, Ties, Visors, Wholesale Jewelry
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 Some of the special days of celebration like Mardi Gras and Halloween are booming explosions of revelry while others like St. Patrick’s Day move under the radar. What makes the difference?  Is it masking?  Well, masks certainly remove inhibitions and let restrained feelings surface, but St. Patrick’s Day has another advantage on the meter of civility—it started as a religious feast day.


The History Channels websiteprovides a wealth of information about the historical background of St. Patrick’s Day. The feast day is March 17 because that is believed to be the date Patrick died in the year 461.  After being captured in England at age 16, he was sold as a slave in Ireland.  He escaped and returned to convert the Island to Christianity.  Legend says the shamrock was the visual tool he used to explain the Trinity. 



The big event for the feast day is parades.  Surprisingly the St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t begin in Ireland, but in New York City where Irish troops in the British Army celebrated by marching through the City on March 17, 1762. 


Nearly one hundred years later The Potato Famine drove many poor Irish to seek a new life in America.  At first they were shunned and had a hard time finding employment.  They formed Irish Aid Societies to help each other and the Aid Societies held parades on St. Patrick’s Day.  The public ridiculed them until the Irish-Americans discovered the power a political block of votes can deliver.  The “Green Machine” took on a new importance that politicians catered to. 


Modern times see St. Patrick’s Day celebrated throughout the country, actually throughout a great part of the world—even in Japan.   



Today everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and gift shops get a boost in business by helping them do just that.  The fun starts early with anyone going to work as well as anyone out shopping or socializing.  Women need St. Patrick’s Day jewelry.  After all, no one wants to get pinched for not having their green.  And the quality of St. Patrick’s Day jewelry has certainly come up over the last few years. 


A leader in quality seasonal jewelry is “Best Brand”.  This company has unique ways of expressing the season and the quality of the jewelry that delivers the theme is superb.  For the most part, the company does metalwork and stamping is the way it delivers marvelous detail.  The pendant shown is an example.  Stamping a thin sheet of steel creates raised dimensional relief with exceptional detail.  A plate is cut to seal the back, creating quality fashion jewelry with the same process used for sterling silver.  Next the pendant is silver plated, polished, and the shamrocks are epoxied green.  The finished piece can be worn as a pendant or a pin.  This is quality jewelry that women can be proud to wear on St. Patrick’s Day. 



What about the guys?  They’re not left out.  St. Patrick’s Day accessories offer a variety of neckties in the theme.  Imagine your customers showing up for work in a tie that blares ST. Patrick’s Day spirit.  After all, everyone is Irish on March 17. 




Then there are the parades.  Of course onlookers need to show their in the spirit.  What better way than decked out in St. Patrick’s Day beads!  The size of this nationwide celebration creates a big enough market that manufacturers can put plenty of attention into the Mardi Gras style beads made with St. Patrick’s Day themes. 


Everything from leprechauns and shamrocks to green beer mugs and corn beef & cabbage are themes in these specialty beads made to celebrate the occasion.  The nicer beads are all hand strung and of course have a predominantly green color. 


Irish pubs are also part of the celebration and St. Patrick’s Day beads are a favorite for them.  But normally they do not have the nice specialty beds you can offer your customers.  So if some of your customers are going to stop for a green beer after the parade, they may want to standout by buying quality St. Patrick’s Day beads that you can provide them. 



But beads alone aren’t enough.  No, the celebration also calls for novelty hats in St. Patrick’s Day themes.  This can be felt leprechaun hats or velvet mad-hatters in green complete with a green beard.  Deck out your customers with both beads and novelty hats and they can enjoy the parade without getting pinched for not wearing their green. 




Alright, now your customers are going to be looking for green feather boas.  That’s a sure sign they are part of the celebration.  Feather boas rank along with beads and novelty hats as the most popular party items for St. Patrick’s Day.  The standard length of boas is 6 feet and the fullness is measured by weight.  55 to 60 grams are reasonably full feather boas that are still affordable. 


The green boas shown are in that weight range and are actually a bargain because all the regulations going into imported feathers is causing prices on future shipments to go up. 




Novelty sunglasses are the final item on the list.  These are for the intense reveler that really wants to have fun.  Put these in your shop and you will notice people can’t pass them up without trying them on.  A favorite style is green beer bottles.  This is a hilarious way for your customers to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. 


Stock now because the celebration will soon be here.  Place merchandise in one location to tell a story.  If you are on the parade route, see if the municipality will let you set up in front of your store.  Even if you’re not, word of mouth will go a long way to help advertise your shop. 

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Filed under Bracelets, Brooches, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Hats, Necklace Sets, Pendants, Sunglasses
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The runways for every new season provide an abundance of fresh designs that go in endless directions.  But each season, Accessories Magazine makes sense of it all by taking thousands of photos and narrowing down the stand outs for jewelry and accessories to five fashion stories.  This blog covers the first two stories with the rest following during the week. 


 The first fashion story Accessories Magazine calls Mod Remix.  Think sixties here with a clean look and innocence that sometimes gets eclipsed by hippie movements and civil disobedience later in the decade.  However, the sixties open with Jackie Kennedy as First Lady, the picture of elegance.  Camelot opens on Broadway.  Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, as well as a fist full of classic westerns are playing on the silver screen.  Beach party movies were playing for the teens and even Elvis Presley gets into the act. 


This was the era of Lucite and plastic colored bangles and earrings and they are back with this fall fashion trend.  Color continues with enameled pins as well as enameled pendants and cuff bracelets—some matching the color blocking of the apparel.  Apparel for the trend likes sleek silhouettes and clean shapes. Sunglasses get smaller with cateye or oval lenses in plastic frames.  Color is here also. 


The use of geometric shapes in jewelry brings back oversized earrings whether elongated cone drops with color or plated metal in geometrics.  Geometrics also extend to neckwear with bib necklaces that sometimes incorporate resins. 

And what are sixties trends without patent leather—patent leather in shoes, boots, bags, even hair accessories.  Patent bucket hats also fit in.  The bags are structured often with contrasting handles or piping.  Mod Remix is the fun story for fall trends.   


A continuing debate ponders the question of what inspires fashion trends.  One solution offered is zeitgeist—the mood that defines that point of time.  It is hard to argue against the zeitgeist of this era being economic insecurity.  And that theme spills over into the next fashion trend that Accessories Magazine calls Tailor Made, making a strong argument for the zeitgeist theory. 

The austere look Tailor Made uses shades from camel to brown as well as grey, reflecting the tough times.  It is a “no frills” style inspired by menswear with little touches to keep it feminine.  What does that mean?  Well, accessorizing a double-breasted suit coat drops the tie and replaces it with a bow for neckwear, adding a feminine element.  Overall, the look is pragmatic and austere.  How do you accessorize it?

Designers showed the trend with necklaces in gunmetal plating using oversized links and chain designs.  Some necklaces have heavy design with metal bolts and large beading.  Actually, the bold statement necklaces that all over the runway and fashion magazines fit at least three of the trend stories so give them serious thought for fall jewelry. 

Necklaces also use bold pearl and meal combinations.  Over-sized beads are part of the look and sometimes large glass components, especially in smoke.  Metal cuffs and link bracelets accessorize the wrist. 


Headwear uses high crown fedoras, fifties fedoras, felt boaters.  The puffy ivy caps as seen in the 1974 film, The Great Gatsby, fit this theme. 

Next blog continues the fashion stories tht make up the major trends of the fall and winter season.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Filed under Sunglasses
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WHAT MAKES YOU more mysterious, glamorous, and edgy than the latest pair of sunglasses?  Ask any fashionista from Park Avenue to Rodeo Drive and she’ll tell you: She’d rather give up almost any fashion item than her sunglasses.  Why?  Well, it’s just the way they make you look.  Terribly chic.  Sophisticated. International.

Some people say that people who wear really large, dark sunglasses are hiding behind them.  That may be true, but oh, what a way to hide! Consider the steamy intensity of James Bond behind his almost black-out shades.  The intriguing sensuality of Madonna behind her big Jacqueline-Kennedy-era glasses.  The looks excite, fascinate, lure. There is an element of danger here, where all is not known, perhaps even an ominous suggestion of risky adventure.  Sunglasses are super fantasy motivators!  

The amazing thing is that you can offer an almost endless array of fun mental hijinks to any of your customers with just the right pair of sunglasses.  They don’t have to be super-costly.  They don’t even need a designer logo on them (although this doesn’t hurt one bit). One minute, you’re in Hoboken.  The next, you’re in Cannes!

                                                 Several Pair

Unlike years ago, when one pair of often nerdy glasses was enough for anyone, today’s consumer wants several pair of sunglasses to go with many different outfits and looks.  What outfit is really complete without this key accessory? 

A friend of mine has a wardrobe of glasses all by themselves:  A golden rimmed pair for glamour, a metallic rimmed dark brown lens pair for a kind of Bauhaus effect, a large black pair with a resplendent gold logo on either return for her Italian International look, and a blue rimmed pair for afternoon dalliance by the pool.  My, aren’t we getting fancy?




  • Sleek unisex wrap sunglasses


                                              Sales are Up

SUNGLASS SALES IN THE UNITED STATES are booming. According to the market research group NPD, there was a full 8 percent hike in sunglass sales in the January to March period this year over last. 

Daniel Hofkin, a Chicago research analyst, attributes the sales growth to a new trend in people “trading down” from very expensive fashion accessories to accessories that cost a couple of hundred dollars or less.  He contends that glasses priced at $30 or less are the most popular with consumers, and they are also the most resilient during any economic downturn.

    –Right now, consumers are purchasing sunglasses priced an average of $15.49 a pair.


Of course, the explosive growth in creativity in the sunglass field has also fueled much of the recent sales growth.  Designers are introducing new trends at a phenomenal rate, changing shapes and colors, and otherwise stimulating the market with a wide variety of choices and designs. 

The latest sunglass trends this summer are many.  Bold colors lead the list, along with wild patterns and interesting variations on the classic aviator style.  And how about Prada’s Postcard Collection?  Here you’ll find some really far-out designs in a group of 60s type acetate frames in Day-Glo colors like fluorescent pink and lime with sweet peachy colored lens.Wow!



Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Filed under Sunglasses
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VINTAGE STYLING took the lead in eyeglasses at the Mido Fair in Milan this year, even as the industry tried to rebound from serious economic doldrums. But change was in the air!


New associations and affiliations were rampant.  New licensing deals took the place of yesterday’s business connections.  There was talk of some firms going under; talk, too, of others producing new collections with an eye toward more exciting sales and expansion. 


In just one new licensing agreement, U.S. manufacturer Marchon said that Diane von Furstenberg’s eyewear collection would launch in Europe in next year’s Mido edition.  That will follow an American debut at Vision Expo East. 


Marchon president and ceo of Marchon International excitedly contended that, as a result of the new activity, his company could very well become a leader in a market that has historically been European.


   –Can you believe it?  Well, that’s what we’re saying.  Talk and change.  They were all over the field.



                                         Vibrant New Trends


MEANWHILE, WHAT’S HAPPENING in the eyeglass trend department?  Take a look at some of these important design developments:


John Galliano offered a brand new collection of 18 glasses on the market featuring old school glamour with sleek silhouettes.  The designer’s famous Gazette print is featured on the women’s frames. 

   —Flamenco dancers also enliven several of the glass frames, along with images from the Sixties Rat Pack.  Very hot!  Check out the slim lower metal frames and the tinted glass colors.


At Marcolin, Dsquared2 gave a sweet collection of Preppy styles, including cats-eye frames and aviator shades with acetate trims.  Very South Hampton.  


Rectangular shaped glasses a la the Thirties, and circular styles in metal were put forth by Tom Ford.





  • Unisex sports sunglasses with dark lens.



                                                Italian Design


Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Luxottica-owned Persol boasted two Sixties-inspired acetate styles.  Nothing quite equals this naughty, rich, and dangerous Italian look.   Nothing!


Gucci stayed with the vintage pack by showing more oversized Sixties Italian looks, including bamboo frames. 


Rock & Republic went for chunky frames, again in a retro mode, in tone-on-tone acetate.


Famed milliner Borsalino jumped into the eyeglass fray with a somewhat traditional, but less thrilling line. In a new licensing agreement with Treviso, the Italian-based firm is offering a Seventies-inspired line with oversized and vintage styles finished in titanium and molded acetate.





GIORGIO ARMANI, master-designer emeritus, features sunglasses with a hippie feel and a wild Sixties psychedelic color palette. Where is Dr. Timothy Leary?  This is real dynamite super-conscious stuff!  Just look at the diesel sunglasses in brilliant turquoise, yellow, and pink.  Wow! 

   –And, if Armani embraces it, can Prada be far behind?  The super-star handbag firm has a Postcard series of glasses in neon hues!  Are you tripping yet? 

   –Nike stayed with the trend, presenting a Seventies-inspired collection of sporty “vintage vision” glasses in retro colors.  Intense.



  • Designer style aviators – trendy.




  • Shields with colored temples.  Super cool!
Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Filed under Sunglasses
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Is there anything more intriguing than the development of eyeglasses as they rode a high wave of need and popularity throughout civilized history?


“Eyewear is still an important entry price point in fashion, that’s why the category is holding well….” – Pierce Fay, Luxottica Wholesale, North America


                                            Some History


SPECTACLES HAVE A CLOUDY HISTORY and probably date back to the ancient Greeks, Romans, or even Chinese, who used them as amulets to ward off evil spirits. There are indications that stones were used for magnification very early on, but nobody knows who came up with the idea first, or how such stones were actually used.  On the other hand, we have actual proof that spectacles were in use by the 14th Century, because paintings by Tomasso de Modena at that time focused on monks wearing eyeglasses while reading and writing.


America’s super-inventor, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals sometime in the 17th Century, to offset the annoyance of having to change his glasses constantly for distance and magnification.  Modern glasses with rigid sidebars placed over the ears were developed by an optician back in the 18th Century as well.


Monacles were developed in Germany in the 1700s and stayed in use until after WWII, when their association with the Nazi Third Reich destroyed their popularity.  Lorgnettes, glasses held on a handle, were de rigueur during the 19th Century with ladies of high birth in England.  Pince-Nez spectacles, which just pinched the nose, also came on the scene in the 19th Century, along with an early version of present-day contact lenses.


                                    Idiosyncrasies of Fashion


TODAY, GLASSES ARE NOT JUST “MODERN,” they are trendy pieces susceptible to all the change and idiosyncrasies of fashion. Squared off glasses in many different styles are particularly hot at the moment and give their wearers an edgy, attitudinal look.  Prada’s acetate and metal glasses sport heavy frames and very dark lenses. 


Colored frames are also high on the trendy list for glasses. While dark shades predominate, “pop” colors are also hot, like green, orange, and purple-pink.  Leading couturier glasses in the hot color line include Chloe, Vera Wang, and Marc Jacobs.





  • New generation sunglasses, oversized and under-budget.  Hot Mediterranean flair!


                                        A Look to Kill For


IT’S FASCINATING TO SEE the different attitudes toward glasses during all this time. In both England and France, weak eyesight was considered a stigma; consequently, glasses were rarely worn in public for many years. In America, the popular idea that “men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” prevailed even into the early 20th Century. At the same time, the Spanish saw things differently, regarding glasses as a sign of refinement and aristocratic birth. 


The real rage for glasses came into being in the 20th Century, when Hollywood discovered sunglasses. Yes, they had real optical purpose in protecting the eyes and making vision in the sun so much more comfortable.  But, hey! The real kicker behind sunglasses was undeniably that this was (and is) a look to kill for!

 —From the time they were first introduced, sunglasses have been a high mark of fashion.  

And, interestingly, sunglass popularity has spilled over into regular seeing glasses as well, dramatically upping their sales to men as well as women.



  • Designer level sunglasses in hot aviator shape.  Intense.



  • Rimless glasses with rectangular shaped lenses in a choice of lens colors. Wow!


Today, dark lenses, light lenses, colored lenses, metal frames, plastic frames, frameless, dressy-looking, sporty-looking, plain or embellished:  Glasses are hot! Designs for glasses are almost endless.  Demand is much the same way. Everybody wears them.  But who has only one pair?  Please…

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Ever wonder how people shielded their eyes from the sun’s glare before sunglasses were invented?  Wide-brimmed hats, of course.  Sun umbrellas.  Positioning the hand at the brow to shade the eyes.  Well, here’s an amazing fact:  it wasn’t until 1929 that Sam Foster introduced the first sunglasses, selling them on the boardwalk in good old Atlantic City!  They were riotously popular there on the beach, and within a year, most everyone owned or wanted a pair!  


The business of sunglasses has greatly evolved since that time, but the urge to buy them is just as strong.  Sunglasses have gone far beyond basic function, and now are a prime personal fashion accessory (meaning: watch those Impulse Sales!)


 Back in the 1940s, famed WWII General Douglas MacArthur constantly wore Aviator sunglasses.  Wartime photos of the dynamic general catapulted the Aviator model into supersales.

  • The Aviator, in its many versions, remains to this day the best-selling sunglasses in the country. 

While originally Aviators were strictly manly, female movie stars adopted the look, and today Aviators are not only favorites of men, but many women as well.


In recent years, top designers have prominently inserted their name, or initials, or company logo on their sunglasses, to communicate directly with the wearer’s circle of friends that he or she is wearing expensive designer sunglasses.  And expensive is the word.  Status-conscious shoppers can easily pay upwards of $100, $200, $300 or more for name designer sunglasses. 

Other shoppers want to look just as good, but shrewdly choose to do it for a fraction of the going prestige-fashion price.  And now it’s so easy!


 Take those designer logos.  Now quality wholesale glasses can be had featuring intriguing logos-initials, or sophisticated metal graphics, set at the temple. These are designer-like manufacturer motifs that pique buyer interest, but never duplicate a designer’s copyright or trademark.  These new status/value collections play on the generally accepted idea that “designer logo = expensive designer sunglasses!”

But these sunglasses are not expensive.  They just look expensive.

 Today’s well-priced sunglasses offer variations on current looks initiated by top fashion houses right now, this season, not some time later, when fashion will have moved on.  Contemporary “hot” designs can be had:  aviators, of course; unilens numbers, wraps, unisex flexibility, oversize retro (big this fall), rimless, sportsglasses, severely modern or lavishly decorated sunglasses.  Choose from a wide range of lens and frame colors, crafted of durable plastics, popular plated wire, special features and knockout looks.


 Target your individual shopper groups:  athletic youngsters often are keen on mirrored sports sunglasses, and will look for features like rubber-sleeved arms that keep the glasses securely in place while the wearer is in motion.  If your female shoppers typically dress in bright colors and sparkle, they’ll probably want to carry that over into sunglass selections.  Conservative customers often have a certain style that has proved to be best for them or, on this shopping trip, they may be open to something fresh and different.

While in the past women have traditionally been more receptive to new styles and ideas, today’s young men are just as adventurous, and have very specific tastes and needs. 

 Mimicking in-the-news celebrities’ choices creates huge, ever-changing but ever-constant demand.  (What’s George Clooney wearing these days?  Brad Pitt?  Beyonce?)  

 Everyone wants their chosen version of the “in” look, and everyone knows the right sunglasses add unmistakable hip glamour.

 But remember:  Whatever your sunglass mix, you can’t miss with the Aviator-it has always been the retail sales champion, and, amazingly, has never, ever,  been out of style.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, September 15th, 2008

Filed under Sunglasses
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Retailers realize that sunglasses are a big summertime accessory, but most might not realize how big.  A worldwide Nielsen survey on designer merchandise reports sunglasses as the number two “must have” accessory according to Market Research World.  Although this report is a little dated, the latest figures from Accessory Magazines retail sales analysis for 2007 are current.  They show sunglasses as the number four selling accessory in good company with handbags, jewelry, and watches. 


Small businesses have a terrific niche market in sunglasses.  Department stores provide the high end with designer sunglasses and convenience stores have inexpensive sunglasses that usually lack style.  All the middle ground of stylish sunglasses at affordable prices goes to small businesses.  They need a stylish look and some information for helping customers find the sunglasses that fit and look good.  Our 2008 Sunglass Trend Report provides both, but here we will just give a quick overview of sunglass styles that are important this season.   


Sports sunglasses are another field, but fashionable sunglasses like you see celebrities wearing are mainlyAviator sunglasses aviators or oversize.  Aviators pre-date World War II and if you want to see them in the forties, dig up some old pictures of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.  Originally they were wire frames, but today’s aviators have updated looks.  Yes, wire frames are still good and popular with the guys, but now plastic frames provide another look and oversize aviators are popular for women. 


Another important style this season is oversize sunglasses with plastic frames.  They are constantly evolvingretro sunglasses since the Jackie Os that came out three seasons ago.  Corners are often more rounded and arms are either tapered or straight with decoration.   Other retros making a return are the bamboo styles that were the rage of the eighties with large round lenses and tubular plastic frames.


Shields continue to be popular with monolenses, minimal frames, and narrow metal arms.  These sunglassesshields were a major statement two years ago and remain as one of the stable designs with simplicity and clean lines.



Linear designs use a mix of metal and plastic for a truly chic look.  Rectangular lenses and tapered armsliner sunglasses create smooth geometric lines using rimless, metal frames, or plastic frames designs.  This stunning look provides dramatic eyewear without being oversized. 


The face determines what sunglasses look good on a customer so visit the 2008 Sunglass Trend Report for more styles and helpful tips on fitting sunglasses.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008