I’m the mother of 3 boys. When my kids were small, I vividly remember going clothes shopping for them, and being so very underwhelmed by style choices for little boys. It seemed that while the girls sections had almost unlimited choices in color and fabric and texture and accessories, boys basically had t-shirts, mostly with superheroes, button up shirts, and jeans or khakis. It used to strike me as unfair (and maybe a little sexist) that the girl’s and women’s clothes took up approximately 80 percent of the retail sales space, leaving a paltry 20 percent for other half of the population. Over the years, things changed a little, and the playing—er, selling—field got a little more even, but I think that even today, women’s fashion far outweighs men’s.
While recently analyzing my frame boards, I realized that this trend of more choices for females carried over into eyewear, as well. At least 75% of my board space is dedicated to women’s frames. Not unisex—women’s. Of the 25% that is put aside for the boys, I’d estimate that 25% of THAT is really unisex, and the rest are, well… pretty much the same frame, over and over. We’ve got the “old man” frames in gold and silver, and we’ve got black, brown or gunmetal rectangles, in your choice of zyl or matte metal with basic plain temples. Sure, there were a couple of more colorful frames thrown into the mix here and there, but essentially, we had a small men’s selection made even smaller by so much of the sameness. This made me sad.
OGA, a Scandinavian designed line by French manufacturer Morel, is inspired by architecture. European lines tend to be clean and simple, and while OGA’s no exception to that, they’ve really done a beautiful job with this contemporary line. They’ve taken simple concepts (Legos, for example) and incorporated them into their temple and hinge designs, and created this masculine line that has a unique style that finally gives our men’s section the distinction it was lacking. Plus, the quality is amazing.