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, Index and Harrogate.
Opticaid Director, Gillian Marchbank said: “We do our own range of Rimaldi reading glasses twice a year and these have gradually become more design-led and fashion-oriented over the past decade. We try to mirror the current optical trends with certain colours and styles so licensing was the logical next 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 do 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 buy 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 do 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
men/unisex, with darker colours and subdued design elements, while others are more flamboyant with vibrant colourways to suit ladies. 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 lens’ and consumers switching to contactless credit cards – Opticaid is making well-used everyday products into must-have fashion accessories.
“I’d say it’s a growth market”, says Gillian. “People buy glasses to look nice but also because they need them, and a lot of people have a few pairs of glasses dotted around at home, in their handbags, cars and desks. Ours are relatively inexpensive and we’re trying to make them quite trendy, modern, preppy and big. They can be quite nice 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 standards and backed up by the renowned manufacturing, sales and support expertise of Opticaid UK Ltd.
With a 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, Opticaid will exhibit at Scotland’s Trade Fair for the second time in January 2019. “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.