We are always excited to be part of Vision Expo East (VEE) the largest optical show here in the Big Apple every March, drawing over 30,000 eye care professionals, the movers and shakers of the optical industry. This year VEE was not different but yet, it was, since Asian in New York hosted a media reception so I could meet the Chinese news media.
I still cannot believe we were able to pull this off—as Diana had just a few days to put together a press release, contact journalists from different news organizations, and prepare the media reception. Little did I know that the turnout would be many of the invited press—-including ALL of the biggest names in Chinese news media? I thought we might end up having 3 or 4 journalists, at most, so we had set aside one hour for me to give a brief product presentation and Q&A. But after the introduction, each media outlet wanted a separate interview and the reception lasted almost 4 hours!
I did not take this opportunity to tell them how great our products are. What I did, however, was to really emphasize my journey—how I came to the realization that wearing an ill-fitted pair of glasses could actually impact how one sees her self-image, from a beauty standpoint; it is not our facial features that are at fault, and no, we do not need plastic surgery to reshape ourselves. Also, there are functional reasons why glasses need to fit, such as the importance of fitting children with glasses that won’t slide down, in order to truly correct their vision, and also wearing a pair of sunglasses that won’t slide down from your bridge since there is less protection from the UV rays around the delicate eye area.
I spoke to them about my passion, and I hope they heard and felt what I was trying to convey. This is not about creating just another brand of eyewear. It is NOT about ME, as a designer. This is bigger than me. It is about how we see ourselves in a world where the beauty standard is still largely Eurocentric. This is about being able to see better, and feel better.
The very next day, each one of those interviews turned into a feature story: MSN.com, Yahoo news, Sing Tao Daily, ETTV, The Epoch Times, WZRC Station, The Central News Agency of China, World Journal and more. The TV footage also aired in Taiwan and China the day after the media reception. I was thrilled to have the chance to be able to speak directly to the Chinese speaking consumers in my mother tongue, their own language. I hope some of them heard me, and will remember to demand their opticians for a pair of glasses that truly fit.
We just completed our Summer 2012 Shoot video. You can see for yourself that things will be sizzling hot in a new pair of TC Chartons. Alexandra Peng says this new collection is a landmark of sorts for her. When she started her line in 2009, she wasn’t sure how an asian fit eyewear line would be received so she went the “safe route.” Now, she’s feeling more confident and adding more flair to the collection.
We shot at the San Francisco Bay Sofitel with models Yun Choi and Yuki Matsumura.
Take a look!
Ah yes, the lovely Orquidea takes center stage in this post.
I must say, with all the new Spring 2012 eyewear in my face, I am seriously neglecting parts of the collection. Ok, wearing the orquidea all day long. Can’t stop me!
Wow, my aching feet!
A great start to Vision Expo East. We had a number of people and buyers seek us out meaning they’d heard or read about us beforehand and wanted to see in person what our brand was about. Vision Expo East may seem daunting, I mean, going up side by side with the eyewear lines that have been around for decades and there’s little ol’ us. But we are the only ones who gear the entire line toward Asians and that makes us a standout. As I explained to several inquiries, I stopped buying eyewear after my last pair of $450 sunglasses refused to stay on my face once I broke a sweat. I had given up. Until I came across TC Charton. I think some people are realizing that for some, fit is the ultimate luxury, not a label.
Another interesting thing to note, we are getting interest from buyers looking for glasses for different ethnicities. Turns out Asians aren’t the only ones with fit problems due to lower nose bridges and higher cheekbones. Also, lots of Canadians! Angel met about 10 Canadians interested in carrying our eyewear in an hour!
We saw some familiar faces including the lovely ladies from 20/20 Optometry of Silicon Valley. They tried on the Spring 2012 lines which they loved!
Since we don’t have product shots of the new line, it’s that new! I decided to take our lovely model, Shi, outside to take a few shots. I am sad to say that right outside the Javits is not the most ideal unless you are looking for a Mad Max, industrial feel complete with graffiti and public urination. Shi was very sweet and game to try it out and did not notice the man with his fly unzipped. Ah youthful innocence. Anyways, I think we got some good shots.
Also, Alexandra was interviewed by Image for the College Life Magazine, one of the best college mags out there.
As some of you know, designer Alexandra Peng is the kind of lady who is going to push herself to get the best product out there, that means cutting deadlines super close to get the latest acetates, hinges and hardware into the TC Charton collection. The styles I’ve been tweeting, blogging and facebooking about over the past few days have literally come out of the manufacturing plant this week and put on a plane, just in time for Vision Expo East.
I wanted to make sure we had some shots of the new collection to show off to you guys so I made this impromptu “white box” that I made for under 20 bucks. It’s a big cardboard box, some window film and 3 lights and a piece of white posterboard. I normally hate DIY type things because usually I invest more than I want to try to mimic what I see on youtube, only to find that it doesn’t quite come out the way I want. But this works! Check out this cool video tutorial:
I’m going to call this my magical ghetto product shot white box. Yeah. You heard me.
The end result: the ability to shoot tight shots of products and have it look pretty darn good! Needs a bit of tweaking in photoshop but very minor. Yes, that is a David Sedaris book propping up the lamp on the left. Make sure you turn the lights off after you are done, it looks like a fire hazard.
Look out! Team TC Charton is back in New York City! And there’s a trunk full of beautiful new styles that we will be unveiling. I am in love love love love love with this new super light style Patricia.
Perfect for the summer, slightly oversized so it keeps the dangerous rays off your face and out of your eyes. Super light so when you get all sweaty, it’s not slipping at all. I apologize for the bad photo, I don’t have the ability to take product shots but trust me, this style is absolutely gorgeous. Love it love it!
Women’s Sunglasses Model: Claire
Design: Ultra-contemporary chic! This is a Metal framed shield model that offers unsurpass protection of uv rays with uptown glamour. It featured extra long pad arms for easy adjustments of the nose pads. Best fit for narrower face.
Colors:This line comes in 2 color choices that will compliment asian skin tones well.
- Gun Metal with gray shield lens
- Gold with Brown Shield lens
Carry Case: To help keep your frames protected when you are not wearing them, we will send a complimentary microfiber cleaning cloth and a chic hard carry case with every frame ordered. It has a protective felt interior and our brand name engraved on the case cover.