What is the actual purpose of a spectacle frame?
A functional medical device to hold corrective lenses in place? Or an accessory to make the wearer look and feel good?
As an optometrist, I know that it is essential that prescription lenses are correctly positioned. As an eyewear collector and ambassador, I believe that eyewear can start/finish an outfit, give confidence, draw compliments and make the wearer feel amazing.
A spectacle frame is dual purpose: it must meet the medical needs and emotional wants of the wearer. In 1970, Hans Stepper, a Master Optician, founded the eponymous STEPPER Eyewear. He’d become increasingly frustrated dispensing frames that did not fit the patient correctly. He decided to make his own eyewear to meet both the medical need and emotional wants of the wearer.
For decades, STEPPER have studied faces worldwide, across all ethnicities, to learn how a frame should fit to sit perfectly. They understand the form of the human face and they use hypoallergenic, state-of-the-art lightweight materials to deliver outstanding comfort and fit. This culmination of this is a guarantee that spectacle lenses will be held in the correct place. Therefore, it fulfils the wearer’s medical needs.
On to the patient’s emotional wants. Does the wearer want to stand out with eyewear that’s edgy, cool or glamorous? Or do they want to blend in with subtle eyewear that’s barely there?
A customer’s emotional wants are almost always greater than their medical needs; they are more likely to select a frame based on their emotional wants than on their medical needs. This emotional pull is powerful and eyewear brands, (especially licensed and/or designer brands), know this. The customer will choose a frame based on how it looks rather than on where it places the corrective lenses.
This is a conundrum for the dispensing optician. Their professionalism and expertise are compromised if they allow the patient to select eyewear that doesn’t sit their prescription lenses in the optimum position, eyewear that doesn’t fit properly. If on collection, the patient can’t see as well as they ought, they are more likely to blame the dispensing optician or optometrist and not their frame selection. They may not go back to that practice again if they are dissatisfied.
So Try STEPPER
If the dispensing optician offers STEPPER eyewear at the “try-on” however, the patient will immediately experience the comfort and fit. Those who want to stand out and who are experimental, confident and spontaneous will find something in the STEPPER S collection. Those who would rather blend in and who are more considered and conservative in their sartorial choices will be spoilt for choice by the STEPPER collection. STEPPER offers something for everyone’s emotional wants.
In practice, I’m not involved much in the patient’s eyewear selection process but I know that once a patient has worn a STEPPER frame, they will find nothing to compare with the fit and comfort; they are reluctant to even contemplate another make. They are loyal to the brand and therefore to the practice.
It is my job as an optometrist to give the patient the best possible visual outcome. It is my passion as an eyewear collector and ambassador to encourage people to choose eyewear to make them feel their very best.
So Why STEPPER?
In conclusion, STEPPER eyewear fulfils the medical needs and emotional wants of the wearer and that is everything one could want in a piece of eyewear.
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A version of this article first appeared on the STEPPER blog. I am a brand ambassador for STEPPER Eyewear.
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