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Rajnikant in his latest Tamil flick Sivaji sports a stylish pair of sunglasses, Amitabh Bachchan [Images] plays a bespectacled 64-year-old cook in Cheeni Kum, and the cast of Metro -- Irfaan Khan, Kangana Ranaut [Images] and Konkona SenSharma all sport zero power spectacles.
"Most people are influenced by movies and various magazines, newspapers and printed matter when choosing a pair of spectacles," says Tarun Sachdeva of Eye Essentials, a shop that deals in vision correcting aids, spectacle frames etc. "Market trends keep fluctuating and things are very different from what they were a few years ago, when one trend used to dominate the market for years."
As the trend gains popularity on screen, the common man is following suit and becoming choosy about his frames and the quality of his glasses.
Multicoloured and broad frames are must-haves. "Sunglasses and frames can start from Rs 1,000 and go up to Rs 60,000," says Lalit Kalra, director of Dayal Opticals.
Also, with increasing brand consciousness people are aware of the varieties of frames and sunglasses available. "They have fixed ideas about the type of brand they want," says Manoj Soni, Laurence and Mayo, Connaught Place. "Earlier people might have been vaguely aware of some sunglass brands, but nowadays thanks to advertisements and the media, there is a growing awareness in the market about the wide variety available."
Vogue, Prada, Versace, Bovigare, Gucci are the most popular brands for spectacle frames. The latest trend is titanium metal, which is flexible, strong and almost impossible to break.
When it comes to lenses, consumers are not as well informed, but thing are slowly changing. "The most sold brands are Essilor and Kodak," informs Soni. Roden Stok Zeiss, Nikon, Seiko, Corning and Hoya are also gaining in popularity.
What's interesting is that there are no Indian manufacturers for frames and sunglasses, and most of the leading brands are imported from European countries. "Basically, designers set the trend in the market and good designs are copied by the Chinese and Korean companies," points out Sachdeva. "The Japanese brand Sharmant is quite popular. In the sportswear line, Oakley, Puma, Reebok and Adidas all bring out frames in price ranges above Rs 6,000. Speedo and Carerra cater to the mid-range segment."
While Dior, YSL, Max Marra and Gucci are quite popular among the women, men prefer Hugo Boss, Armani and Mont Blanc. But for those of you on a limited budget, cheaper varieties mostly made in China are also available.
"For example, cheap sunglasses sell for as low as Rs 35 in Jaipur," says Prageet Nadar, director of CNJ Lifestyle, a supplier of sunglasses based in Delhi, but warns that these glasses could pose health hazards.
So go ahead and pick up a pair of trendy sunglasses, there's one to suit every need and every budget. Like Soni says, Amitabh Bachchan's glasses Cheeni Kum were by Cartier and cost a cool Rs 1.5 lakh; so while shopping for the right frames, the sky is quite literally the limit.
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