Unpacking Performance Eyewear's Potential and Responsibility
Marchon's performance-eyewear team has two lead designers who discuss the challenges of designing glasses that can withstand the Olympic conditions. They also discuss the category's potential.
Senior design directors Megan Greene and Billy Castro, who are responsible for the Nike & Dragon brands, are charged with creating eyewear that allows sight and aids in athletic feats.
They are the people behind Marchon's efforts in Olympic running glasses, cycling sunglasses, snowboarding, and ski goggles. They also build on Marchon's tradition of producing high-performance eyewear, a category for which the company holds multiple licensing. The business is also licensed by Columbia and Spyder in addition to Nike. Marchon acquired Dragon in 2012. Similar Galleries Fashion Trends They Wear: Paris Fashion Week Fall 2023 Parties The Best Dressed at 2023 SAG Awards
Castro, who oversees Nike, a license Marchon holds since 1999, said that eyewear is still a medical device that protects against the sun and harmful rays.
Castro and Greene meet athletes representing their brands years after the Olympics. They work together to solve problems and develop technology for future games. This entrepreneurial work is then filtered into larger commercial collections over the years.
Castro collaborated with scientists to create eyewear that had cooling properties in the lead-up to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. This eventually became the Nike 360 style."Tokyo was expected to host the hottest Olympics in history, so it was all about 'How can we allow athletes to stay comfortable so they can concentrate on their craft and skill? He said that anything could distract them from their focus so he asked how to make it comfortable enough for them to forget everything.
His team collaborated with thermal imaging researchers to pinpoint the areas where heat has the greatest impact on the eyes. Castro stated that women are more likely to experience dry eyes so Castro suggested that protective lenses were created that would direct wind flow to cool the eyes but not dry them. This research will have an impact on future eyewear designs.
A recent Dragon goggle design could be a good example."We just released the Swiftlock magnetics switching system. We spent 24 months researching and developing it. Greene stated that engineering takes a lot of time. This technology allows skiers and riders to change their goggle lenses with one hand rather than two, allowing for a more natural flow on the mountain.
Safety is a major concern when developing products for commercial markets."We are observing athletes at multiple points during development to test in different conditions, whether they be in Japan or Australia. It's about having the athlete complete 30 runs without his goggles flying off. It's scary when we talk ski or snowboarding about the danger involved," Greene stated.
Since the pandemic, performance eyewear has seen a boom due to an increase in outdoor leisure time and a boom in performance eyewear. Castro says that this has led to brands creating special eyewear for both professionals and hobbyists for every aspect of an athletic event.
"We are exploring new spaces like cricket, baseball, golf, and fashion in the tunnel -- everything from bus to arena. He said that Nike has a saying that "if you're a body, you're an athlete", so they are reaching everyone from top-tier influencers and regular weekend warriors to marathon runners.
"What we've seen in the past was performance eyewear that was used only for performance, then lifestyle, and fashion. But now, fashion is taking from performance and vice versa. Martine Rose's skeletal frame style was a cross-expression. It's now dynamic how people look at multiple styles - same thing with Heron's shield," he stated.
Performance's next major developments include a wider range of products for children and women. There is a huge opportunity for Nike and other brands, which have seen a kind of shrink and pink it' mentality in the past. Castro stated that athletes from all walks of the sport want the same colors and fittings and that this fluidity should be reflected in their eyewear.fashion