A group of west coast independent optical reps took an unusual step Tuesday and created something that will undoubtedly be copied soon across the country. Addie Bogart, whose line of independent eyewear includes Feb31st, Nine Eyewear, Oyobox, and Article One; Brett Cates, who represents Garrett Leight, Thiery Lasry, and Mr. Leight; and Scott Balestreri, owner of Bad Ass Optical and the admin for Facebook’s Ask The Lab Guy; got together another 8 independent eyewear reps bringing together 22 independent frame lines from around the world to an event called The After Party.
This inaugural event was held at The Slide Inn in Portland Oregon on Tuesday, March 27th, just a week and a half after Vision Expo East. Since so many west coast optical shops don’t make the long cold trip to New York for Vision Expo East, these enterprising reps decided to bring the new releases to the west coast immediately after Vision Expo.
Upwards of 500 people attended the event from 3 states including a shop from Alaska. In speaking with one of the organizers today, Addie Bogart, she was “delighted beyond words about the turnout to the event and the number of opticians and optical shops who were looking for new and unique independent lines to bring into their shops.”
Work began on The After Party in late January and really gained steam heading into March and Vision Expo East. Addie credited the hard work of the Northwest area sales manager for Modo, Alyssa O’Neil, for her ground game in the Portland area, going from shop to shop to tell them about the event and hand out the posters designed by the ECP marketing firm, dba designs in Denver.
Participating eyewear lines included Feb31st, Garrett Leight, Etnia Barcelona, Thierry Lasry, Harry Lary’s Article One, Sunday Somewhere, Kaleos, Momo Design, Orgreen, Entourage of 7, Oliver Goldsmith, Bellinger, Nice Eyewear, 141, Modo, lool, and Bex Spex.
Plans are already being made for another After Party Event reportedly in California after Vision Expo West this fall, according to Brett Cates, one of the event organizers.
Here are a few photos from the event Tuesday’s event.