THE Sean John label originated as a clothing line founded in 1998 by hip-hop mogul Sean Combs aka P. Diddy (the label’s moniker comes from Combs’ first and middle names). It has since become one of the most successful fashion brands started by a celebrity. In fact, Combs was named Best Menswear Designer of 2004 by the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers. Combs' clothing style is often capped by a pair of sunglasses, so it was only a matter of time before he signed an agreement with an eyewear company to produce the signature accessory. That company was Marchon Eyewear.
Broad Appeal The target market is the young and hip, with relatively equal demographics distribution among Caucasian, African-American, Latino, and Asian buyers. The collection exemplifies sexy sophis-tication for those who aspire to be seen.
Hands-On Designs Many celebrities have lent their names and personal style to ophthalmic frames and sunglasses, but few have played an active role in the actual design. Combs, however, an astute workhorse, was very involved in creating this line.
Sexy Sophistication The result is a stunning collection of cutting-edge elegant ophthalmic and sunwear frames. Luxurious treatments such as rich earth tones and wood embellishments enhance classic and fashionable shapes. Metals and zyls are accented in a palette of rich dual colorations with fine detailing and superior crafting. Most have spring hinges.
Subtly replicated on the interior of each frame is the Sean John signature. Probably the most noticeable feature of the collection is the many different versions of the Sean John logo that are used.
The Ophthalmics There are 29 ophthalmic styles in this collection—13 men’s, 13 women’s, and three unisex. On the sunwear side, the 31 styles are split 14 men’s, 11 women’s, and six unisex. All styles are available in three to five colors.
Timeless styling mingles with new originality to create luxe appeal in ophthalmic Style Nos. SJ4006 and SJ4007. The metal fronts on these bold, fashion-forward rectangles have dual colorations and are accented with a double bridge. The temples feature Sean John’s Engravers Gothic logo on metal strips extending towards richly colored wood-toned zyl.
Women will appreciate the creative semi-rimless split temple design of Style No. SJ1000 and the narrow rectangular zyl Style No. SJ2000.
Sun Styles Two of the most noticeable sunglass models are Style Nos. SJ101S and SJ102S. Each is a strong, sleek, and daring metal for the assertive male. The Sean John St. Tropez logo races down their broad temples to a vented design. Faux horn temple tip interiors are accented with Sean John’s Block Initial logo on a foil plaque.
Selling Sean John As you might expect from Marchon, the Sean John collection contains some exciting marketing materials. For starters, an easel and folding counter cards display Combs wearing Style No. SJ115S sunglasses. Coordi-nating large and small posters reflect the same image.
An eight-piece rotating display is made of a block of Lucite; its stepped pattern was inspired by Sean John’s Unforgivable fragrance bottle. This display spirals around its base while a three-piece display holds the pieces stationary. Look for the Sean John raised logo gold bar at the top in metallic gold. There’s also a Sean John name plate for your desk.
The Sean John eyewear collection not only extends this celeb’s brand offerings, it defines it. n
Steven Robbins is Department Chair for Vision Care Technology at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX.