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Essilor Announces Partnership With Style Maven Finola Hughes

By Essilor News


DALLAS (Jan. 7, 2008) – Essilor of America, Inc. today announced a partnership with actress and fashion expert Finola Hughes to inform consumers of the superior quality of its Varilux® and Crizal® lens brands. Hughes, host of the popular Style Network television show “How Do I Look?,” will work with Varilux and Crizal throughout 2008 to encourage consumers to think about their eyes not only in terms of the fashion statement their eyewear makes, but by focusing on the quality of life that good vision health and premium lenses afford.

Already recognized as the leader in progressive lens and anti-reflective (AR) design by eyecare professionals (ECPs) and industry experts alike, Essilor is confident that Hughes will be the perfect product ambassador for the Varilux and Crizal brands and their target audience.

“As a busy, working mother with corrected vision, Finola accurately represents our core customer base,” said Carl Bracy, vice president of marketing for Essilor of America, Inc. “As a fashion expert who helps everyday women make the best wardrobe choices for their fit and frame, she was an obvious choice for our brand spokesperson. Her expertise naturally extends beyond frame fashion to making the most educated choice in eyeglass lenses.”

As a result of the Varilux lens 2007 consumer PR campaign, the need for direct consumer education was easily identified. In a recent survey of 1,500 Baby Boomers aged 40 to 60 conducted in August 2007, the Varilux campaign found that while more than one-third of respondents associated bifocals with old age, a surprising 48 percent of them were still wearing a bifocal, trifocal or magnification lens, sacrificing both fashion and the clearest possible vision. In addition, roughly one-third of all eyeglass wearers purchase anti-reflective lenses, which means two-thirds of all eyeglass wearers still suffer needlessly from annoying glare while working at their computers or even while driving at night. With Hughes’ endorsement, the Varilux and Crizal campaign will reach consumers with the message that a clear vision of the world is one’s best accessory.

“Lines on bifocals and lens glares are definite fashion faux pas in my business, but eliminating them while sacrificing eye health is not the answer,” said Hughes. “That’s what I love about Varilux and Crizal – fashion really does meet function while promoting healthy vision. Women see the world better, and the world sees them better.”

As the Varilux and Crizal spokesperson, Hughes will be featured in a Point of Purchase Campaign for ECP offices, appear at New York Fashion Week on behalf of the brands, and participate in national and local media interviews to raise awareness. The partnership, announced at the annual Essilor of America National Sales Meeting, became effective on Jan. 1, 2008.

Varilux lenses are the most prescribed progressive eyeglass lenses in the world by ECPs, offering high-definition sight that allows vision beyond 20/20. Worldwide, more than 300 million eyeglass wearers have chosen Varilux lenses. For more information, visit

Crizal products, the #1 prescribed AR with independent ECPs, are industry-leading, anti-reflective coatings from Essilor that reduce glare and protect lenses from scratches, smudges, dust and dirt. Five products now make up the Crizal family: Crizal, Crizal Alizé, Crizal Alizé with Clear Guard™, Crizal Sun, and the newly launched Crizal Avance™ with Scotchgard™ Protector. For more information, visit


Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 8,500 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, DEFINITY™ and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

Essilor, Varilux, Crizal, Alize are registered trademarks and Crizal Sun, Crizal Avance and DEFINITY are trademarks of Essilor International. Scotchgard is a trademark of 3M. Used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.