SAN FRANCISCO — JINS Eyewear’s San Francisco flagship gives U.S. consumers a first look at Kanna robot and previews Meme smart glasses.Officially opening to the public Friday, the 4,900-square-foot flagship from Japan’s JINS Eyewear offers U.S. customers more to look at than low-cost frames available in 30 minutes.On display inside the store, the company’s 330th and first U.S. location, JINS Meme smart glasses were on view for media to demo in advance of the frames’ expected fall retail launch. The thick, but lightweight frames mark the retailer’s entry into wearable technology. Along with sensors monitoring speed, activity and collecting biofeedback data similar to many fitness tracking devices, patented sensors in the nose pads monitor eye movements and positioning to capture information about fatigue, brain functioning and state of mind and transmit the data wirelessly via Bluetooth to iOS or Android devices.“The IoT, Internet of things, is really important for us. We’re trying to implement eyewear and technology together. That is definitely the future for us,” said Hitoshi Tanaka, who founded the company in 2001 and is currently its president and chief executive officer.At a time when the growth of the U.S. eyewear and contact lens market has remained fairly flat and dominated by a handful of players that accounted for more than 70 percent of revenue industrywide in 2014, according to IBISWorld, JINS’ aim is to follow its U.S. arrival with a technology platform for use with the Meme frames that third parties can adopt, expand upon and extend to new customer groups. To that end, this week JINS launched a software development kit to encourage developers to create applications for the device and is hosting hackathons and idea pitch contests, open to developers and academics based in the U.S. and Japan.Beyond the experimental Meme smart glasses, basic frames from the company, all designed in Toyko and manufactured in China, are no less high-tech. A robotic system called Kanna picks up each lens piece with arms and places it inside a custom-cutting machine before releasing the finished product. Cased behind glass walls, Kanna connects to fitting stations with a spiral-shaped conveyor belt custom-built for the space.Located near Union Square, interiors designed by Kwan Henmi architecture house 1,200 frames from the retailer’s six core collections, priced $60 to $120, with prescription aspheric lenses included and specialty lens options available at an additional charge. White brick walls and rectangular table displays topped with terrariums and air plants contrast with exposed ceiling piping overhead.Friday’s store opening coincides with the launch of U.S. ecommerce from the company, whose share of the Japanese eyewear market is 20 percent and which generated revenues of about 36 billion yen, or $354 million, in 2014. Online sales are a secondary focus while the company positions itself as an alternative to brick-and-mortar competitors such as Lenscrafters or Walmart and observes digital strategies from U.S. brands such as Warby Parker.According to Hitoshi, “Ecommerce and online shopping is a lot more advanced in the U.S. than Japan, so we really want to learn from that experience as well.”Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the JINS Meme frames were available for U.S. store visitors to view. The display shown to media during a preview is not a permanent part of the store.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.