LA LOOP’S EYEWEAR SOLUTION
Byline: Wendy Hessen
NEW YORK — Debbie Zoullas is out to solve at least some of the frustrations from “the little things that irritate us every day.”
Zoullas, who earlier this year founded, along with her partner, Elizabeth Faraut, Creative Solutions for Everyday Living, has created La Loop, the first of what the duo plans to be a variety of products, which has been patented and is about to be unveiled in upscale specialty stores.
Zoullas originally created La Loop four years ago as an alternative for anyone who finds themselves taking their glasses on and off all day or can never seem to find them when they need to read a restaurant menu. The concept is centered on a sterling silver ring with hinges able to move as the wearer does, yet keep eyewear slipped through the ring in place. The ring is attached to a necklace.
Zoullas, a former Morgan Stanley and Sotheby’s executive, showed her prototypes to a few select optical retailers, including Robert Marc, which has carried the concept ever since. Other early accounts include the five-unit Trapp optical store chain, with units in New York’s Westchester County, and Specs in Westport, Conn. The earliest necklaces featured the La Loop ring attached to links of fake tortoise, horn or wood.
Last year, Faraut joined Zoullas, adding her experience in marketing for such firms as Swarovski, Guerlain, Maybelline and Guess. Since then, the pair have designated the original pieces in the line as “classics,” and expanded into a host of other materials to address different lifestyles, occasions and price points.
“We’ve had so many women come up to us at dinners and on the street and ask to buy whatever La Loop we’re wearing right off our necks,” said Zoullas. “We had to come up with a lot of variations.”
The necklace portion now includes faux or freshwater pearls, a black and white series featuring faceted crystal or onyx beads, chunky, semiprecious stones such as citrine, aquamarine, carnelian or rose quartz, and even some one-of-a-kind pieces. In addition to sterling silver, the La Loop ring can be made in 18-karat gold vermeil.
A diamond pave ring and clasp is in the works and colored leather straps to be used for the necklace are being developed, possibly in time for holiday, Zoullas said. Each necklace comes packaged in a linen pouch. Retail prices currently range from about $90 to $625, although there is also an 18-karat gold link version that is 20 inches long and retails for $3,000.
In addition to the firm’s Web site, LaLoop.com, the line is being sold in roughly 70 doors, and the pair expects to sell about 10,000 units this year.