Indranil Chakravarty,Commercial Director – Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb, India, talks about the evolution of colour contact lens market
The Indian customer has undergone a remarkable transformation. This change of attitudes can be witnessed in all
segments alike. It is safe to say that the Indian customer is more conscious than ever about her self-image. The cult can especially be noticed amongst the age group of 15-30, as these are teenagers and adults who consider it necessary to keep up with the changing trends and fashions in order to maintain their social stature.
They follow their favorite celebrities, or desire a particular look for themselves and try to attain that look with makeovers, cosmetic products and treatments – all this gives them the confidence and the newness they wished for.
As people are becoming more beauty conscious due to changing lifestyle and spreading consumer awareness, the trend has well penetrated the eyewear segment too.
Just a decade or two ago, the eyewear segment solely existed to serve the purpose of correcting refracted errors in the vision, which meant wearing glasses. These too went on to become a huge trend. Wearing stylish, differently shaped and colored glasses became the new cool thing.
Even though glasses still do continue to serve as a great fashion accessory, a lot of people who needed vision correction did not want to wear glasses on. The common reasons were like they couldn’t play sports with glasses on all the time, or the teenagers who would at times get bullied and called by names for wearing spectacles. Another huge reason was that people simply did not want to wear on anything over their face all the time; they felt it was hampering their self-image and beauty.
Hence, arrived the contact lenses. They became a new favorite because now people did not have to reveal to the world that they need vision correction. They could simply slip their contact lenses into their eyes and just look like everyone else and yet be able to see with a clear vision. But soon, this pattern evolved too, from a necessity to a ‘trend’.
And now, contact lenses, that used to be devices meant for vision correction and giving freedom from wearing glasses, are no more limited to solving just that purpose. The movement has now evolved to become a fashion statement as color contact lenses have become an essential element of every makeover, and hence are being regarded as things to enhance the beauty of one’s eyes to transform their looks.
Color contact lenses in India are not new; there existence in India is as old as more than two decades. But now, it is the fastest growing segment in Indian beauty industry. Over the last five years, the market for these has been growing quite rapidly especially in Asia. Back in 2010, the Asia contact lens market grew only by 3.8% but the color contact lenses market grew 3 times faster than and reached 11.2%. Even today, the trend is still going on. Cosmetic contact lens is still the fastest growing category in many Asian markets.
Looking at the huge potential cosmetic color lens market has, leading players in the segment have their respective color contact lens ranges available in the market. These ranges offer different styles of colors in the lenses ranging from the likes of hazel, brown and grey to green, turquoise, blue, violet, etc. For instance, the Lacelle Color contact lenses offered by
Recently, Bausch + Lomb introduced the Lacelle Color contact lenses, that has a palette of 36 radiant colors in unique lace-like patterns which allows one to transform their looks whatever the occasion and still be their fun, sparkling and confident selves. Lisa Haydon is currently the ambassador of the Lacelle color contact lenses.
This is especially a hot trend with the population in small cities, as the idea of wearing colored contact lenses is still newer to them in comparison to metro cities.
Opticians, who have a key role to play in the eyewear segment, have always been well updated with the trends to serve the customer’s needs and choices are now also opening up to the idea of stocking color contact lenses in different colors and styles since it is a growing rage amongst people who may or may not need vision corrective lenses but do want to try on different colors on their eyes with an objective to experiment with their looks.
Understanding this mindset of the customers, opticians have now well updated themselves with information regarding the latest color trends in contact lenses, the level of enthusiasm in customers and hence the need to make sure customers are not just buying these products but also being careful about the usage of contact lenses in terms of know-how and to do’s and not-to-do’s.
As responsible eye care practitioners, they now give due importance to the established fact that not every customer who is buying a set of color contact lenses would need them for vision correction and hence may or may not be aware of the proper usage. Hence, it is altogether a movement that has not just changed the mindsets of customers but has also transformed the Opticians in the sense that they know what the customer wants and also help the customer know what they should take care of in order to fit into the trends with proper knowledge of the usage of products.
The rising enthusiasm about color contact lenses, has thus, been recognized by all perspectives and the importance of combining safety and trends is being recognized by not just the customers themselves but the opticians, too, as it seems the trend is to continue being popular for a long time ahead.
Credits: The article has been contributed by Indranil Chakravarty,Commercial Director – Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb, India