With acetate getting so popular as a material for eyewear frames, the VisionPlus Team spoke to Bhavin Kothari from Ganko Opticians for his views on the material and its popularity in India
VisionPlus (VP): What makes acetate so special?
Bhavin Kothari (BK): The manufacture of acetate frames is a beautiful amalgamation of art and science. Though the material has its limitations, it is a joy to create eyewear from a block with a myriad of colours. It offers a great platform for creativity. For an artist, it is akin to working with an empty canvas with access to over 600 colours at any given time. It is this depth that separates acetate from other materials in the industry. As long as there is innovation – either with the product or the material – acetate will always survive and compete for space on a retailer’s shelf and in the users’ hearts.
VP: How is the acetate frame market in India?
BK: India has been producing acetate frames for over 40 years. There was a time when the ratio of metal to acetate frames sold in India was found to be at 90-10 in favour of metal frames. However, soon experimentation and reinvention resulted in the creation of some daring and innovative concepts in acetate eyewear. Slowly but surely, the tide turned in favour of acetate again.
Post 2010, acetate has made a smart recovery globally through international brands, especially RayBan and the relaunch of their iconic Wayfarer sunglasses. Today, acetate is a preferred material for eyewear even in India. Now, the product mix with the retailers is at 50-50 for metal and acetate products.
VP: Can you please tell us about Ganko’s acetate brands?
BK: Ganko is one of the largest dealers of acetate frames in the country today. Approximately 90 per cent of our entire product portfolio is made of acetate frames. Our flagship brand ‘Sillotti’ is a market leader in its category. ‘Modela’ has been an exclusive children’s collection in acetate for over 15 years. ‘02 Art’ has led innovation in acetate with fusing concepts. ‘NuVo’ takes the best that acetate has to offer in terms of colours and combines them with different materials like metal and TR90 to give a complete wearing experience.
VP: Does Ganko manufacture acetate eyewear for kids? If yes, under which brands?
BK: Acetate is the most preferred material for children today because of its quality. Keeping that in mind, Ganko has over 100 styles in its children’s category through its home brand ‘Modela’ and its licensed brands: Nickelodeon characters Dora, SpongeBob and Ninja Hattori. Ganko is also the exclusive distributor for Beni 0 eyewear for Cartoon Network.
VP: Thank you, Bhavin, for talking to us.