Saturday Night Live comedian Tina Fey isn’t the only woman who wants to look like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The rimless titanium eyeglasses the vice presidential candidate wears are proving to be popular in Columbia’s eyewear stores.
“We have been selling a lot of them,” said Hollie Elliot, sales manager of LensCrafters, in the Columbia Mall.
The same goes for optician Jerry Porter at Columbia Eyewear, 500 Keene St. “We have sold numerous pairs,” he said. “Every day of the week. Don’t ask me why.”
Jones actually sells Austrian-made frames identical to Palin’s Model 704, No. 34 Gray frames, which were designed by Kazuo Kawasaki. There is a backlog of the Kawasaki frames, disturbed in the U.S. by California-based Italee, forcing optometrists to sell look-alike frames.
“It’s just a look,” he said. “I’ve had women from their 20s to one woman who was 85 interested in this look.”
Jones likens the demand to that of Tom Cruise glasses becoming popular after the movie Aviator.
Alma Hayes of Eyedentity Eyewear, 2200 Forum Blvd., said there has been considerable interest in this model, but the shape does not always work for everyone. “If you have a full or heart-shaped face, that model fits a lot better. Narrow faces seem to get swallowed up.”
The style is designed for men and women, but so far only women have bought them, she said. Some husbands have come in with their wives asking them to try on the model. Prices range from $159 to about $259 for frames only.
Craig Jones of Advanced Vision, 4200 Merchant Street, said he has not had requests for the glasses. “I think they may take off if the Republicans win, but no one wants to wear a loser’s glasses,” he said.