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Childs helps launch Vera Wang styles

Vera Wang debuted her line of eyewear Friday in New York City, with crowds of people waiting as much as 45 minutes in line to see her and get their first looks at the new designs.

Norman Childs, owner of Eyetique, with stores in Squirrel Hill, Wilkins Township and Wexford, is part of Wang's five-person design and promotion team. He says the launch is one-of-a-kind.

"This is the greatest launch I've ever seen in optical," says Childs, on hand for the debut of the eyewear at Vision Expo East at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. "The people are just jammed in here."

You might be someone who has admired the look of Vera Wang's wedding gowns from afar — or even indulged yourself for your special day.

But certainly you know the name and what it represents — sophistication, elegance, minimalism.

If you love fashion and happen to wear eyeglasses, you can satisfy your desire for the Wang style when her line of eyewear debuts in Pittsburgh around the middle of April.

Childs' involvement with the new women's eyewear line began about a year ago along with Couteur Design Group of Louisville, Ky., which is designing and marketing the the eyewear and collaborating with high-fashion eyewear company Oliver Peoples of Beverly Hills, Calif.

Childs will carry Vera Wang in all three of his Eyetique stores and will have a showcase dedicated to the collection in the Squirrel Hill location, with 400 frames representing all colors and sizes of the 55 styles that will be available.

But Eyetique won't be the only place you can find the designs, Childs says. "I'm hoping these will be carried all over the city," he adds, explaining that Eyetique does not have an exclusive on selling the eyewear in Pittsburgh.

He says he hopes to introduce as many people as possible to the eyewear through his own store's collection (a "big kickoff party" will be scheduled) and other eyewear locations throughout the area.

"These designs are simple, elegant and made with great materials, and they're very flattering," Childs says.

And his enthusiasm for the eyewear is surpassed only by his appreciation for Wang, who was personally involved in the design phase — unlike other designers who license their name but leave the creative work to others.

"There were designs of ours she totally vetoed," Childs says. "This collection is designed by a great designer specifically for women. She understands women . . . this is a perfect match."

Celebrity watchers should pay close attention to the Academy Awards on March 24 — Childs says actresses who are wearing Vera Wang dresses could be sporting the new sunglasses designs from Wang as well.

"That's how they have it planned," he says, although there is no word yet on which actresses will be donning Wang's wares.

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