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  1. Arch

    Arch Oakley Beginner

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    ...but I think Oakley are just taking the piss now.

    There's no innovation, there's no 'wow' anymore, there's just recycled ideas, and so many 'limited editions' that just pander to the collectors.

    They've (Lux) obviously realised, probably ages ago, that there's people out there that collect, people that want every version of every release just to willy wang on the Internet about how many pairs they've got. So, all they need to do is recycle the designs, 'limit' them with a signature or a series of gash colours and they'll sell like hot cakes.

    Case in question, the Heritage eyeshades. £160 in the UK store. Seriously? I mean WTF? There's approximately £2 of plastic there. No more. They are an utter joke yet there'll be collectors buying all three flavours and wetting their pants over them. And the Frogskins, pretty much the same as all the others yet tag them with 'Heritage' and there an extra £40-50 in it.

    I look at all the pairs I've bought over the years, since my first ever Mumbos, and they all mean something to me. Every pair is different, I don't do collecting, they have purpose, some are special gifts and some are just because they seemed amazing at the time - my Mag Switch for example were my wedding present from my wife.

    I was into the brand, the meaning behind the brand, the innovation and the genius. Yes, they've always been over priced but you didn't mind so much years ago when it seemed worth it. Now, it just seems cheap but not cheap to buy.

    Rant over. I realise I'm probably in the minority here and many people will be gushing over those Eyeshades etc. but really, Oakley are just ripping the piss out of you now. :(
     
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  2. Rustpot

    Rustpot M Frame Lover Premium Member

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    No, many people feel similarly to you.

    The re-release and Heritage series aren't anything new though. They've done it in the past, and the Frogskins can't really be innovated.

    But when you say there's no innovation I think you're dead wrong. You have to push past a lot of money-grab models and marketing, but it's there.

    The truth is that Oakley went from being owned and run by a man with a vision for the obscene with no real concern for what others expected, to a board of businessmen that want the brand to make a lot of money.

    How do you make money? You make what people will buy. Over The Tops probably didn't make Oakley a lot of money, but it helped establish the brand identity. Holbrooks and Garage Rocks and Big Tacos aren't being made for you to look at Oakley and think "woah, that looks like it came from the year 2514!", they're there for people to buy as fashion accessories. You don't make a lot of money marketing dystopian niche wrap shades, you make money selling and marketing to current markets and trends.

    It's sad, yes. But ignore the filler and you've still got a brand that knows how to look mean and pissed off, like a rabid dog that was beat every day and hasn't been fed for a week. It just doesn't get to show it much anymore.
     
    GH4AU, slvrdragn69, AngelAir and 8 others like this.
  3. bad fishy

    bad fishy Oakley Expert

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    Very well said Rust!
     
  4. brookiewook

    brookiewook Oakley Beginner

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    I agree with you Rust, and I also agree with Arch. The sad thing is I am so loyal to the brand that I will continue to buy Oakleys no matter what they churn out. That being said, hopefully Lux can see that there are so many people like us in the world, and maybe throw us a bone and release an X-Metal OTT. Ha!
     
  5. Arch

    Arch Oakley Beginner

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    You're right Rust, first and foremost it's a business and they're in it to make money. I guess I just see more and more fashion accessory and 'colour collector' fodder than anything else that grabs me and says wow.

    I bought the JFL last year, first real new pair in ages, as it gave me a bit of a wow again. The combo of materials and finish did it for me. So the overall shape is pretty run of the mill yes, that's your fashion aspect, but the metals with the carbon actually sold it way more than the style. I bought without trying on and would have possibly kept them even if they didn't fit or suit, that's how much the design aspect took me.

    As for the rest...well I've said my piece but, I hope it changes.
     
  6. I think the "brand" has been headed this way for quite some time. At some point they reached a crossroads within the brand where they chose the path of profiting on past innovation over reinvesting in new innovation. Obviously they aren't completely on cruise control since they are working in new ways with aluminum and carbon fiber, but the days of pushing to be the bleeding edge of eyeware are behind them.

    I still love Oakley. The optics are second to none for widely available polycarb lenses, and they look good too. The difference for me is where and how I spend my money on their products.

    I used to do most of my business with Oakley in stores or authorized retailers, finding what I wanted and buying it on the spot. These days I only go to the retail stores to look for things to keep up my older pairs. Things like lenses, rubber kits, cleaning solution refills, microclear bags, etc. My main source of new frames has become this site, eBay, and the Vault. That isn't because I'm mostly an online shopper; quite the contrary as I like to support brick and mortar stores that keep people working and food on someone's table. The shift in where I get my glasses is a direct result of the company just not offering things I'm inspired by any more. If I walk into a Walmart/Target/etc and go to the racks of glasses, I see near identical pairs to what I'd see in an Oakley store, but for $10-$20. If I wanted those pairs it would be simple to buy the cheap frames and custom cut genuine lenses for them. But I don't want those pairs. I want the pairs that cause the people around you to re-evaluate their own choice in eyeware. Not because its gaudy or flashy, but because the tech behind it is simply and unarguably the best on the planet with a unique style to go along with it.

    Back to the re-releases of old designs, it's both a cash grab and giving collectors exactly what they asked for. We said we wanted the Oakley of old, they are giving it to us, and we complain. It's a hard place to be with investors breathing down your throat about the next quarters numbers. To use an analogy, Oakley to me is like a ship that's lost it's captain. Can the crew continue? Of course. Are things immediately different because the captain is gone? No, but over time the captain's influence starts to fade. The crew continues on doing what they know how to do until a new captain comes along and gives them new orders. If they don't like the new orders they'll find another ship, and you'll be left with a ship that appears the same from a distance but has a completely different crew and set of objectives.

    That time is now for Oakley. Jim has been gone a long time now and the projects left in the pipe when he left are long gone. The old crew (designers, execs, etc) have slowly moved on to other projects. I can speculate and say that its a result of them not being happy with the direction of the company, but I have no facts to base that on and I'm sure there are multiple reasons for their departure. The challenge for Oakley going forward will be trying to balance pleasing their old and faithful customer base that's been with them from the beginning with the new generations of buyers who simply see Oakley as a "name brand". The old customers want ground breaking tech and designs and the new customers want the latest trend. Finding that balance may prove impossible, and Oakley/Lux will make the choice to do whatever is the most profitable going forward.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 2/2/14
    Playmaker likes this.
  7. OakleyGuru379

    OakleyGuru379 What is that thing?!

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    Jim didn't really care about money from what I've heard. When a guy like that sells his company to people that are strictly business, it will feel like all the innovation has left. But that doesnt mean it has.
     
  8. Rustpot

    Rustpot M Frame Lover Premium Member

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    More like he didn't care about costs. If he didn't care about money he wouldn't be a rich man.

    X Metals for example. Something along the lines of being told it couldn't be done, not finding anyone to help, so he bought a foundry and made it happen. It wasn't cheap, the risk of failure high, but it worked in the end.

    OTT wasn't made to maximize profits, it was done to prove it could be done. To show an evolution in eyewear and design.

    Frogskins, however, have been a cash cow since their inception. Jim killed them off in the mid 90's, but they came back when 80's retro gained popularity and they continue to sell like hotcakes.
     
  9. Sunglass Shack

    Sunglass Shack Oakley Enthusiast

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    As an Oakley retailer (who pays his mortgage and buys things for his 3 year old daughter from Oakley sales) I have to say I agree. Believe it or not, I do not own a personal pair of Oakleys sunglasses except a pair of fake minutes I bought in NYC 16 years ago on my senior trip. I currently own hundreds in my store but don't personally own a single pair. It's mostly because there isn't a single pair I love the looks of on me. I own Maui Jim, I want to take home a pair of my Costa's but I'm just too cheap but I don't have that urge with a single pair of Oakleys. Maybe the polarized Style Switch in matte gray with the black lens and fire lens combo (but not yet). In my store we carry all the expensive brand names but what you guys don't know we have thousands of the 1 for $12, 2 for $20 deal shades. I will agree to an extent with the reference roomthe OP that when I am holding s pair of $150 fuel cells in one hand and in the other hand I have a similar looking pair that I just bought from China for $1.75 it can be hard for me to see the value. I know there is a big difference in lens quality, etc but I have some cheap brands with some dang good lenses too. I understand they need to make the big bucks with styles that clearly make the masses happy but my Rep told me to expect big things this year from Oakley. Hopefully he is right. They do innovate, look at the switch lock technology, look at tangle free nose pads on all the women's metal frames, they do have the clearest polycarbonate lenses on the market, etc. I just felt there was nothing great in 2013 but I'm looking forward to 2014. We need a new "something different", a new Medusa, a new over the top. I love Oakley, I just want to see some wow.
     
  10. OakleyGuru379

    OakleyGuru379 What is that thing?!

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    Wow. Nice to see a business man who really believes in his product. :headbang: