Reaching for the Sky to mark a milestone

Company launches four limited edition frames at London’s Sky Garden to celebrate its 70th anniversary

Optoplast 70th anniversary event at the London Sky Garden

The Optoplast Actman Eyewear Company celebrated its 70th anniversary at London’s exclusive Sky Garden venue with the launch of four limited edition Walter & Herbert styles (6 October).

An extension to its successful debut its premium ‘Made in England’ brand collection, just 100 of each of the black frames are available, with one optical and one sun design, for men and women. Each frame is offered in a limited edition wooden box.

Continuing the core ‘Made in England’ theme, the new styles are named after historic figures and are called ‘Constable,’ ‘Chaucer,’ ‘Woolf’ and ‘Nesbit.’

The new styles were unveiled as Optoplast celebrated its milestone with its partners, industry figures, VIPs and media representatives, at the event in London on 6 October.

Walter & Herbert was the first own-brand offering from the makers of high profile eyewear for Nicole Fahri and Julien Macdonald. It was launched in October 2015, followed by an award-winning titanium collection, Reykjavik Eyes Black Label.

The brand is named after Optoplast’s founders, Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn. Today the company team has grown from six to over 200 employees, operating internationally from its four offices.

At the anniversary event, Optoplast chief executive, James Conway, presented a cheque for £2100 to the children’s cancer charity Momentum. Since the start of the year, the company has been making a donation for every pair of sun and ophthalmic frames it sells from its 2016 Walter & Herbert range.

The anniversary celebration has also taken to the roads in the capital, with five black cabs adorned with Walter & Herbert branding.  Operating until the beginning of January, the cabs feature bold exterior livery carrying the hash tags #whereswalter and #wheresherbert, to encourage passengers to share their journey.

Based near the company’s flagship Walter & Herbert store in London’s Monmouth Street, the receipts from the five branded black cabs can be exchanged by passengers to receive 10% off their first purchase in the shop.

Mr Conway, Walter Conway’s grandson, said: “It was important to us to bring together those people who have been part of our story to celebrate 70 years of innovation in eyewear.

“Many companies don’t stand the test of time so 70 years is a milestone worth marking. From the early years in the business, we’ve never wanted to play it safe. There have been challenges along the road, but we’ve risen to these by modernising and showing a commitment towards creativity.”

Looking to the future, Mr Conway added: “Eyewear is an evolving industry, and our aim is to continue to be at the forefront for many years to come.

“We have invested heavily in state-of-the-art machinery and recruited some very talented people along the way. We are privileged to have staff that have been loyal to us for nearly 30 years and that’s important, especially being a family business at heart.”

He concluded: “We’re excited to release four new designs in our Walter & Herbert range, which are a testament to our 70-year journey, and we’d like to thank our team and our customers who have made this celebration possible and who also helped with our fundraising efforts for Momentum.”