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The Secret That Made Sunglasses the Favorite Luxury Eyewear of Movie Stars

By on February 26, 2016 | Category: News | Tags: , , , | No Comments

luxury you follow movie stars in the media, you might wonder if they were issued a pair of dark sunglasses with their first contract from the studio. It’s not just actors and actresses that favor sunglasses as their go-to form of luxury eyewear, either. Musicians and other celebrities never seem to be without them when they’re out and about. There are many reasons for this phenomenon.

First, celebrities like publicity, but they prefer it on their own terms. Wearing sunglasses when you’re out in public, even when you’re indoors, gives the wearer a modest amount of anonymity. True celebrities are so recognizable that their fans can often spot them no matter what they’re wearing, but sunglasses and a hat have been a favorite for avoiding run-ins with the paparazzi for decades.

Second, sunglasses lend an air of mystery. Celebrities live their entire lives in the public eye, but every person will reserve as much privacy as they can. Sunglasses obscure your eyes, and that allows you to look around without revealing exactly what you’re looking at. Because your eyes are so expressive, it’s easy for people wearing sunglasses to avoid revealing as much about their mood as they would if you could see their entire face.

Third, sunglasses have become as important as luxury eyewear as they are for keeping the sun out of your eyes. Sunglasses weren’t originally considered a fashion accessory in the same way a fine watch or a stunning piece of jewelry would be. They were designed to be worn at the beach or when boating to cut down on glare. It wasn’t until movie stars began wearing them that they became associated with elegance.

Why Movie Stars Really Wear Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses indoors didn’t start out as an affectation for movie stars. There was a very important reason why people in the movie business started wearing shades nearly all the time: They were afraid of going blind. During the early days of movies, it was difficult for movie studios to find enough light to film with the kind of clarity they required. They became tired of working out of doors where they were always at the mercy of a stray cloud. They preferred to work on big sound stages where they could control every aspect of their surroundings. That’s when they discovered Klieg lights.

Klieg lights were the invention of two brothers, John and Anton Kliegl. They married a carbon-arc lamp with a fresnel lens, and the resulting light was so intense that it was possible for movie producers to shoot indoors with the same brilliance as a sunny day at the beach. The lights performed beautifully, and the move studios all started using them. Klieg lights had a downside, however. They hurt your eyes.

What a Movie Star Has in Common With a Welder

Arc light is similar to the flash you see when a welder is working. It’s very intense, and it produces powerful rays in the UV spectrum that can’t be seen but are tough on eyes. Movie stars are paid to be the most beautiful people in the world, but the Klieg lights gave them a condition called actinic conjunctivitis. This causes very noticeable redness and swelling in the eyes, and it could eventually lead to more serious eye problems if the exposure continued over a long period of time.

That’s why movie stars began wearing sunglasses all the time. They couldn’t wear them when they were actually on camera, but whenever they were on the set or nearby, they wore them constantly. Fans began to see them photographed with their sunglasses on, and they began to copy the style. Wearing sunglasses all the time became common for everyone in the film industry, and pretty soon the actors and actresses were wearing them when the cameras were rolling, too. When Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of Ray-Bans along with her evening wear in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she caused a run on the brand at every store that carried them.

Sunglasses Are Practical Luxury Eyewear

Lighting for movies and TV doesn’t rely on Klieg lights anymore, but the fashion of wearing sunglasses to project an air of elegance with a bit of mystery has continued to this day. If you’ve just signed a three-picture deal, or you just want to look like you did, you can drop by Hoff Optometry in Venice for a quality eye exam, and then get fitted for the same brands of high end eyewear that your favorite movie stars wear.

Retail Report/ Dr. Hoff, Hoff Optometry

By on September 7, 2012 | Category: News | No Comments

Nestled in the heart of Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney Boulevard  is one of Los Angele’s hippest areas for unique shopping, featuring home-grown artists and designers in a mix of modern chic and old school. We sipped the most delicious gin and tonics and spoke with Dr. Hoff of Hoff Optometry on Abbott Kinney to find out the very best in the neighborhood.

Can you please tell us a little bit about your practice? I am a 1992 Graduate of Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, CA, a 20 year Santa Monica resident, and 2 1/2 years on Abbot Kinney Boulevard – the perfect beach neighborhood, eclectic and friendly. What are you always searching for perfection in? A margarita Peace, culture, or adventure? Peace, a quiet beach bike ride in the morning or at sunset. Perfect souvenir? Shells or stones. I have a jar filled with vacation finds. Favorite Beach? Ocean Park. Family oriented, clean with great views north and south. At the end of Ocean Park Boulevard.

Ocean Park Beach, July 4th 1952, 2600 Barnard Way Santa Monica, CA 90405

Your favorite store? Tortoise – Japanese novelties

Tortoise 1342 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice CA 90291

Your favorite eatery? The Tasting Kitchen – small sharable plates, friendly staff

The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard  Venice, CA 90291

Your favorite place to stay?Casa Del Mar – historic, quiet, on the beach! Hotel Casa del Mar 1910 Ocean Way  Santa Monica, CA 90405

Thank you Dr. Hoff!

GQ Magazine; Hoff Optometry on “most happening shopping destination in America”

By on May 3, 2012 | Category: News,Uncategorized | No Comments

Hoff Optometry on AnOther Magazine’s “LOVES” Blog

By on November 11, 2010 | Category: Blog,Events,News | No Comments

The london based style magazine AnOther featured Barton Perreira’s Hanson frames as found at Hoff Optometry.

Where Magazine – Los Angeles, September Issue

By on September 24, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Lipstick Tracez – HOFF optometry & eyewear By Reggie Casagrande, September 17, 2010 .

By on September 24, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments


Met the lovely Dr. James Hoff the other day.   He has a gorgeously curated eye wear boutique on Abbot Kinney blvd. in Venice.    What a sweetheart.   The store is beautifully designed in minimal and sustainable materials.   His displays are exquisitely appointed and he stocks rare and cool luxury eye wear.    There is an examination room as well to have your eyes checked for frames, lenses, contacts etc.   

Sunglasses are so important, they are not just a cool accessory.  It often shocks me how few people wear them.    He told me the number one skin cancer in California is lower eyelid.   So stop squinting and ruining your eyes and get the HOFF.


Angeleno Magazine Features Hoff Optometry

By on July 2, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Check out this piece in the July issue of Angeleno Magazine!

Cassius Blog Covers Hoff Optometry

By on June 28, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments

The Cassius Eyewear official blog covered Damon Salvatore visiting our store, and had some nice things to say:

Star of CWTV’s “The Vampire Diaries” Ian Somerhalder, (who plays vampire brother, Damon Salvatore) drops in to exclusive Cassius Eyewear stockist, Hoff Optometry in Venice, CA, to do some shopping.

“Hoff Optometry & Eyewear has been getting a lot of attention, and is “the” place to shop for eyewear and sunglasses in Venice, among some of the great feedback they’ve received; “We were pleased that Hoff Optometry offers so many different styles. They carry amazing sunglasses too like CASSIUS which are nearly impossible to find in L.A.”

Make Over Your Man in 7 Days

By on June 17, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments

On She Knows, I give some advice on some simple but effective ways you can upgrade a man’s look:


Switching to contacts or simply updating a man’s eyeglass frames can do wonders for his look. Dr. James Hoff, owner of the new Hoff Optometry and Eyewear in Venice Beach, explains: “In selecting eyewear, go for a shape that is different than your facial shape. If you have a strong jaw or cheekbones, round and oval frames may look best. With rounder faces, a frame with more angles will probably complement your features. Geek or bold chunky styles are really current right now, but don’t choose a style over something that complements your particular looks.” Even if your guy doesn’t have poor vision, he probably wears shades. Hoff continues, “With sunglasses, remember that, often, a lens that is a little lighter still allows the opposite sex to see your eyes while you’re wearing them. The eyes are the window to the soul, but you have to see them first.”

Ebers Boehm Eyewear Accessory Chains in from Paris

By on June 10, 2010 | Category: Blog | No Comments

We have just added to our boutique Ebers Boehm eyewear accessory chains from Paris that fashionably and safely hold eyewear on a necklace.

Combining two worlds apart but yet close enough to create a common universe! The two founders of Ebers Boehm (an optician and a jewelry designer) brought together their expertise and talents to crate a jewel for glasses. If the object is beautiful, it is nevertheless eminently functional. The good thing about innovation is that it can combine pleasure with a hint of futility to asthetics and usefulness.

Come in to see how they pair up with our designer frames.