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Oakley Eyewear - Xceptionally Framed

By Gesel Pereyra-Mangilit as written for The Daily Tribune (www.tribune.net.ph).
May 2004

What is it about wearing shades that lends its wearer an air of mystery or nonchalance, an aura of cool? Take, for instance, your average Joe or Juan from the streets. Have him wear a pair of cool shades and you will see a perceptible change in his bearing, a slight loosening in his gait. For others still, it has a dual purpose: it can either be a come-on or a means to keep someone at arm's length.

From the time suave Pierce Brosnan wore his chic eyewear in the James Bond series to the time slick Wesley Snipes donned his shades in Blade, we've been floored by just how much a simple accessory can change a man's over-all look and demeanor. The way eyewear has consistently evolved leaves us to wonder. What's next?

And then Oakley came along. By combining form and function, it has attracted a crowd of young, techno-savvy, adventure-seeking individuals who are into extreme pursuits. Going rough and tumble requires one to wear the right kind accessories all right.

In the last couple of years, Oakley has been methodically and strategically branching out into other products such as footwear, apparel, watches and the like. Most of these items are geared for specific and non-specific sports applications. The last two years marked the introduction of the said products to the Philippine market via a fashion in October 2002 and a much-talked-about adventure reality race in mid-2003.

The latest event the American company staged was the "Oakley X," held at the Glorietta 4 Park, where sports enthusiasts converged and gave first-hand knowledge about their tried-and-tested products relative to their chosen sport -- Dominic Ochoa for motorsport racing, Ali Peek for basketball, Paolo Araneta for watersports, Lora Roberto and Miko Alejandro for golf.

It was also the first time everyone got a chance to see how durable and break-resistant Oakley's plutonite lenses are through the ANSI Test Booth. A P7,725 wire top Oakley shades in trendy burnt orange and bronze frame was subjected to the piercing end of a kilos-heavy metal projectile a man had inserted through a long tube. Unlike the imitation Oakley shades and other brands, the real Oakley lens did not crack, nor did its frame. The ANSI Test is not really required for sports accessories since it is only used for equipment that are used for outer space expeditions. But it is reassuring to know that in the event of, let's say, a car crash, a bad fall, or some "misadventure," resulting from a jealous girlfriend poking you in the eye during a heated argument, your eyes are well-protected.

It's definitely time to get rid your of those old eyepieces you've been hanging on to for years. For when faced with life's myriad possibilities and never-ending adventures, one can't afford to see life through drab, uninspired, colored lenses. In the words of "Oakley X" host and celebrity endorser Rovilson Fernandez, you have to get out there, get real and enjoy life as it happens.

Oakley products are available in Rustan's Makati, Alabang Town Center and Shangri-La Plaza; G-Force in The Podium and The Power Plant Mall; T102 in Greenbelt 3, Royal Sporting House and Olympic Village.

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