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Vision Problems Can Masquerade as Learning Disabilities

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For Learning Disabilities Awareness Month this October, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development is bringing attention to the fact that vision problems can often masquerade as learning disabilities.

“When a vision problem is at the root of a child’s struggles with learning, it is often very correctable,” shares Ida Chung, OD, FCOVD, President of COVD; “This is good news for parents and educators. Often years of struggling can be turned around with a program of optometric vision therapy.”

It is important to understand that while our eyes take in visual information, that information is sent to the brain where it is processed. If the information that is sent to the brain is faulty, it can make learning very difficult.

While learning disability websites list a variety of accommodations that can help children with Visual Information Processing Disorders, it is important for parents to understand that these are signs that a correctable vision problem is playing a role in your child’s learning challenges.

Many individuals with learning disabilities also have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). One of the signs that a vision problem may be contributing to one’s learning challenges is a short attention span when it comes to reading and near work. This behavior could easily be mistaken for ADHD.

A study published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Attention Disorders states that “attention and internalizing problems improved significantly following treatment for Convergence Insufficiency.” 

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Convergence insufficiency is an eye coordination disorder which can make reading difficult and cause symptoms such as eye strain, double vision, loss of concentration, and frequent loss of place when reading and working up close, all which play a negative role in learning.

The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health recently funded a 5-year, 8 million dollar study called the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial – Attention and Reading Study. This will be a national multi-center clinical trial that involves optometry, ophthalmology, psychiatry, and education in evaluating how this eye-teaming problem impacts a child’s attention and reading performance. 

There are eight clinical sites participating across the United States and participants are needed. This means that this is an opportunity for parents to have their children receive optometric vision therapy by participating in this study. For information about the requirements and locations for the study visit: http://citt-art.com. 

Research continues to show that optometric vision therapy is effective at resolving a variety of vision disorders that interfere with reading; specifically eye movement (tracking), eye teaming (eye coordination), visual motor skills, etc. 

“If your child continues to struggle with reading, it’s time to see an optometrist who provides an in-office program of optometric vision therapy. Doctors who are members of COVD provide specialized testing to evaluate all of the visual skills required for academic success,” states Dr. Chung.

 

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“As part of our public awareness program, we are releasing a new Public Service Announcement for people to share through social media.” In honor of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, parents and educators are encouraged to watch this video and to visit COVD’s website to learn more about how vision problems can masquerade as learning disabilities.

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Marcolin Group Enters a Partnership with Positive Luxury

This is by sponsoring the inaugural Positive Luxury Awards 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Marcolin Group, a worldwide leading company in the eyewear industry, announces its partnership with Positive Luxury for their first edition of the Positive Luxury Awards. The ceremony is taking place in London on the 25th of February 2020 and the Group will present the Innovation of the Year Award.

Founded in 2011, Positive Luxury is an award-winning sustainability platform that connects luxury brands with people working towards a better future through the unique Butterfly Mark, a symbol of trust earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a key business principle.

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The Positive Luxury Awards 2020 is a global celebration of sustainability and innovation within the luxury industry, featuring a variety of categories recognizing companies or individuals affecting positive change in businesses and the global community.

Marcolin Group will sponsor the Innovation of the Year Award which identifies true innovators taking an entirely new approach to their service, product, technology or business model, improving their social or environmental performance while also offering large scale improvements internally and externally.

The evening’s winners will be selected by a special jury consisting of 12 global business leaders, including American-British model and activist, Arizona Muse, United Nations officer, Simone Cipriani, author of The New Green Consumer Guide, Julia Hailes, business writer and advisor, John Elkington, author and British Fashion Council’s Advisory Board member, Frances Corner, model, actress and activist, Amber Valletta, Parsons School of Design Dean of Fashion, Burak Cakmak, communications consultant and writer, Emma Young, journalist and author, Isabelle Lefort, Business for Social

Responsibility Managing Director, Elisa Niemtzow, and Imagine Co-founder and International Chamber of Commerce Chair, Paul Polman.

Massimo Renon, Marcolin Group CEO, affirmed: “Marcolin Group is the first international eyewear company collaborating with Positive Luxury. We will demonstrate to our partners and consumers that we are tracing a new path in the sustainability. Our relentless pursuit of innovation and experimentation has led Marcolin Group to become the first sponsor for The Positive Luxury Innovation of the Year Award”.

Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, stated: “Marcolin Group’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality has helped them build an unparalleled reputation in the eyewear industry. We are proud to work with them and have their support for the Positive Luxury Awards 2020, more specifically, the Innovation of the Year Award”.

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Safilo Group Acquires 70% of Blenders Eyewear

The effects of the acquisition will be reflected in the new Business Plan that Safilo will disclose to the  market on December 11, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Safilo Group announces the acquisition of a 70% stake in the equity of the California company Blenders Eyewear LLC (the “Company”). Safilo Group purchased the stake from the company’s founding entrepreneur and full owner.

Founded in San Diego in 2012 by Chase Fisher, Blenders Eyewear has built an advanced e-commerce platform with unique digital and social media skills, which has achieved fast and profitable growth thanks to its world-class digital capabilities. The Company generates approximately 95% of its current business through its proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform, more recently complemented by the opening of the first Blenders flagship store in San Diego.

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Blenders Eyewear’s products are inspired by the California active and progressive lifestyle and offer a compelling price-to-value eyewear proposition, particularly appealing to a broad range of consumers with a focus on Millennials and Generation Z, both female and male.

The brand, profitable since its inception and with strong current profitability, has fuelled its rapid growth through highly effective social marketing strategies, partnering with influencers, athletes, lifestyle
enthusiasts, and product collaborations which have driven sales and brand awareness.

In 2019 the Company expects to reach profitable net sales of approximately USD 42 million, all generated in the United States and up around 40% compared to the previous year and with a 3-year CAGR of 175%.

Angelo Trocchia, Safilo’s chief executive officer, said: “We are thrilled to welcome to Safilo an inspiring brand like Blenders Eyewear, a fast-growing e-commerce-powered business at the forefront of the latest direct to consumer and omni-channel capabilities, which will enrich our proprietary portfolio with new strong skills and a particular focus on our key US market.

Blenders is a disruptive, digitally native business model, founded on the principle of providing high quality lifestyle and active eyewear, at affordable prices and with engaging brand content. A strong proposition rooted in a rapid expansion of brand awareness among its natural, fast growing customer audience of Millennials and Generation Z. Blenders is entrenched in today’s social sphere and is experiencing significant social media success.

With Blenders, we aim to foster and accelerate our e-commerce and omni-channel strategy, leveraging on the digital DNA and proven capabilities of the brand and putting Safilo’s global capabilities at its disposal to enable global expansion of the brand.”

Chase Fisher, founder and CEO of Blenders Eyewear commented: “This marks a huge step forward for Blenders and we’re excited to be part of Safilo to reach a wider marketplace. Safilo’s product know-how and global distribution capabilities are the perfect complement to our digitally native business model, opening up worldwide expansion potential. We’re on a mission to build a thriving global community that inspires people to live in forward motion.”

Safilo acquired the 70% controlling interest in the Company, based on a total value on a cash-and debt free basis (Enterprise Value for 100% of the Company) equal to USD 90 million. The cash
consideration to be paid at closing is subject to customary price adjustments. The closing of the transaction is subject to conditions precedent including some related to the activities of the Company.

Chase Fisher will retain full ownership of 30% of the shares and, pursuant to the share purchase agreement, these remaining equity interests are subject to customary reciprocal put and call options which can be exercised starting from 2023. Chase Fisher will remain CEO of Blenders Eyewear which will continue to run out of its San Diego home.

The acquisition will be financed through available cash and credit facilities, and through a loan provided by Safilo’s reference shareholder, Multibrands Italy B.V., controlled by HAL Holding N.V, for an amount of EUR 30 million which the company aims to draw for the closing of the transaction.

The transaction executed with Multibrands Italy B.V. represents a “transaction with a related party of greater importance” as the Equivalent-value relevance ratio (i.e. the ratio between the counter value of the loan and the consolidated shareholders’ equity as at June 30, 2019) is above the threshold of 5%. As such, the execution of the loan has been approved by the Board of Directors on December 1st, 2019 upon the favorable opinion of the Related Parties Committee dated November 29th, 2019, on the interest of the Group in entering the loan and on the convenience and substantial fairness of the relevant terms and conditions.

The required informative document will be made available within the timeframe provided for by the law.

The effects of the acquisition will be reflected in the new Business Plan that Safilo will disclose to the  market on December 11, 2019.

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Bollé Brands Adds to North American Marketing Team

Appoints industry veteran Chris Abbruzzese to VP trade marketing role.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BOSTON, MA — Chris Abbruzzese has been named vice president of Trade Marketing for Bollé Brands, North America.

Abbruzzese will be responsible for developing trade marketing strategies that align with Bollé’s global brand strategies. In this new role, Abbruzzese will act as the key bridge between global marketing and product teams and the North American sales team with an emphasis on in-store programs that promote retail success and drive sell-through.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Chris to the team and excited to have him help us take these great brands to the next level,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands

Abbruzzese brings 15 years of experience with Maui Jim Sunglasses, where he served as VP, Global Marketing. In that role, he developed and executed global marketing initiatives for the high-end sunglass line. As a member of the core team, he was instrumental in the early growth and expansion of the brand internationally.

Abbruzzese has also performed marketing and sales consulting services for clients in the outdoor, home automation, energy, optical, and digital fabrication industries.

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