Last Monday when I was still in Hong Kong enjoying 35 degree heat I went along to the Cheap Monday office in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. I had a chat with the team, played around with the glasses and of course tried them on. Cheap Monday was fairly recently launched in Specsavers but the brand itself has been designing and selling glasses for a while. I was there to find out more about what they do for the Asian market and why they have different products to the European market. Even from my own experience of going into Hong Kong (and other places such as Japan) I can see the difference in fashion, over in the East the fashion is definitely more wacky and daring. In Europe however it is still very reserved compared to that side of the world.
Cheap Monday as a fashion brand is very edgy and tends to use dark muted colours so I thought it was interesting when they were adding colour to the Asian optical range. I thought it worked and the colours were not so outrageous that it didn’t feel like Cheap Monday. The team was telling me the original muted colour Cheap Monday frames just did not appeal to the Asian market because everyone LOVES colour and it is the case of the brighter the better.
In terms of the designs they don’t actually change the shapes because they are already suitable as they are all fairly big and the Asian markets love a big frame. One thing I Wanted to check out was the fit because for me the one massive inconvenience of buying frames in the UK is the fit, especially on acetate frames because the nose is always too big for my tiny Asian bridge and you know what… they do fit me like a dream.
I actually compared the bridge to an acetate frame I was wearing at the time (from the UK) and you can see it is narrower but not by that much, probably only by a few millimetres but it made a HUGE difference. I never thought a few millimetres could have such a huge impact but they did, so every single Cheap Monday frame in Asia has that sized bridge. I think us as consumers would never take notice of little things like that and if you are Asian living in Europe and wonder why glasses don’t fit you as well then here is your answer. On the subject of fit… some major brands don’t actually have a special range to cater for Asian noses, they have a “one size fits all” system so it is somewhere in between an Asian nose and a Western nose.
I personally loved the Cheap Monday range for Asia, the colours were more exciting compared to the UK. It is more up my street and to my taste but this may be down to my Chinese roots and just loving all things colourful! The range is actually selling really well in mainland China compared to Hong Kong because the fashion is much more wacky and in fact they want the range to be even MORE colourful but that would be going to far away from what Cheap Monday is about. A word of warning though for those who live over in Asia, there are a lot of “fakes” out there and the fakes are so good it is hard to tell the difference between those and the genuine articles but the price difference is quite drastic! If you find a pair that are dead cheap then the chances are they may be a fake. However, you can buy Cheap Monday sunglasses at their fashion store at a very reasonable price, they are genuine and affordable because they uses different materials to the main range.