US VP hope Palin wins fans for her glasses
US vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin’s fashion sense is winning applause in an unexpected quarter — in Japan, where the maker of her rimless glasses is enjoying a sudden boost in business.
The Alaska governor’s designer specs have become a hot topic on the US campaign trail, with some speculating that the 44-year-old former beauty queen is trying to show her seriousness.
But whatever her reason, Masunaga Optical Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is pleased with the media interest. The company makes Palin’s MP-704 glasses, designed out of titanium by Kazuo Kawasaki.
“Few politicians, especially women, go out with glasses. We’re happy to see her wear the glasses,” a company spokeswoman said.
“We have already seen a positive effect,” she added, saying orders and inquiries from retailers and customers were increasing.
Masunaga Optical sells 6,000 to 7,000 frames of the MP-704 model globally a year, she said, while declining to say how many orders it received since Palin was picked by Republican White House candidate John McCain.
The frames sell for 33,600 yen (310 dollars) in Japan. Lens prices vary greatly, depending on the user’s needs and preferences.
“The brand’s concept is ‘smart and high technology,’ removing any unnecessary decoration with the sides of the glasses directly jointed into the lens,” the spokeswoman said.
Masunaga Optical was established in 1905 in the central prefecture of Fukui, some 300 kilometres west of Tokyo.
Palin’s glasses may fuel a rivalry in the US presidential race in Fukui, home to the city of Obama, where residents have started a campaign to support accidental namesake Barack Obama.