Ethan Goodman is both the president of Match Eyewear and the company’s chief designer. He wears both hats with aplomb, having created a distinctive contemporary look for the company’s brand and its individual collections.
The embodiment of a hands-on executive, Goodman is involved in the creation of every Match Eyewear frame from conception to completion. He tells the company’s team of five Italian and U.S. designers what he wants to accomplish with each design and every style that goes into production has his personal involvement and stamp of approval.
“My expertise lies in choosing colours and saleable shapes and working with our designers in terms of which materials to use as well as the choice of embellishments and logos,” he explains. “We believe that this personal involvement in the design details and all other areas of the company puts Match Eyewear ahead of our competitors in terms of quality, design and service.”
Goodman, a 20-year industry veteran, grew up in the midst of the optical industry. His optician father owned an eyeglass store in New York City and by age six, Goodman was a regular visitor.
“I started out sweeping the floors, which quickly led to restocking the showcases and eventually servicing customers,” he says. “Being surrounded by so many different shapes, colours and materials was fascinating to me. Even then, I had a knack for matching shapes and styles to people’s faces.”
After a year of college, Goodman decided his future lay in the optical field. He attended optician school, then got a sales job on the wholesale side with one of the industry’s big names.
“I was 21, hungry and had the fire in me to pound the pavement every day, cold calling and writing orders,” he says. “I had found my talent!”
Goodman also sought mentors who guided him and helped shape his career. Over time he worked in all areas of the business, eventually pouring his collective experiences into the design of Match Eyewear’s products, which he helped to found in 2001.
The Westbury, NY-based firm has built a portfolio of brands – including Adrienne Vittadini, Danny Gokey Eyewear, Helium Paris, Float Titanium, Float Kids, Aero by Float Milan, Match Flex Eyewear and AV Studio – each with its own unique appeal. The brands touch different demographics and each has its own embellishments, all based on the feeling of the brand, says Goodman.
“Although our company’s audience is broad, the type of consumer we appeal to is consistent. They seek superior-quality fashion eyewear at accessible price points.”
In addition to his other responsibilities, Goodman continues to work with customers in the field, which, he says, connects him to the heartbeat of the business. He believes that this hands-on involvement, which sets him apart from most other designers, is one of his greatest strengths. “I’m in touch with current fashion influences, I see what the industry leaders are doing and I recognize trends.” Those trends and influences are reflected in Match Eyewear’s stylish collections.
Adrienne Vittadini, which offers accessible luxury and easy elegance for today’s chic, sophisticated woman, features meticulous design, rich textures and colours, delicate styling and exquisite embellishments.
Danny Gokey Eyewear embodies the spirit of the American Idol finalist and is inspired by his classic, individual sense of style. This unique ophthalmic and sunwear collection is retro-chic with a soulful edge, bringing effortless cool to fashion-savvy men.
In Helium Paris, adventurous French design is married to fine Italian craftsmanship, delivering a line with a chic, distinctive edge. Innovative shapes, bold styling and the finest materials create premium-quality high fashion eyewear for trend-setting men and women.
Float Titanium incorporates clean, contemporary styling with simple silhouettes, delivering impressive elegance to discerning men who demand the best. And Aero by Float Milan is a colourful, rimless collection designed and manufactured using the highest industry standards. Durable, comfortable and hypoallergenic, every model features higher temples and a single chassis design with multiple lens options to provide a perfect style for every customer.
With its acquisition of Optiq Frames in August 2012 Match Eyewear added seven additional brands to its portfolio, including Respec, Urban, Minimize, Minimize kids, Image Cafe and AKA. Goodman says the company is now focused on getting its Canadian collections, “going in the right direction. We’re streamlining them to create more of a story and directing them to make sure customers see the difference. So far, we’re getting good feedback.”
A dedicated family man, Goodman and his wife recently celebrated 10 years of marriage. The couple has two children, aged 8 and 5, and when he’s not working he enjoys spending time with family and friends.
“I love sports and get immense joy watching my son become an athlete,” he says. “My favorite time of year is summer because I love barbecuing and having fun with my wife and kids in the pool or at the beach.”