Merchant helps bring Elton John’s iconic style and famed music career to life through eyewear collection
Nov. 2, 2021
He’s a world renowned icon, and he’s now at Sam’s Club. Elton John, one of the world’s most celebrated musician whose music and personal style have made him a global superstar, has launched his first eyewear collection with Sam’s Club.
Gretchen Oldt, a Senior Merchant at Sam’s Club, had the unique opportunity to work closely with Elton to help bring the branded eyewear to life in a way that’s not only impressive from a quality and design perspective, but also tells his incredible story.
"Elton John loves the Sam’s Club eyewear collection," Oldt said. "He said we captured the essence of him and it’s exactly what he wants his fans to be wearing. We are proud of how he loves what we are bringing to our members, and he feels really connected to it."
Sam’s Club is offering three distinct collections that celebrate his confidence and self-expression. The Frame Foundations Collection features an exclusive, evergreen assortment of core prescription and sun frames. The Capsule Collection, designed for collectability, showcases Elton’s musical journey. The Master Collection features luxury frames representing some of the musician’s most iconic looks. This signed and numbered collection will be released in limited quantities.
As the collections were being created, Oldt said it was important to make sure they were authentic and there was a frame for every fan.
"There are not a lot of ways to do circles, rectangles, and squares on your face, but there are a lot of ways to use materials, elements and contours to make sure the brand feels like accessible luxury," she said. "Elton John wanted to make sure the frames were accessible to all of his fans."
The line is designed to have something for everyone, so that no matter who you are, you can always look yourself. It’s not just about glasses, it’s about helping people live their true, authentic self.
Something that makes the eyewear so special is that every frame was named by Elton John himself.
"When they gave me the brand brief, they gave me hundreds of names that could be used to name the frames," Oldt said. "I told Elton John, and David Furnish, Rocket Entertainment Group CEO and Elton’s manager that I would be happy to put names to the frames. Instead, they named every frame, every color, and every lens color. I can’t believe they truly named every frame, that wasn’t me. But, that kind of creative collaboration is why I think this will be so successful."
Oldt reflects on the months of work that went into bringing the collection to life. And there are many memories she will never forget!
"I will not forget the style out we had with Elton John in London," she said. "I got to go into his closet, and I think he has every frame he’s ever worn."
Oldt, a lover of product, said she has had her dream role in this one project.
"It’s a pinnacle in my career, for sure," she said. "What Sam’s Club has offered me is the entrepreneurial spirit to run after this and run fast. I never felt I had guardrails. I felt like it was my job to bring the best thing forward for Sam’s Club and for the organization. I am so excited to see how the members respond to the eyewear. It will be very telling if the Elton John music lover is also emotionally influenced in the way we brought this to life for them."
The frames start at $95 and set in approximately 547 Sam’s Club Optical Centers.