Newest FGW Member - Alexander Cole Nixon

Mother/FGW Graphic Designer Becky Chan and little Alex are doing just fine.  Congratulations from all of us at Focus Group West.


FGW on Facebook

Click the image above to be taken directly to the FGW FB page

Focus Group West is happy to announce that you can now stay up to date with all the FGW news and updates from The Aesthetic Omnivore though Facebook.  The FGW Blog will be reserved for larger, in depth stories and will no longer be updated on a regular basis.  Visit our Facebook page and "like" us to stay current and connected with the Focus Group West team.


Las Vegas or BUST!

The Focus Group West team is headed to the annual Vision Expo West trade show in Las Vegas.  As always, the show will provide a great opportunity to meet with clients and factories as well as catch up with good friends and colleagues.

This year FGW will be busy finalizing projects on behalf of two major product launches as well as introducing Elizabeth Lomond as part of the FGW team.


Vision Monday: Elizabeth Lomond Joins FGW

September 20, 2010 
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.— Focus Group West announced that Elizabeth Lomond will be joining their product development team as an eyewear designer to work on upcoming projects.
Designer and president of Focus Group West, Blake Kuwahara said, “We are extremely excited to have Liz join us at a time when our business is expanding.”
With more than 11 years of experience in product development and eyewear design, Lomond will be joining the rest of the FGW team including Kuwahara, fellow designer Thomas Ferguson, as well as architect John Lum, graphic designers Heather Chan and Becky Chan, and PR specialist Niki Ostin.
Lamond was previously director of product development at REM Eyewear.  


Designers at Home: Blake Kuwahara

Designer and President of Focus Group West, Blake Kuwahara is part of a new publication by Assouline entitled  American Fashion Designers at Home.

Check out more images and information at The Aesthetic Omnivore


Elizabeth Lomond Joins Focus Group West

Press Release
September 1, 2010

West Hollywood, CA—Focus Group West announces that eyewear designer Elizabeth Lomond will be joining their product development team to work on upcoming projects.

Designer and President of Focus Group West, Blake Kuwahara says, "We are extremely excited to have Liz join us at a time when our business is expanding.  Thomas [Ferguson] and I have worked together with Liz for over 5 years and know her to be not only a wonderful colleague and an excellent designer with a keen aesthetic awareness, but highly organized and efficient - a rare combination of talents which has been the key to her success."

With over 11 years of experience in product development and eyewear design, Elizabeth Lomond will be joining the rest of the FGW team – Blake Kuwahara, fellow designer Thomas Ferguson, as well as architect John Lum, graphic designers Heather Chan and Becky Chan, and PR specialist Niki Ostin.

Liz most recently worked on the highly successful launch of a girls’ optical line for Converse and Converse Heritage, a limited edition collection of eyewear and sunglasses sold in such high-end specialty stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Holt Renfrew. She has developed and designed numerous worldwide eyewear brands including Converse, Barbie, and Jones New York. Previously, as Director of Product Development at REM Eyewear, she played a key role in the strategic planning of licensed brands and multiple private-label collections.

While known in the industry for her sophisticated style and color sensibility, behind the scenes Liz’s strong organizational skills, understanding of corporate compliance programs, and experience as a design liaison with licensors gives her a unique skill set to take a well-honed and balanced approach to design and development.

“Liz will be a great asset to our clients moving forward.  We are all very glad to welcome her to our creative team,” said Ferguson.

More information about Focus Group West can be found at:

Press Contact:
Niki Ostin


Fashionable Living: C Magazine features Designer Blake Kuwahara

C Magazine celebrates it's 5th Anniversary Issue with all things "fashion".  Designer Blake Kuwahara gets a chance to chat with the publication about his home in Sausalito, California.  


Something new this way comes!

Focus Group West has some exciting news.  Check in next week for details!!


Who Is: John Lum

Next up in our continuing series, Dana Palmer chats with resident architect for Focus Group West: John Lum.  Learn how he turned a company that made industrial size washing machines into his studio space and the ins and outs of his design philosophy:

DP: What first inspired you to become an architect?

JL: I loved playing with blocks in the first and second grades, and had a great time imagining different buildings and houses.  I thought it would be a lot of fun to be able to create buildings for a job, and I still love it!

DP:  I know that you started off designing Elementary schools. How did you go from schools to optometry offices?

JL:  The firm I worked for had a specialty in institutional work, and I landed a position as a junior designer.  Over the next 7 years, I managed to become the main designer on several elementary schools as well as head up their interiors projects.  When a couple of friends of mine, who happened to be optometrists approached me about doing a new practice, I was well positioned to design something spectacular, which happened to win a design award from  Interiors Magazine.  From there, I was contacted by other optometrists, and now I am currently designing my 19th practice.

DP: What specific challenges do optometry offices present?

JL:  There are a few things I always need to consider when designing optometry offices:  showcasing many small objects while having overall design coherence, providing enough back-of-the-house space, laying out the office so the flow works correctly, and balancing merchandise security while allowing client access. If I can balance those things, the office will be a success. The only other challenges is the fact that many of my clients are sole practitioners and starting new practices, so I often work with small spaces and tight budgets. 

DP:  Since then, what other types of businesses/spaces have you designed?

JL:  I’ve done many restaurants, night clubs, and office spaces.  Currently I just finished a plastic surgery consult office with an illuminated tunnel/ramp that leads from the lobby to the exam rooms. The idea was to create an allegory for transformation.  I’m currently working on the new welcome center for the Bayview/ Hunter’s Point Shipyard development by Lennar.  I also have a thriving residential practice mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

DP:  From reading about your studio, it sounds like an amazing place.  Explain the process of transforming a company that made industrial size washing machines to your studio space.

JL:  I was lucky to get the building 10 years ago and was almost in an abandoned state, with 7 people living in the building illegally.  I ended up gutting the building and created a studio space that takes advantage of the 5 large skylights in the back of the building.  For me, this was one of the most difficult projects to do, as there were too many options for me to consider.  Clearly it is much easier for me to do projects for my clients than myself.  We’ve just installed solar, and our electric meter is going backwards!

DP: Explain a little bit about the design process you take when starting a new project.


John Varvatos Eyewear - Milan Spring/Summer 2011

Blake Kuwahara of Focus Group West collaborated with John Varvatos for the design and direction of a few eyewear pieces that were recently scene on the runways in Milan.  

close up images available after the jump


Blake Kuwahara featured in Marin Magazine

From A to Z- this year, [the] editors combed the county to identify the unique people, businesses and experiences that make Marin County special.  

Visit Marin Magazine for more


Menswear S/S 2011: Focus Group West Heads to Milan

 Neil Barrett Show - Menswear S/S 2011

Check out some of the behind-the-scene action from Milan Fashion Week.  FGW hit the town and snagged some of the best seats in the house.  Also check out our design blog: The Aesthetic Omnivore for more coverage of the John Varvatos and Neil Barrett shows.

The Red Carpet at Dolce & Gabbana's 20th Menswear Anniversary Event

 Blake Kuwahara & Thomas Ferguson at the John Varvatos entrance

Blake Kuwahara, John Varvatos, & Thomas Ferguson - Milan, 2010

Thomas Ferguson & Blake Kuwahara pre-show at Neil Barrett S/S 2011

Blake Kuwahara backstage at the Neil Barrett Show    

 Thomas Ferguson backstage at the Neil Barrett Show


FGW visits Italy

Thomas and Blake of Focus Group West had the great opportunity to take in some of the best runway shows during this years Men's Fashion Week in Milan, Italy.  It was a whirlwind trip full of planes, trains, and automobiles water boats.

We've arrived!!!

Making our way through town.

On the train headed for a quick trip to Lake Como.

Thomas at Lake Como

Blake at Lake Como

There's always time for pizza...

...and Prada!

The Flagship Prada store at the Galleria in Milano.

The Galleria - Milano, Italy

There are lots more pictures where these came from.  Be sure to check out our design blog - The Aesthetic Omnivore for more coverage and a glimpse behind-the-scenes at Fashion Week S/S 2011.


Focus Group West heads to Milan

Fashion Week, here we come!  Blake and Thomas of the FGW design team are spending the next few days in Milan for Men's Fashion Week.  We'll be sure to post pictures and updates - and perhaps some spring/summer 2011 fashion commentary - ASAP.

More to come...


Thomas Ferguson Featured in May 2010 20/20 Magazine

Apple Worship: Creating a Brand

KCRW Presents-

Design and Architecture's interesting perspective on what goes into a brand and why we buy the things we do not need.  Sasha Strauss explains how well-designed and branded goods are just as important as critical needs.


FGW Collaborates with Photographer Philip Harvey

As some of you may know,  Focus Group West just relaunched our website with all-new creative direction by the FGW team and imagery from their 2009 collaboration with photographer Philip Harvey.  Here are some of the great images from our site:


About Philip Harvey:
After completing his degree in literature and psychology at the University of Oregon, Philip Harvey studied photography at Brooks Institute of Photography.  After graduating with honors, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began shooting editorial, catalog, and advertising campaigns for local and national clients; some of which include: Adobe, Kohl's, L.L. Bean, Nestle, Restoration Hardware, Better Homes and Gardens, and San Francisco Magazine.

He just completed a project for Guess? Inc in Los Angeles that is set to release at the end of February.

With Phil's great attention to detail and clean aesthetic eye, a collaboration with him was only natural.  Shot in just one day in a residence designed by FGW's John Lum, the Focus Group West team pulled together the great efforts of stylist Deborah Dapalito and hair and makeup artist Veronica Sjoen.  

Be sure to check out Phil's website:

Also, follow our great models Greg Peralta and Khyrstyna from San Fancisco's Look Model Agency.

We hope this is the first of many collaborations with Phil and just the beginning of our original content for the FGW blog THE AESTHETIC OMNIVORE

March 3, 2010 - UPDATE: Be sure to check out additional coverage about Philip Harvey on our design blog - The Aesthetic Omnivore


FGW Hits the Runway

Some of the most recent designs from the John Varvatos sunglass collection were recently seen on the runway in NYC and Milan.  Check out these great images from the Spring 2010 and Fall 2010 collection:

Be sure to check out more of the John Varvatos collection:

FGW on The Optical Vision Site


What I Hate About Me - Style Network

As mentioned in November, FGW's very own Thomas Ferguson taped a segment for an upcoming Style Network show.  We can now divulge the details:

About the show - Women identify the ten things they dislike most about themselves, such as relationship issues, vices, physical flaws, or out-of-control finances, and then a rotating panel of experts (including boxer Laila Ali, nutritionist Rachel Beller and radio host Emily Morse) offers advice about how to makeover their lives and directly deal with these issues.  (source: TVTango)

With the help of Thomas Ferguson as the "eyewear expert" and product from Dan Deutsch Optical Outlook, the segment is a guide to teach women how to find their perfect pair of shades.

Be sure to check out the episode on Janauary 30th @ 9pm

Check your local listings.

Visit for more information about the show.