Julius, Tomato Glasses and Down Syndrome

Julius, Tomato Glasses and Down Syndrome

  • 29 Jun 2


The search for a perfect fit in eyewear for children

The search for a perfect fit in eyewear for children


Julius’ experience by Catia Malaquias

February, 28th, 2014

A note on #Tomato #Glasses and finding suitable #eyewear for children with #Down #syndrome –

As some of you may know, Julius models Tomato Glasses, eyewear especially designed for children. However, Tomato Glasses did not “discover” Julius, rather we “discovered” Tomato Glasses.

After a desperate year of unsuccessfully trying to get Julius to wear the glasses we bought at the local #Optometrist and which ended up hopelessly bent and twisted out of shape from the number of times he’d tear them off his face and fling them across the room “frisbee-style”,
I finally gave up and decided that there surely must be a better option, particularly as he was due to start Kindergarten in a couple of months and I worried about the impact of his #eyesight on #learning.

I could see that Julius’ frames, despite being the best we could do in terms of style and size, were ill-fitting and did not look comfortable. Every time Julius looked down they slid off his nose. Elastic straps that we added to keep them in place were bulky and irritated him and his eyelashes touched the lens. They just didn’t sit well on his face.
These issues are common to many children with Down syndrome because of facial characteristics associated with the condition, including a nose bridge which is often not very pronounced.
After some research into various options, I came across Tomato Glasses online, thanks to another parent of a child with Down syndrome who was raving about how good they were. Tomato Glasses are designed specifically for children and their many adjustable features makes them suitable for pretty much every unique little face, including Julius’.

As well as looking good and being available in almost every colour you can think of and a range of sizes for children aged 0-16 years although they can fit adults well.
They are made of super lightweight (less than 8g) yet strong and flexible plastic. They have adjustable ear tips so you can adjust the length of the arms to fit the child’s face perfectly and the ear tips are also rounded so they stay on firm with the added assistance of a removable elastic strap.
What really makes them unlike any other frames I have come across are the soft silicon nose pads especially designed to stay put – so they don’t slide down even on a child who, like Julius, does not have a very pronounced nose bridge. The positioning of the nose pads is also adjustable and this means that Julius’ eyelashes don’t touch the lens.

We originally ordered our Tomato Glasses frames through their UK distributors, assistance of Sarah who was terrific in helping us work out sizing, etc and the frames arrived within less than a week. After having the prescription lens fitted at our local optometrist (who was very impressed and had never seen anything like these frames), the moment of truth came … we put them on Julius and … they stayed on – for a whole day, then a whole week, then a whole month not to mention beyond.
I was so thrilled with our immediate success that on that first day I took a photo of Julius mesmerised having spotted a kite flying high in the sky – something he would not have been able to do without glasses. I sent that photo to Sarah from Tots Specs to share this small but significant “victory” and she was quite taken with Julius and his look of wonder at the kite. As they say, one thing led to another and Julius was asked to model Tomato Glasses for the UK market. We didn’t actually go to the UK and the photo shoot was done here on a very hot summer morning – which didn’t faze Julius who was just happy to do “mo-de-lling” while we sweltered looking on! (yes, he really loves strutting for the camera!)
It has now been over 3 months and the glasses are well and truly here to stay.
I am just so glad we could get this issue sorted out because at the end of the day, it’s all about Julius’ eyesight and maximising his potential to learn and to engage with the world around him.
But I have to admit it has also been really pleasing to come across another company that so readily embraced diversity and inclusive advertising (as did eeni meeni miini moh, the Australian children’s fashion brand for which Julius also models) and was happy to have a little boy like Julius represent their brand. Kudos to both companies for recognising what seems so obvious though it is still rarely acted on by most advertisers – the fact that consumers, even little ones, come in all shapes, sizes and abilities!


June 22nd, 2015

WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA TOMATO GLASSES! You may remember Julius’ modelling for children’s specialist eyewear brand Tomato Glasses advertising in the UK 18 months ago, after we fell in love with these fantastic super lightweight frames that are adjustable to fit perfectly every unique little face and I sent them a photo of Julius seeing a kite high in the sky for the first time. Julius has also featured with his super cute glasses in several ad campaigns for eeni meeni miini moh and I have been contacted by many parents asking for details of where to get them. They are designed for every child but because they are as close as you can get to custom-made frames – they are very suitable for children with Down syndrome and their particular facial characteristics as well as children who, for sensory reasons, may be more sensitive to wearing something on their face. It used to be that they had to be ordered in from the UK and you could not get a health insurance rebate on the frames but guess what, they have finally arrived in Australia and have stockists in each of the States or you can order them directly from the Tomato Glasses Australia website where Nicky, a behavioural optometrist, can assist with personal queries about sizing, etc. Well there I was, browsing the gallery to order Julius’ new frames when I spotted this handsome little dude wearing the same red frames as Julius! Thanks Tomato Glasses Australia for staying to the inclusive ethos that we felt when Julius was asked to feature in advertising for Tomato Glasses! For anyone interested, here is Tomato Glasses’ website (they are also on Facebook Tomato Glasses Australia).





#eyewear #children #DownSyndrome #TomatoGlasses #belonging #diversity #inclusion not to mention #cuteness #adorable #happy Showcased along with #gorgeous eeni meeni miini moh #childrens clothing with #tomatoglasses #childrens #glasses completing the look


  1. JoanneWhiting January 26, 2018 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. My son is having sight problem and he wears tomato glasses. when we first brought it he was uncomfortable and now he says he is fine.

  2. Billy Franz July 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    We normally have 30 Tomato frames on display! These frames fit most of my “Special kids”! All of my kids are special to me!
    One of the best frames I have fit in my 39 years of practice. I own my dad’s store that he opened 70 years ago next year! (1949)
    We are independent retail optical stores that fill Rxs from all Eye Doctors!
    Billy Franz ABO Master Optician
    Dallas Youth Optical

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