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October 17 2012
Organisers of the Paris-based tradeshow, Silmo, confirmed a rise in attendance figures this year, with 34,696 delegates visiting the show over its four days (October 4-7).
Statistics revealed that 54.8% of those attending the show were international visitors, compared with 45.2% from France.
In 2011, the show welcomed 34,671 visitors to its Paris Nord Villepinte venue. The annual event moved from its previous Porte de Versailles home to Paris Nord Villepinte in 2010.
Thinner and rounder frames were noticeable at Silmo, indicating a slight shift away from the retro eyewear trend that has been prominent in recent years.
Howard Librae, managing director of Brulimar Optical Group, predicted: “The retro trend will stay for 2013, but eyewear will start to get smaller soon. I’m surprised it has lasted so long.”
In agreement, Tom Davies, CEO of TD Tom Davies, told OT: “Anything goes at the moment. I don’t see retro as a trend, I think trend is more about the choice in frame shape. However, on the production side of things, the trend at the moment is certainly thinner, lighter and more elegant.”
A new licensing agreement saw the launch of the inaugural Hardy Amies eyewear collections – Hardy Amies Signature Eyewear and Hardy Aimes London Eyewear.
While the Signature range is high end, the London collection aims to be more accessible to the ‘work hard, play hard’ young professional.
Hardy Amies design director, Caron Kraitt, explained that the frames express “elegance and style, with a contemporary twist,” in line with the brand’s menswear clothing.
Discussing eyewear trends, Ms Kraitt revealed: “The next collection will be thinner.”
Marking its 20th anniversary, Kirk Originals launched its Twenty collection, which consists of two limited edition ranges, Pin and Stripe. With six styles in four colours in each collection, the frames are named after person who were famous in 1992 when the company was established.
Jason Kirk told OT: “[Twenty] has been designed to incorporate what Kirk Originals has done over the last 20 years. They are a nod to the original collection, but with a twist.
“The retro and vintage feel for frames is still spoken about, but we thought let’s do it with a bit of colour. They are contemporary and right for the market now.”
Alongside new adult frames, children’s eyewear seemed to equally dominate stands, with the likes of Zoobug, Dunelm, Brulimar and Julbo all introducing new collections at the show.
Shortlisted for a Silmo D’Or Award, Julbo’s Modul’o collection is designed to offer children the perfect fitting frames. The spectacles comes in two sizes, with two bridge options and three different temple lengths, allowing the practitioner to ‘build’ the frame most suitable for each individual.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, Brulimar exhibited its first-ever Bench and Lee Cooper kids sunglass collections.
“We are not trying to second guess kids, that’s impossible,” commented Mr Librae, which is why the new collections are ‘mini-me’ versions of both brands’ popular adult ranges.
The launch coincides with the company’s campaign to increase awareness about the importance of children’s eye exams.
He added: “It’s not just about spectacles, it’s about the early detection of conditions.”
Expanding its Mini optical collection, Zoobug has introduced new square, round and oval shapes, aimed at 0-3-year-olds.
Colourways are bright, with blue/orange, pink/fuchsia, red/white and fuchsia/white offered, while the company’s sunglass offering now comes with polarised lenses.
Next year’s show will take place on September 26-29.
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