The end of September marks our team’s annual trip to Paris and our eyewear pilgrimage to Silmo at Parc Des Expositions in the north of the city. Silmo is one of the largest eyewear exhibitions in the world. The primary purpose of course is to check out what’s new on the eyewear block. But more than just an industry inventory check we love the chance to place our fingers on the optical pulse by chewing the fat with our suppliers and other opticians. It’s also great to have uninterrupted time with the team. We always come back brimming with energy and ideas, and after the recess of the summer it sets us up for the rhythm of the year ahead.
What's new in the optical world
Theo launch children’s eyewear collection
Style watch….. geometric
A few years ago, round glasses were the choice of child wizards and the brave, but their perception has gradually moved away from quirky to more accessible. So as round glasses have moved up the wearability scale, they have left space for more daring eyewear. We believe this will be filled by geometrical styles. I include in this; large squares, polygons and flat top rounds. We have already seen a move towards these styles in store and judging by the new eyewear launches at Silmo this is indeed an emerging eyewear trend.
Reinventing the acetate
In terms of eyewear material acetate is still king. It’s easy to manufacture, comfortable to wear and versatile in terms of shape colour and adjustment. At an eyewear show you can imagine there is A LOT of acetate frames! So the pressure is on for brands to stand out in the crowded acetate market. As always brands need to hit that narrow overlap in the perennial eyewear venn diagram, that is …interesting but wearable.
Here are 3 ways that acetate glasses are being reinvented (without being too crazy!)
Jacques Marie Mage & Folc have demonstrated great examples of adding the illusion of volume to their glasses. This has been cleverly done by hand milling so the glasses don't look too thick and heavy but slightly... inflated? It sounds a little bizarre but the the finished products have a sculpted 3 dimensional quality to the frames.
Acetate frames can look heavy. Adding transparency to the frame softens the look. A translucent frame is also great way to add colour to the frame without it dominating. Ahlem have a great range of transparent colour ways like the beautifully named eg Indigiolight, Dustlight, Goldlight
At Silmo we observed an emergence of luxury acetate frames. These are usually Japanese acetates which have went through extra treatment and polishing processes to add quality and depth to frame material. Prices for these frames can start from around £700. As with the quiet luxury trend the designs are simple but still make an impact. It's a significant price tag but those with and eye for quality will spot the difference.