Mido 2015 was an exhibition for the world of optics with an outstanding array of products spread between the maze-like pavilions. Overall there were 1,000 exhibitors in attendance. The Fashion District areas were the place to be for all of the big names in the industry offering giant stands, luring in their guests with bars, food and even girls in hot tubs. New independent start-up brands were launching their innovative products in the Lab Academy area. Robert Morris, founder of William Morris eyewear, said that Mido was even better than expected this year: ‘I think it is really great that the Lab Academy is there for young and new independent brands. That is Mido supporting young talent. We always question how big our presence has to be but I think it’s definitely a necessity to be here at Mido.’
The show was a sneak peak into what can be expected for eyewear fashion this year. Both inside the exhibition and outside on the street it was evident that the Italians step out in style. Sunglasses seem to be a wardrobe staple no matter what the season. Bella Figura, literally translated as ‘Beautiful Figure’ is a saying that is integrated within the Italian culture and way of life. It means to be presented well, both in appearance and behaviour. The Italians place a huge emphasis on making a good impression to portray this image of Bella Figura and a large part of that comes down to dressing well. Whether it’s to the local bar for your daily coffee or to mass on a Sunday, people dress to impress. The frames on display at Mido were definitely a reflection of this high standard. Cirillo Marcolin, president of Mido, explains: ‘We filled every square metre that was available so we had to be very selective with the entries and our objective was to keep a high standard for the show. One hundred and forty nine companies are here for the first time. It is important to us to have something for every single customer coming in. This event is very international with two-thirds of visitors coming from abroad.’
Milan is a fitting location for Mido, being the business centre of Italy and the fashion capital of the world. Trends seen throughout the pavilions included new materials, shapes and methods of production with an emphasis on new styles in optical ranges. Michela Broglia, group PR specialist for Luxottica, explains: ‘Optical frames are becoming an accessory for us even more so than sunglasses. Frames are being used now as a personal business card and people are changing their shapes a lot more now than in the past. We think that the trend of heavier frames will continue to grow year after year. People are wearing natural lenses meaning that they don’t need a prescription. They are wearing these frames as a fashion accessory. We are not going in the direction of very classic and less visible frames, but instead making them super visible.’
A big trend seen at the show was the mixing of materials. Acetates with metal, horn with wood and leather with rubber. The overriding objective in both sun and optical was to be lighter and more comfortable.
French eyewear label Vuarnet launched its first range of ophthalmic frames at Mido in 2014 and its second collection this year at the show. The Clip On model was launched last year but has only now become available in the UK. The Crochet model is predicted to be the trend of 2015 featuring heavy acetate, a lot of flash in the lenses and soft silicone tips designed for fit and comfort around the ear.
Crochet by Vuarnet
The Glacier sunglass model was launched exclusively at Mido in matt black. Like all of Vuarnet’s sunglasses they have mineral lenses. This is a technical product using metal, acetate and rubber featuring a leather removable sports band and leather magnetic side shields for improved vision and eye protection. Both the Glacier and Crochet are finding a balance between technology and fashion using these new materials. Once very popular in the 1980s, the brand has made a comeback after becoming independent three years ago and re-launching its products.
Glacier by Vuarnet
Elsa Ravaud, communication and marketing assistant for Vuarnet, says: ‘Now the focus is on the sporty chic style like a mix between Nike and Celine. The idea is always to be elegant with a sporty and dynamic spirit. We hope to target younger people now. Since the relaunch sales have definitely grown and the identity of Vuarnet is stronger and clearer.’
Distribution to the UK is very selective with the aim to bring a more trendy style to that market. Vuarnet is currently available from only three retailers in the UK but more are set to come.
Dunelm presented 130 new styles at Mido, all of which were optical. Managing director Peter Beaumont has seen a variety of new materials being applied to the Paul Costelloe range for this season, including rubber arms eliminating the need for spring hinges and mixing acetate frames with three different types of wood in frames such as PC 5124 and 5125. The wood is resin coated, making adjustments easier with longer lasting colour. Aluminium frames are due to launch in autumn because this year it’s all about lightweight materials such as carbon fibre for Dunelm.
Paul Costello 5132 from Dunelm
‘We’re doing a lot of thinner frames, wide sides are definitely on the way out and you can feel the difference in weight,’ says Beaumont. Racing car favourite carbon fibre is used in PC 5132 for strength and durability.
The new Janet Reger range was previewed for the first time at Mido and is set to launch at Optrafair. Her lingerie line inspired the lace-work featured on the sides of frames such as 4131. This range is made using all Italian materials with leather inserts and Swarovski diamantes for sparkly detail.
Janet Reger 4131 from Dunelm
New brands for Marcolin this year are Pucci and Ermenegildo Zegna both launched at Mido. Zegna is 100 per cent for men and uses a variety of materials including wood throughout the range. Frame ZC0005 from the couture range features handcrafted buffalo horn. Details in the frames include a chevron pattern embedded in the temple.
Zegna ZC0005 from Marcolin
Perry Moore, managing director of Marcolin, has a confident outlook for 2015: ‘I can safely say that within the next six months we will be the third biggest distributor in the UK for optical,’ he says.
Technologies take over
Blake Kuwuhara had his new brand featured in the Lab Academy making his first appearance with the brand at Mido. After designing a collection for his previous brand KATA, it’s his first eponymous range. Kuwahara was recently named by Brilliant Magazine as one of the ‘100 Most Important People in the Eyewear Industry.’ In the past he has also collaborated on eyewear collections for John Varvatos, Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Behnaz Sarapfour, Hanae Mori, and Coach. The Blake Kuwuhara range features some very technical pieces.
Isidore by Blake Kuwahara
‘The concept behind this collection was really to cater to a client who has a creative background like design, architecture, photography or fashion but who also straddles the business world,’ explains Kuwuhara. ‘They want frames that are artful but also wearable. It’s difficult to find that middle zone in the market. They’re often classic or too forward or too trendy, asymmetrical and fluorescent.’
The way he achieves this look is essentially by creating two frames and lamenting them together. One is the inside frame which is a separate unit and then the outside frame which is also made separately. When lamented as one it creates positive and negative spaces allowing for a unique look.
‘The lamination process takes about two weeks to make sure there are no bubbles and it’s actually a very complicated process. This limits our production so they are only available in 100 boutiques worldwide,’ says Kuwuhara.
The technology used is not only for the look of the final product but also the feel. ‘It’s about touch. You can feel the different cutting in the frame and extra dimensions. From the side there is no break in the end piece because there’s no split where the front and the temple join. It’s very smooth and pure in its form.’
Le Vau & Thornton by Blake Kuwahara
The collection was made for retail in January this year and distribution is just getting started in the UK.
Look Occhiali launched its brand Helios in January this year featuring the Hindie sunglasses. This model is a sport utility frame that can be used comfortably under a helmet. The Helios Hercules glass lenses are certified as unbreakable and with Clearseal treatment that makes water run away from the lens without leaving a residue or obstructing your vision catering to extreme weather conditions. The range is inspired by the Italian Dolomites so all models feature polarised lenses and 99.9 per cent black crossing to guarantee an sharp image.
Helios Hindie by Look Occhiali
Bright colours were a trend seen throughout all of the pavilions at Mido, not only in the frames but also in the lenses. A lot of the sun ranges are featuring ‘flash’ lenses in a variety of colours and many brands are mixing colours to create exclusive tones for their individual ranges.
Mondottica previewed its new brand Marimekko for the first time at Mido that is due to launch around September this year. This is the first optical line for the Finnish brand which is already well established in Scandinavia and Asia for its fabric prints and jewellery. The Marimekko home wares are quite successful in the UK, retailing in high-end stores. The range of eyewear features the famous fabric prints scaled down and recoloured to suit the frames.
Marimekko Vuokko from Mondottica
Yuen Sum Cheung, brand manager at Mondottica, explains: ‘It’s very Scandinavian in the way it’s really minimalist but also very bold and punchy. It’s aimed at a very vivacious woman who knows herself and likes to be womanly but not too soft. There are some beautiful colour contrasts like black and pink or brown and green.’
The collection is all about colour contrasts, iconic prints with a geometric 1960s vibe. The Marimekko jewellery range directly inspires colour pops in the temples of the frames. Mondottica expects success for 2015. ‘Distribution in the UK has grown so quickly with double digit growth year on year and we’re forecasting another 20 to 30 per cent growth as a company as a whole,’ says Cheung.
Marimekko Annika from Mondottica
The Spring/Summer range from William Morris is bringing in bright and fun colours inspired by the city. The most recent shoot for the campaign was done on location around London in the trendy areas of Brick Lane, the South Bank and Hoxton in East London. Smooth pastel tones, delicate gradients and vibrant colour ways are seen throughout. Detailing in trims and finishes are making for some interesting pieces.
William Morris WL6961
‘The more that eyewear is becoming a fashion accessory instead of just a medical necessity makes us start pushing the boundaries,’ comments Morris. ‘We used to always say our brand was conservatively different. Now I would drop the conservatively. I think we’re becoming more different but still not extreme fashion. Very wearable but definitely less conservative.’
Overall, Mido was a show room of fun and innovative frames. Although the large and bold shapes are still prominent there is a definite focus on going lighter for comfort and metals are becoming more prominent. 2015 appears set to be a fashion forward year with optical frames becoming more popular. The days of feeling ‘uncool’ for having to wear glasses are long gone and it is now a way to top off your signature look. Whether it is for work or play, this year there are frames to suit every occasion. To ensure your patients have ‘Bella Figura’ this season choose frames with an interesting mix of materials, sophisticated technological features and go bold with your colour selection.
Translated from http://www.opticianonline.net/eyewear-trending-mido/