City guides

Impressive energy and eyewear style at 100%

The London show made an impression across all categories in 2023 / new dates have been announced for the 2024 edition

100% Optical has celebrated their biggest, most successful show yet in London. Organisers reported that the 3-day event saw a 10% year-on-year increase on its previous record attendance.

For 2023, 100% attracted a diverse selection of independent eyewear brands from Europe and the US. They included long-term supporters of the fair such as Kirk and Kirk, Sea2see, SALT. Optics,  BIRD and Gotti Switzerland, alongside first time appearances from VAVA, Rolf Spectacles and Vysen. Above: close-up of Linwei Zheng’s eyewear and accessory designs, winner of the 100% x RCA competition; Zheng used upcycled rubber tubes from the inside of car tyres to make the designs

PARIS Light by Struktur Eyewear won ‘men’s frame of the year’ at 100% in the Love Eyewear Awards 2023

The Love Eyewear Awards The fair celebrated creativity, colour and design flair with the Love Eyewear Awards. There were wins for a broad selection of products this year. Highlights included Ffin Eyewear (who won two awards for New Designer and Men’s Sunglasses of the Year), and ROLF Spectacles who won the category for Kids frame of the Year with their 3d printed bean glasses. Struktur Eyewear won the Men’s Frame of the Year and model PARIS Light and VAVA for Sustainable Frame of the year with their CL0012.

VAVA Eyewear: model CL0012 – the winner in the sustainable category in the Love Eyewear Awards at 100% Optical
ROLF Spectacles: bringing bean eyewear to the youngest wearers – model Kudu won the children’s category in the Love Eyewear Awards at 100%

The continuing success of the brilliant RCA competition, in its 9th year, was a delight again at the  100% event, with very strong projects submitted by a group of outstanding students from the department of FAME_RCA  (Masters in Fashion / Footwear / Accessories / Millinery / Eyewear. The theme of the competition this year was “sunglasses that do not cost the earth” and the winner was Linwei Zheng who designed frames using rubber inner tubes from tyres – a sustainable direction that was simple and bold.

Eyewear creativity: RCA student Zirui Wang explored bamboo as a frame material for his project in the RCA x 100% competition on sustainable design

Next year’s 10th anniversary 100% Optical dates have been confirmed for 24th to 26th February 2024, while The Association of Optometrists (AOP) and Media 10 have announced that their partnership to deliver 100% Optical has been extended until 2025. For further information, visit www.100percentoptical.com

LOFT NYC: an eyewear destination for independent brands

The annual eyewear show for independent eyewear brands in New York, LOFT NYC takes place at the Hudson Mercantile from 16th March to 19th March 2023 / a huge line-up of designers and brands have booked for the edition which will welcome opticians and buyers from around the world

Creative eyewear designers will return to New York this month for a programme of annual events, among them the popular Loft NYC – at the Hudson Mercantile, an intimate showroom space on two floors. This year, the show will host over 35 of the finest independent eyewear brands and labels, from Europe, the US and Japan – including theo, Lafont Paris, Kirk and Kirk and Masahiromaruyama.

Loft NYC -Studio: a special atmosphere to view creative eyewear collections in New York – opticians from around the world attend the event

The LOFT NYC event will be running an extra day (Thursday) to accommodate buyers and optical professionals throughout their stay in the city.  Known also for its themed industry parties, the organisers have confirmed that 2023 will see a return of the much talked about party event. 

Expect to find a huge array of independent eyewear at this year’s LOFT, with brands taking part from across the world. Exhibitors include Bevel, BOZ Eyewear, Kirk and Kirk, LAFONT Paris, Lowercase NYC, MATSUDA, ROLF Spectacles, SALT. Optics, THEO, VAVA and VUE DC.

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Loft. New York. March 14-17
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LOFT NYC takes place at Hudson Mercantile, 500 W 36th Street, (corner of 10th Avenue), New York from Thursday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, and Sunday from 9am to 5pm (16th to 19th March). 

LOFT San Francisco: the sister show on the West Coast was first launched in 2019, and is already an established event for the international eyewear community. Watch this space for the new 2023 dates for San Francisco and visit www.lofteyewearshow.com to find out more about visiting the two shows.

100% Optical, London: latest news

100% Optical will showcase a wide choice of eyewear brands in London this weekend – the latest releases will include some of the new products highlighted here putting the spotlight on high-tech, 3D printed and sustainable materials, including recycled materials, bioplastics, wood and stone….offering British opticians a great opportunity to see the evolution of independent eyewear design. A very bright and bold colour palette will be a feature across the exhibition stands this year! 

This weekend marks a highlight in the UK’s optical calendar with the 2023 edition of 100% Optical, from Saturday 25th February to Monday 27th February 2023. The fair takes place at ExCel, London’s premiere exhibition centre in the east of the capital, close to Canary Wharf.

A wide selection of eyewear companies, including independent brands, have confirmed their participation in the London event, among them Ørgreen Optics, Rolf Spectacles, Sea2see, Tree Spectacles, Kirk & Kirk, Morel, Erkers1879, Struktur, SALT. Optics, FACE A FACE, Woow and Nirvan Javan, to name a few.

Award-winning natural materials experts Rolf Spectacles will be represented for the first time at 100%, and have two nominations in the Love Eyewear Awards (kid’s category and sustainable frame category). The Tyrol based artisan label has become a go-to brand in the UK for opticians stocking premium eyewear, and is recognised for its extremely innovative mix of natural eyewear materials, from natural wood and stone, to 3D printed bean based glasses. Above: Rolf Spectacles will head to 100% Optical for the first time, with an array of sustainable natural frames for adults and children – pictured, girl wears the Gamma glasses in the evolved collection – created with natural stone

Find trendsetting colour combinations in the new collection at Woow Eyewear at 100%

Multiple colours and structures with interesting angles and spaces are typical features of the new Woow Collection by Design Eyewear Group. This upbeat line for SS2023 is inspired by holidays and relaxation, and a mood of carefree fun. Preview the frames at www.wooweyewear.com

Nirvan Javan : the collections by the Swiss designer will be on show in London for the first time

The eyewear collection by the Swiss based designer Nirvan Javan will be introduced for the first time in London, by The Exclusive Eyewear Agency. The collections are inspired by unique cities around the world including London, Tokyo, and Toronto. The brand has just announced its brand new Marrakech line, with frames informed by the colours and cultural richness of the historic Moroccan city. www.nirvanjavan.com

MIDO FEB 3-5 2024
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100% Optical London 24 to 26 February 2024 at Excel London - register for free
ROLF Spectacles
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Götti Switzerland
GIGI STUDIOS
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BCorp certified Sea2see: ‘sustainable’ eyewear made from 100% marine waste

100% Optical offers an opportunity to find leading sustainable eyewear brands making important steps in sustainability. They include the carbon negative eyewear company Sea2see, always a highlight at the 100% show, and Bird Eyewear, known for its timeless designs, which this year include a new line in bioplastics and recycled materials. www.sea2see.org

Bird Eyewear: launching a new line at 100% featuring bioplastics and recycled materials

100% takes place over three days at ExCel London. Some of the highlighted events during the weekend with include the award ceremony for the Royal College of Art Competition – with the theme ‘Sunglasses that do not cost the earth’, the presentation of the Love Eyewear Awards, and an opening night party with live music. For further information www.100percentoptical.com 100% Optical is a trade-only optical event.

opti 2022: return to ‘live’

The Munich event celebrated the return of face-to-face meetings, friendly conversations and the bringing together of the industry again

opti 2022, which took place on the weekend of 13th to 15th May, following numerous prior disruptions from the pandemic, has been celebrated as an ideal reunion for brands and business partners, opticians and optical ‘friends’. A convivial and relaxed atmosphere, where visitors could have direct access to some of the finest established and emerging independent labels in the business meant that there was much opportunity for new inspiration, trend analysis and fresh and exciting buying opportunities for all those interested in unique eyewear. Above: Clodagh Norton, Eyestylist.com and co-founder of Lunettes ALF, Germain Bouchara – ‘catching up after over two years’ – photography by Julien Alazard

French label Lunettes ALF is distributed by Wolf Continental in Germany – green was one of the most popular fresh colours for eyewear  at opti

Lunettes ALF, a brand that is already well established in Germany, exhibited as part of Wolf Continental, the House of Independent Quality Eyewear working with a selection of luxury and artisan brands including ALF, Lasry, and Frank Custom in the German-speaking region.

LEINZ Eyewear won the opti BOX award at opti 2022

Among the highlights of the weekend was a win by LEINZ Eyewear, who received the opti Box Award. Beate Leinz is a well-known eyewear designer and her young eponymous label has a captivating, creative contemporary design focus with consistent interest in quality, originality and modern materials such as 3D printed polyamide – exploring the materials’ potential in glamorous forms.

Several brands we do not know so well caught our eye at the fair, and a particularly warm welcome was appreciated at Lazare Studio, a label born in Lyon and headed by the optician (of Entre-Vues) and creator, Alexandre Caton. His expertise in and passion for vintage has translated into a collection that is innovative and surprising – where the choice of materials, weight distribution and technical details such as hinges are highly considered and result in a quite different outcome in terms of the experience of the frame and how it feels to wear.

Newton by Lazare Studio: minimal lines, sharp edges, directly inspired by 1940s eyewear styles

Newton by Lazare Studio is representative of the ‘neo retro’ design work at the French brand. Each frame is described as the result of the meeting of “two worlds that were never meant to collide. On the one hand, a selection of exclusive signature parts made from ancestral materials sourced from Japan, and on the other, the extraordinary savoir-faire of the Jura workshops in France.”

Interstellar in the Quantum High collection- Ørgreen Optics: 3D printed polyamide front, beta titanium wire temples with accent colours and an integrated hinge system

Other innovators such as Cutler and Gross, Blackfin, Rolf Spectacles, VAVA, Youmawo, Ørgreen Optics, J F REY, RIGARDS and RES/REI showed the season’s new collections with attention on sustainability, exceptional quality and new modes of design; contemporary materials were more eclectic than ever, with 3D printed, customisable and plant-based designs well represented alongside the classic high-quality and luxury materials like cellulose acetate, wood, buffalo horn and titanium. opti 2023 will take place on 27 to 29th January 2023. To read more about what we discovered at the shows this season follow Eyestylist on the website and our social media. For more details about the Munich fair, visit www.opti.de

Opti Munich: the May edition 2022

The show in Munich takes place from 13th to 15th May 2022

opti 2022 looks forward to welcoming visitors and a host of exhibitors to their event in May, the first opti show to take place since January 2020 following the lengthy Covid disruptions. The fair will take place at its traditional venue – Messe Munich and promises a complete panorama of the whole of the optical industry, with areas for lens and contact lens companies, low vision, shop fitting and technology – as well as for eyewear in a variety of categories.

The 2022 edition will feature a “mixture of new and well-established elements” in the four-hall concept that visitors are used to. Halls C1 and C2 will contain the frame collections of licensed brands and manufacturer brands, the YES independent design area and the opti BOXES will present exciting start-ups and small independent labels. Hall C3 will feature a further choice of licensed brands and manufacturer brands in the frame area, as well as all other types of product for the optical stores. In Hall C4, focus will be on spectacle lenses, contact lenses and accessories, refraction and diagnostics, as well as IT and machinery.

Opti is always supportive of eyewear start-ups and new labels and this year, it will host a dozen young designers via the opti BOXES initiative. The labels will compete in the first opti BOX AWARDS, the criteria for which is design, sustainability, functionality, technology and marketing. Among those taking part is LEINZ Eyewear from Berlin – https://leinzeyewear.de. The awards ceremony for this event will take place live on site on Saturday 14th May at 12.30 pm in Hall C2 in the opti BOXES area.  / Above: JF Rey from Marseille, France will return to opti for the May edition with their labels, JF Rey, BOZ and Volte Face – their stand is located in HALL C2.

Rolf Spectacles’ award-winning eyewear: evolved collection

Rolf Spectacles will exhibit a bold new collection with many distinctive elements: brand new frames for kids, the very first texture in the 3D printed plant-based line substance mount, and a refined handcrafted wood collection where different colours and textures are combined with an inventive, and totally unique style of design. www.rolf-spectacles.com

Rigards’ award-winning RG1911AG .925 Sterling Silver – edition with Royal Selangor

Rigards’ collection this year is bursting with innovation in materials and structures and their dazzling design works, all made by hand should not be missed at opti. The brand is a leading innovator in reinventing the traditional craft of handmade spectacle making with completely new ideas about material possibilities, architectural aesthetics and avantgarde shapes. www.rigards.com

Acetate style Claudius by Ørgreen Optics

Ørgreen Optics is a highlight at the opti fair each year, and for 2022 comes highly recommended for anyone who seeks a look at a diverse portfolio of Danish design collections in polyamide, stainless steel, titanium and acetate. Their expertise in colour thanks to resident colorist Sahra Lysell, remains a real highlight across these quality collections. www.orgreenoptics.com

LEINZ Eyewear will show in the opti BOXES – the frames “combine the old and the new”

Beate Leinz of LEINZ Eyewear combines state-of-the-art 3D printed material and  acetate in her designs, which allows for a completely fresh aesthetic based on the subject of “contrasts and hybrids”. To read more about Beate Leinz visit our interview at https://www.eyestylist.com/2021/11/beate-leinz-my-brand-is-me/

Weareannu – panto design for 2022 – one of our favourite German labels

A particular highlight at opti will be the vast selection of smaller creative independent brands like Weareannu, producers of very light 3d-printed frames that prioritise maximum comfort with a minimalist feel. Find out more at https://weareannu.com

Opti takes place on Friday 13th May to Sunday 15th May 2022 at the Munich Messe (trade only). There are no longer any access restrictions following the pandemic and masks are not required but are highly recommended. To find out more details visit www.opti.de  Eyestylist will have more tips and recommendations to share on opti in the coming days.