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Wednesday / July 17.
HomemifashionnewsVision East Expo: New York City

Vision East Expo: New York City

Vision East Expo was a long show for a relatively small representation of product and visitors. Mainstream products were everywhere as were miscellaneous machines for optometrists’ dreams and fashion show catwalks to help fashionistas coordinate wardrobes with vistas.

VEE is the most conveniently located show of all the big international eyewear shows. As a comparison, other shows are up to an hour from the city centre, where VEE is only a five minute walk from most hotels, sights and attractions.

Walk a bit further and you can see some amazing galleries and shopping districts. That’s if;

A: You’ve covered all aspects of the show in one day; or

B: It’s all too much and a break is needed; or

C: You’re easily distracted and decided to read a summary of the show on the flight home while you explore the vast Manhattan Island.

As far as shows and big releases go, Vision East Expo stayed true to form showing the
big frame releases from Silmo, Munich and Mido. Interestingly though, the very conservative US market is starting to catch-up to the more quirky, interesting and colourful frames that have been worn by Europeans for decades. This was evident in the streets of New York and at the show, with a jam-packed Galleria section featuring the more boutique, stylish frame makers. Not necessarily anything new, but the trends from Silmo’s forward thinking frame designers of five years ago were definitely being mimicked and copied by otherwise conservative frame labels.

The small independent Canadian frame manufacturer Rapp showed its latest release featuring a refined Anne et Valentine-esque collection. Its trademark metal arms still feature, but this time a more honed aesthetic is used on the frame front. It was great to catch up with them after not seeing the collection for five years.

Other highlights of the show were a very accessible ‘meet the designers’ discussion panel and after party at the Guggenheim hosted by Clare Goldsmith.

The design panel discussed style queues and manufacturing for non-designers. This
was a great insight for many who are not otherwise involved with this aspect of eyewear design. It’s not as easy as sketching something on a napkin.

If there was a potential trend that would be shaping the eyewear industry internationally it would have to be the wearing of sunglasses indoors. Sometimes scripted, often not, sunglasses were worn indoors like a cast of extras from an 80s Tom Cruise movie. You heard it here first.

Approximately 22,000 visitors from over 90 countries attended Vision Expo East. The New York eyewear show returns to the Javits Center from 15–17 April 2016.