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Tuesday / August 16.
HomemieventsMIDO: We’re Back

MIDO: We’re Back

After a two-year hiatus, during which there were several rescheduled, cancelled then re-scheduled again dates, MIDO – the grand Italian eyewear tradeshow – was back with vengeance in the fashion capital of Milan.

MIDO is part of Milan’s annual celebration of everything fashion. An outrageously wonderful display of eyewear – it presents the latest and greatest from the world’s best frame designers alongside frame manufacturing suppliers.

Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, Gail Hoole, from Mondottica Australia, said this year was particularly special.

Acknowledging a small amount of hesitation at the thought of travelling to Italy having lived through the last two years of the pandemic, Ms Hoole said the exhibition was fantastic fun and the atmosphere was definitely positive as business owners celebrated the postpandemic world.

“MIDO commenced on the last day of masking and check in restrictions. We arrived at the exhibition centre via the metro and had to queue to have vaccinations checked and bags scanned.”

The next day – on Saturday – was a totally different experience. With no COVID check-in procedures required, she said it was “straight in and business as normal”.

With 660 exhibitors and 22,000 delegates from 45 countries, MIDO presents opportunities to discover new brands and explore the latest technologies; catch up with distributors; buy, buy, buy; and party, party, party.

“There was a mirrored room, where you lay back on inflatable couches and looked up at a mirrored ceiling, and a pit filled with ping pong balls that you could sink into – like the ball pits our children grew up playing in. You could feel the energy – everyone was excited to be back at a trade show and they were involved in the festivities.”

While the aisles were wider than usual, and there were a lot less exhibitors than in previous years, Ms Hoole said the delegates were out to buy.

“They weren’t kicking tyres – optometrists were there to do business,” she said.

Noticeable in the Lab Academy was a “trend towards big, bold and dark frames”, perhaps in celebration as we emerge from the insular times that the pandemic forced upon the world.

Also noticeable on the floor was a trend towards sneakers.

“There was barely a woman in high heels – they were all wearing sneakers – white sneakers,” Ms Hoole says.

Having spent days wandering the halls of international trade fairs in heels in the past, this in itself is worthy of celebration!