Eyewear shows are the lively hub of the sector, but the challenges of a global pandemic meant that events which provided an international stage for designers and manufacturers, came to a grinding halt in 2020. However, the organizers of Silmo, held annually in Paris, reconfirmed the optimistic attitude of the eyewear business, with local shows in Paris, Bordeaux, and Rennes, confirming their commitment to support the industry.
Silmo Hors les Murs (Silmo off-site), was held in a tent in the elegant Jardin des Tuileries, located between the Musée de Louvre and Concorde. Created by Italian noblewoman Catherine de’ Medici in the 16th Century, the garden is now often used for public events. Matthieu Lafont, Director General at Lafont Paris, said: “The format was something new; really not comparable to Silmo at Villepinte. However, the local approach was very interesting.”
Approximately sixty companies participated in the two-day event, which was well attended. Keeping with the tradition of presenting a Silmo d’Or award for the most innovative products in six different categories, Lafont received the honor for their children’s design Hugo; Frost Eyewear captured the Frame Technical Innovation division with Jupiter; Nathalie Blanc Paris won in the Sunglasses section; and a special First Class award was bestowed on Jeremy Tarian for his stunning Sky Bar frame, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Space Age when man first stepped on the moon.
Among the companies participating was Emmanuelle Khanh, the French designer who pioneered adventurous, stylish eyewear beginning in 1972, with large, oversized frames in beautiful materials. Khanh’s legacy carries on through Eva Gaume, a spirited young designer who captures the aura of the EK magic. Optical and sunglass designs are sophisticated and distinguished.
Optician Benjamin Meziere presented his Gaston Eyewear designs crafted in Mazzucchelli acetate, exclusively made in France in the Loire Valley. Comfort and unique shapes in a variety of colors envisioning strong character and personal confidence.
The companies who participated in Silmo Hors les Murs were excited to have a platform to present their designs. Matthieu Lafont said: “This show gave us the possibility to introduce our brand new collection, and re-connect with our customers.” Optical designs from the latest collection include Faye, with its graceful brow bar and curvaceous silhouette. The frame is available in six striking two-tone color combinations, and can also be purchased with Swarovski Crystals, for a glamorous touch.
The events in Bordeaux and Rennes were good, reported Lafont, “well organized and located, and positive. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 cases increasing, it was impossible to hold the Lyon edition, (the last show on the agenda) which was too bad, because it would have been a great last stage.”
Moving forward with positive and decisive enthusiasm, the 2021 edition of Silmo will be held 24-27 September in the usual location – Paris Nord Villepinte.