SILMO 2022 | Well worth the Visit
We report on our visit to SILMO 2022 at Villepointe North of Paris for this year’s edition.
Greeted by the familiar sight of the stands from the top Press Balcony one noticed the continuing trend of larger stands than previous years.
Many of these appear to have been achieved by brands coming together to utilize greater stand space with for example Menrad-Mondottica, Hoya-Seiko as well as grouped stands with many brands on display such as the Design Eyewear Group with Nifties, Kilsgaar, Woow, Face a Face, Prodesign and still more.
There was a heightened sense of sustainability running through the show which is very much the strong theme from Sea2See run by Francoise van den Abeele its founder and CEO. Francoise has progressed his goals of sustaianbilty with far reaching goals set outside the optical remit. A Foundation has been created retrieving ocean marine plastic waste such as fisherman’s nets and creating recycled and reusable material which is now being used in many products. Since 2015, the objective has been to create a global consciousness in regard to the issues of ocean plastic contamination and the unsustainable optical and fashion industry.
At Sea2see they have pioneered the use of recycled marine polymer in the eyewear and watch industries, to have built an inclusive supply chain where waste has value in order to create a sustainable and scalable solution that reduces marine plastic and improve the lives of marginalized coastal communities.
Back to our Journey through two huge halls
Our journey around the hundreds of enticing stands (the numbers are almost back to pre-pandemic days) was also to support British Companies some like Eyespace exhibiting for the very first time in Paris.
Our attempts to interview Julie Abel were thwarted for the best of reasons their stand being constantly full of interested foreign buyers.
Another leading British exporter was Linda Farrow who entertained us on their lavish stand.
This is a brand with a glorious track record stretching back from the 70’s. They have built over the years a distinctive style recognisable as the Linda Farrow- : Quality, Detail and the Look.
They have managed to keep this distinctive design whilst creating new trend setting models using top quality acetate.
Simon the son of the original designer Linda introduced other famous collaborations to us as the brand is these days renowned for collaborating with some of the world’s most acclaimed designers – Area, Y/Project, The Attico, Dries van Noten, Phillip Lim amongst many others, constantly bringing a new perspective to the brand. Combined with the unprecedented archive of vintage sunglasses and uncompromisingly luxurious Fine Jewellery collection.
Our next stop was to have been to visit Robert Morris on the William Morris stand (no bus this time!) but still attracting many visitors.
However, that very morning we received the breaking news that the company has been acquired by the Design Eyewear Group .
The acquisition expands the group’s portfolio of premium and mid-market eyewear for independent practices, the company said.
William Morris London was founded in 1996 by Robert William Morris. The brand will join the many brands held by the group including ProDesign
Our editor was invited to act as a judge for the SILMO D’Or Awards and was delighted to confirm many of his choices as the eventual winners. Many of these winners demonstrate the technological drive in design and futurism that is so well demonstrated at SILMO.
One of those winners was another of our dynamic British Companies namely Kirk and Kirk with their winning frame
Another choice of the ED was the technology company Skugga
The Swedish smart technology company, SKUGGA TECHNOLOGY AB which won the SILMO D’OR 2022 Award in the Technological Innovation in Eyewear-Connected Products category – for their ground-breaking miniaturized smart module. We sincerely hope they will be demonstrating this amazing technology at 100% Optical next February in London and pointed them in the direction of the 100% sales team who we met at the exhibition.
So many things to see and to be excited by at SILMO but we didn’t expect a fabulous gymnastic team which attracted large crowds on the Vinyl Factory stand.
Well done SILMO team who are expanding their reach by including Singapore to their list of shows
During the four days of the trade fair, the 750 exhibitors – frames, lenses, technical materials, brands, general purchasing organisations, services, and so on – welcomed nearly 27,000 visitors, roughly half from France and half from abroad. In detail, the numbers of French visitors reached 13,462, for an increase of 21% compared to 2021. Foreign visitors, from 146 countries, reached 13,444, up by 107% from 2021.
“These figures demonstrate the appeal of SILMO Paris, a leading trade fair that remains an international platform for business and a hub of interaction for all the professionals in the optical and eyewear industry,” confirms Amélie Morel, Chairwoman of SILMO Paris.
While exhibitors ensure the success of a trade fair through their products, creations, innovations and services, SILMO Paris supports them through its unfailing organisation and a complete ecosystem that showcases, informs, and defends the stakeholders in the optical and eyewear industry. An overview of the highlights of the event: awards and visions of the future.