The figures for SILMO Paris 2022 exceeded expectations. A spectacular increase in international visitors and an increase in the participation of French opticians confirmed that SILMO Paris had returned to its pre-crisis level, the show said in its summary.
During the four days of the fair, the 750 exhibitors welcomed almost 27,000 visitors, about half of whom came from France and half from abroad. The number of French visitors amounted to 13,462, an increase of 21% compared to 2021. Foreign visitors from 146 countries reached 13,444, an increase of 107% over 2021, he said.
“These figures demonstrate the appeal of SILMO Paris, a leading trade fair that remains an international business platform and a centre of interaction for all professionals in the optical and eyewear industry,” confirms Amélie Morel, Chair of SILMO Paris.
While the exhibitors contributed to the success of the fair with their products, creations, innovations and services, there were other highlights on the part of SILMO: awards and visions for the future.
Award at the Optical Design Contest
In addition to the well-known SILMO d’Or, which was awarded on the Saturday of the fair, the SILMO Optical Design Contest was held for the first time this year. At the premiere, the fair awarded Adi Abramov, a student of the Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Ramat Gan, Israel.
The members of the jury, chaired by designer Emmanuel Gallina, unanimously chose his project “Unfoldable. X”, a pair of glasses and sunglasses with a clear, minimalist aesthetic, made of recycled plastic, without screws or hinges, with temples that can be removed with a flick of the wrist thanks to an ingenious high-tech construction in the shape of an X. Adi Abramov’s goal was to design environmentally friendly designer eyewear whose industrial process streamlines production and limits material consumption.
The Optical Design Contest aims to foster creativity and innovation and to discover the future talents who will design the eyewear of tomorrow. This international competition is open to all students over the age of 18 who are currently enrolled in a design programme and can prove that they have already completed at least three years of higher education or equivalent.
SILMO partnership with the IOA
In a partnership with SILMO Paris, the IOA (International Opticians Association) presented the International Optician of the Year Award at the inaugural SILMO d’Or awards ceremony. Among the four finalists – Wendy Buchanan (Canada), Grant Hannaford (Australia), April Petrusma (Australia) and Jean-François Porte (France) – Australian Grant Hannaford won the award.
Fiona Anderson, Chair of the IOA, who had travelled from the UK for the occasion, presented the award to the Southern Highlands-based professional. He is being recognised for his sense of innovation and excellence in clinical treatments while leading the training of optometrists at UNSW (University of New South Wales, an Australian institution in Kensington, a suburb of Sydney).
Monday for the schools
On Monday 26 September, an inter-school day was held for all apprentices in optics and eyewear, which allowed them to discover the whole industry and its novelties and to meet its professionals. During their tour of the fair, the students in the second year of a two-year vocational training programme had the opportunity to take part in an inter-school competition.
More than ten schools had the honour of competing against each other in a competition preceded by speeches and exclusive talks with the Optic 2000 teams and their partners, swimmer Florent Marais and breakdancer Gaëtan Alin, both athletes who will take part in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. CFAI Saint-Etienne won the competition. The top five students can look forward to a trip to one of the SILMO Family events in 2023.
Visions of the future
How can technology revolutionise the optics and eyewear industry by 180°, from bricks to clicks, from smart glasses to metaverse? This topical question was the common thread of the SILMO Next Forum, where discussions and reflections on the future of the industry were held at the first Digital Village for the optics and eyewear industry. The Digital Village showcases connected products, solutions and/or systems related to new technologies by inviting companies and start-ups – many from other sectors – to experiment, invent and transform the optics and eyewear industry.
SILMO Next welcomed discussions and debates with presentations from experts and companies who highlighted the future prospects of the physical, virtual and connected world: Othman Chiheb from Microsoft, Virginie Corbasson from Carlin Creative Studio, Alexandre Cado from OuiVu, Marc Adamowicz from LightVision, Romain Afflelou from Cosmo Connected, Jean Sahler from EssilorLuxottica, Paul Morrow from Morrow Optics, Yoann Aretz from DoctoLib, Benjamin Hakoun of Fitting Box, Sophie Mulsant of Arkema, Alireza Parandian of Materialise, Esteban Villalon of Lavoisier Composites, Matthieu Lépine of Brand Ambassador and Alice Villafranca, Alex Ganvo and Éloïse Minder of l’Institut de Chalon.
Their presentations were complemented by a workshop dedicated to a burning topic: “The emergence of the metaverse in the world of optics”. Replays will be available soon on silmoparis.com.
SILMO Next also featured the “Trends Forum”, which presented a selection of 120 eyewear from the exhibitors’ collections. Among the four trends of 2023 presented in issue 31 of the digital magazine Trends by SILMO, available on silmoparis.com:
Combination (unlimited designs): Composite frames – in metal and plastic – assert their “streamlined sophistication” with essential shapes enhanced by a controlled complexity of volumes – a masterful duplication of accents and finishes – to add character to any pair of conscious designer frames.
Big Brown (is the new black): Black hasn’t disappeared, of course; it’s a standard in eyewear. However, it is being superseded by intense, dark browns that offer a variety of rich tones: Tortoiseshell, Mahogany, Cocoa, Bistro, Caramel, Burnt Sienna, Bronze and more. These colours appear in materials with a high density.
Bulky (generous curves): These glasses don’t need to hide: they want to be the centre of attention, with bold proportions that can be quite exaggerated. A wide range of materials, thicknesses and curves steal the show and make for an impressive look. This trend area also includes the visible/invisible concept with “thick” frames made of crystal and coloured plastic that play with the eye of the beholder and make their presence felt without blushing.
Enlighted Classic (not boring, but stylish): The concept looks at familiar eyewear shapes from a new angle by redesigning, reworking and resizing them to give them a playful touch: a stylistic twist that thinks outside the box, beyond standards and aesthetic conventions. The idea is to break with established codes while maintaining a certain elegance.
The comeback of the SILMO Academy
As a scientific symposium, the SILMO Academy addresses social issues to inform and educate opticians about knowledge and advances in the field of optics and ophthalmology.
This 11th edition dealt with two topical issues: Myopia and the importance of good vision in an ageing population. Professors, doctors, scientists and lecturers shared their research and shed light on comprehensive topics.
France’s best spectacle craftsmen
Every year, France’s best craftsmen come together to share their passion for the craft, support the national competition “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” (MOF) and promote awareness of the eyewear craft.
By demonstrating their skills in a room set up like a workshop, they also promoted the École des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Lunetiers. This educational institution in Morez offers all opticians the opportunity to acquire a solid basic knowledge of eyewear, deepen their skills and increase their autonomy in customising and handcrafting frames by attending courses of their choice led exclusively by Meilleurs Ouvriers de France.
Each SILMO show day, a daily newscast summarised the events of the salon, complemented by interviews, debates and live broadcasts to capture the impressions of visitors and exhibitors and showcase the originality of the products and companies. To watch and re-watch on silmoparis.com, YouTube and all SILMO Paris social media.
The next edition of SILMO Paris will take place from 29 September to 2 October 2023.