The Hong Kong International Optical Fair 2019, what did I think? Well, first of all I just wanted to say this is certainly the expo that offers the best view. You get to see the harbour view of Hong Kong basically all the time. I love my home city so much. However, we are not here to talk how beautiful Hong Kong is. So, what did I think of the show?
I didn’t know what to expect to be honest because I went to the show about 7 years ago and only have some vague memories of it. Last time I went I would say it was very heavy on the manufacturing side, but for this year, this was not the case. I would say the manufacturing side is still prominent but the optical frame side is growing. From speaking to veterans exhibitors they have all said the frame side has grown each year. Infact they all said the show has grown a lot in general too because now there is a dedicated floor for contact lenses. Over in Asia coloured contact lenses are a big beauty trend.
The eyewear, what did I think?
The show was lacking in international brands but since I was in Hong Kong I was more interested to see Asian brands anyway. Everything seemed to fit me better because funnily enough, everything is designed for the Asian face. I can see all the European or the big name brands in other optical shows in Europe so it was quite refreshing to see something different to what I am used to.
There were certainly a lot of Hong Kong brands at the show but also a good mix of Korean, Taiwanese, mainland Chinese and Japanese brands.
Before I went to the show I was really hoping I would see a lot of cool Korean and Japanese brands but I actually found the Hong Kong brands were extremely cool. I understand not every single Korean or Japanese brand was at the show so is not a true representation but in my head, that is what I thought I would see.
There were so many brands which really stood out to me, if I were to mention every single one, it will be a long blog post but I do want to give some of them a quick shout out. They are a kids brand from Korea, Little Leon a mainland Chinese brand, Canoeplan a Korean brand, Front a Hong Kong brand, Tonysame, a Japanese brand, Sprung, an Italian brand, Miga and the new Stepper S Range were super cool too!
I will write in a little more detail of the three brands which were my absolute favourite and they are as follows.
Hong Kong brand- Big Horn
I loved this brand as soon as I saw them during the press breakfast on Thursday morning. There are a real mix of avant grade style and some really wearable shapes suitable for everyday wear. They have some really creative designs and the quality is also high, so they were not just there to look pretty. If you want to make a statement then Big Horn is your brand.
Japanese brand – Stoned eyewear
Hand crafted and made in Japan. Some really cool individual designs with some interesting use of shapes and playing with different materials and colours. The designer even said some pieces are a one-off because he makes one and the process was so difficult that he doesn’t want to make another. So the price tag for some of them are really high as you would expect but there are some really wearable and affordable pieces too.
Taiwanese brand – Miro Piazza
I discovered this brand right at the end of my last day at the show. I am so glad I found them! The designer is super creative. She was explaining her design inspiration and how she came up with all the ideas for press images. I just knew she was so passionate about her work and I love that. Her range is all inspired by the Spanish artist Joan Miro. There were some real arty pieces but nothing that I feel it is too daunting to wear everyday. Really beautiful colours, shapes and designs. Not forgetting great quality.
It was a real pleasure to attend the Hong Kong International Optical Fair 2019, it was such a well organised show. They organised group tours to show buyers around to make it easier for them instead of navigating themselves because it is a big show. There are people holding signs at all different area of the show to remind you where you are or which hall you are in. Considering how big the show is, I actually found this show the easiest to navigate my way around compared to some others.
I loved seeing so many Asian brands under one roof and finding eyewear that fits me so well, something that I feel it is missing from European shows. Originally I am from Hong Kong myself so I want to support local brands and educate my followers from the UK, Europe and America who may not be aware of them, and to broaden the eyewear community.
Thank you so much to HKTDC and the Hong Kong International Optical Fair for inviting me. It was a real pleasure and thank you for asking me to do the trend presentation during the show. It was good fun and I hope everyone who attended my talk took something useful from it. I hope to see you all again next year!