100% Optical 2020 just took place (25th – 27th January 2020) and I was invited to the show on Saturday to do the judging for the first ever Love Eyewear Awards. Of course I had a look around the show too, how could I not. In the evening I went along to the awards ceremony.
What did I think of the show?
100% Optical is another show that has a special meaning to me because I worked with this show from day one when it was first launched back in 2014. I then worked with the show again in 2015 right before I had my first baby. After lots of twists and turns and two babies later, I am back with the show again this year 2020. Therefore, I’d like to think I can give an informed review on how I have watched it develop. Even though I haven’t been working with the show every year throughout the 7 years. I have visited nearly every year (apart from when I was on maternity leave).
My first impression on the 2020 show was wow, they have managed to attract a lot of the “big boys” of the industry to exhibit, with bigger stands as well. For my optical industry readers, I don’t need to explain but for my consumer readers I can explain briefly. A lot of eyewear brands that you may know such Ray-ban, Hugo Boss and Tom Ford eyewear are all licensed off to eyewear design and manufacturing houses such as Luoxttica, Saflio and Marcolin. They are what I class as the “big boys” of the industry. Aside those there were also a lot of smaller independent brands. In fact, for the 2020 show they had a special incubator area just for new start up brands, or brands that are new to the UK optical market. Something I personally found interesting.
The show has not necessary got bigger in size but the halls were more packed with no empty spaces. I noticed the learning zone and stages where you can listen to speakers were never short of people attending, they always seemed busy. Overall the vibe was good, very chilled out and relaxed. Visitors were having a good time being treated to food and drinks at the different stand. It just felt like all the other European shows I attend, although smaller. 100% Optical is moving in the right direction if they want to catch up with the other European shows.
Love Eyewear Awards
What did I think about judging the very first Love Eyewear Awards? Well, it took much longer than I anticipated which to me is a good sign. We had good debates on each category. We basically had a debate on everything from how stylish, how commercial the frame was to how does it feel wearing them. The shop category felt much easier in comparison to the frames. There was no fight but just a lot of debate to pick the winners. Congratulations to all the winners…
Women’s frame of the year – Albert Imstein
Men’s frame of the year – Gotti
Sunglasses of the year – Vysen
Kids frame of the year – Zoobug
New Designer of the year – Adrian Muller
Luxury Eyewear of the year – Vysen
International Eyewear Retailer of the year – Acuitis
Eyewear retailer of the year – The Eye Place
The most engaging practice window – Maskell + Josephson
Luxury Eyewear Retailer – Broadhurst Optometrists
I very much enjoyed being a part of the judging panel for the first ever Love Eyewear Awards and I was honoured to be asked. Thank you 100% Optical for inviting me along. I hope to be a part of it again next year. It was also a real pleasure to meet all the other judges. We are all from different areas of the optic industry (and the world) with different knowledge and backgrounds so it was a good panel. 100% Optical will be back again on 23rd- 25th January 2021.