Opti is one of my favourite shows and the last show I went to before the pandemic kicked off in 2020. Opti has always taken place in January, therefore, it is usually the first show to kick off the new year. I love it because it feels like it is the show to kick start my work year. So, for me it has been odd. It felt like something was missing.
To say I was excited to attend is an understatement! Opti 2022 took place at a slight different time this year, it was moved to May because of the pandemic as cases were rising sharply in the winter period. It was understandable for the organisers to move the show to spring.
What did I think? I was at the show on Saturday and Sunday. The organisation of Opti is definitely immaculate as always and exactly what I’ve come to expect. The show was more spaced out to allow room for social distancing, with that in mind, I felt the footfall was still good. The general impression I get from exhibitors was, it is great to meet people face to face again and being able to talk about their products. That, I 100% agree with because eyewear is something you’ve got to try on and have a play with to get an idea of what they are all about.
For me personally, I was hoping to see more brands from Opti Boxes. It is one of my favourite zones because that is the area to spot new brands. On the other hand, it was lovely to see brands such an weareannu (Formally Annu) and Lightbird who started off their optical journeys in Opti Boxes and now they each have a much bigger presence at the show. It is great to see brands growing, especially after 2 very tough years.
MGAM’s Brands of Opti
What was the stand out brand for me at the show? It is a tough one because there were so many so I have to give a top three.
3. Fede Cheti Eyewear
My first is Fede Cheti Eyewear (Butterfly frame above) who uses beautiful print patterns for their eyewear, some really great shapes and clever use of techniques with the acetate.
2. Jos Baijens
My second choice is Jos Baijens. The designer himself Jos (photo above), what a character. He is one of those people who just draws you in with his positive energy. The frames were quirky but yet very wearable at the same time, the clever colour combinations were perfect. My favourite was the lilac mixed with tortoiseshell. To me, that was perfection.
1. Leisure Society
Then finally, my absolute favourite and one that really stood out to me was Leisure Society (photo above). Ok, yes first of all, the cost for the frames is not reachable for everyone because they do carry a high price tag. However, I am just trying to express the importance of good frame design and that the choice of materials matters! All metal frames from Leisure Society are made from titanium because it is the material to ensure durability while being light in weight. Then some all coated with 18k 0r 24k gold and the finishing is not just any finishing, it is a technique you only usually find with jewellery. Again, it is to ensure the best durability and that they last the test of time. These are frames you can pass down for generations to come, just like a piece of jewellery. That is the idea behind the brand.
As well as metal, the brand also has a selection of acetate frames with a more purse friendly price tag with the same great quality. I just absolutely fell in love with this brand, they feel exquisite, just like a special/precious piece of jewellery. If I come to own a pair, I will definitely be passing them down to my daughter, especially with their lifetime warranty.
Opti 2023 will be back in its usual spot in January from 27- 29th. See you then!