Practitioners visiting 100% Optical (6–8 February, London ExCeL) were spoilt for choice with the number of launches of frames and sunglasses in the Eyewear Hub.
Booth & Bruce launched eight ophthalmic frames and six new sunglasses at the show. Booth & Bruce director, Peter Sunderland, told OT at the show: “Its the first time we have done sunglasses so we are proud to launch them in London at 100% Optical.”
Silhouette International previewed its new ‘Neubau Eyewear’ brand, which will have eight styles in total when it launches globally in June. Neubau Eyewear area sales manager, Lisa Haghofer, said: “This is a new brand from Silhouette International. It’s a young urban lifestyle brand.”
Eyespace launched its first sunglasses collections in its ‘Cocoa Mint’ and ‘Jensen’ brand, which have been “two years in the making.” The company also added 30 new models in its budget collection ‘Zips.’
Eyespace joint managing director, Julie Abel, said: “We also have the ‘Jensen Black Collection’ coming out which is memory titanium, a more higher-end ‘Jensen.’ We have also increased the ‘Zips’ collection – due to the strength of that – by 50% for this show.”
Charmant UK launched its new ‘Ad Lib’ collection, which is inspired by trends in fashion, technology, sport and pop culture. Charmant UK general manager, Louise Brunton, said: “‘Ad Lib’ is titanium. It’s aimed at a younger age group. It’s very fresh, and slightly retro with wonderful colours. It’s something new, and different to anything else that you’ll find on the High Street.”
The ‘Cosmopolitan’ collection for autumn/winter was a highlighted launch on the Concept Eyewear stand. Concept Eyewear managing director, Caron Krait, said: “It’s tailored for quite a young woman – we have the glamorous party look at the same time as wearable for the day. If you look at the eyewear you can definitely see elements of fashion – party but still glamorous – and affordability is a really important point for us.”
Black Eyewear launched three new designs which company founder Robert Roope said he had been working on for a year. He told OT: “They are very much based on the 1950s, but with a pantoscopic round, oval shape which is the perfect shape for the eye socket.”
UK practitioners were able to see the new spring/summer collection of 16 frames from l.a. Eyeworks “before the rest of Europe.”
L.a. Eyeworks UK sales representative, James Dawson, explained at 100% Optical: “This is our pre-Mido release. We changed it so the UK gets it before the rest of Europe.”
He added: “It’s always been a bit of a niche market in the UK for l.a. Eyeworks. It’s quite an ‘out there’ brand and the frames are a bit more challenging to sell but the UK market is now becoming a bit more central European in its outlook. Therefore it’s quite important that we follow the times and allow the UK public to try decent frames.”
British company Dunelm Optical launched 130 new frames and sunglasses in total across various collections. Two major ophthalmic launches were for ‘Ascari’ frames for adults and the new ‘OMG!’ brand for the younger consumer, explained Dunelm Optical commercial director, David Baker.
Another British company, Continental Eyewear, also launched frames across its ranges with new styles in ‘Jaeger,’ ‘X-eyes,’ ‘Cameo,’ and ‘Jacques Lamont’. Continental Eyewear’s national sales manager, Richard Day, highlighted that the ‘Lazer Junior’ children’s frames in plastic did “phenomenally” well at the show.
An unusual premiere, if not a first for optics, was the launch of the ‘Dennis Taylor Pro-Snooker Glasses,’ designed and worn by the World Champion himself, and launched by Brulimar Optical for players of snooker, pool or billiards.
Brulimar Optical Group managing director, Howard Librae, said that the company began working with the snooker player last year and he was very enthusiastic for the opportunity to have his own frames collection.
Mr Librae told OT: “It is a high- quality package, not expensive and we are just delighted to have it. We are excited about the future,” he concluded.
100% Optical 2017 will be held on 4–6 February at London ExCeL. For more information, visit the show's website.