The six finalists of this year’s 100% Optical eyewear design competition, which is hosted annually in partnership with the Royal College of Arts (RCA), have been selected.
The designs will now be made into prototypes and displayed at 100% Optical, which takes place in London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre on 4–6 February. The winner will be announced during the three-day trade show.
The competition was launched in 2013 in a bid to discover a new generation of eyewear designers in the UK.
This year RCA students were asked to design eyewear to a brief entitled Visionary, RCA tutor, Flora McLean informed OT, adding: “The brief asked students to think about the wearer and what their activities might be throughout the day, as well as how the wearer may be influenced by the frames and how they may change the way they see.”
OT visited the RCA when a panel of industry experts judged this year’s entries and selected the finalists.
Speaking at the meeting, judge and founder of Kirk & Kirk, Jason Kirk, said: “It’s really inspiring – these are young people with interesting and new ideas about what optics and eyewear is about, and they sometimes have a completely different vision to what I’ve experienced over the last 25 years.”
Commenting on the level of entries received, judge and spectacles maker, Walter Berwick, said: “I’ve been on the judging panel for four years now and every year it gets better.”
Fellow judge, Algha Works' Lawrence Jenkin, echoed: “It was very difficult to make a shortlist and it is sad that we had to choose just six – I think that we will debate a lot on the final day when we have to pick a winner.”
Watch OT’s video with the competition’s judges below.