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The importance of individuality

Big is the new small and metal frames are on the way back – the trends that are set to impact eyewear in 2018

Eyewear at 100% Optical

Eyewear exhibitors at 100% Optical (27–29 January) told OT that having a customisation service is a way to make your eyewear offering stand out, as consumers look for an in-practice experience as well as great frames.

Bespoke spectacle designer and founder of TD Tom Davies, Tom Davies, said: “If you look at the direction of retail in general, all of the big luxury brands are looking for experience sales, so it’s the added value, which is the experience when you purchase it – that’s what everyone’s crying out for.”

He added: “When you’re an optician and you’re designing something for somebody that’s so personal and defines them, it’s the ultimate experience that you can offer in eyewear.”

Founder and managing director of Kirk & Kirk, Jason Kirk, said that in recent years there had been a lot of “bland” and “repetitive” products, which happens when eyewear designers do not take risks, he suggested.

“I think that both the optician and the consumer are bored of that situation and need something new and exciting,” he explained. “In the UK, just like other places, we need to inspire people with our eyewear. We need to make the consumer understand how they can feel when they wear a great pair of glasses,” Mr Kirk enthused. 

“People want to express the best version of themselves and this means that individuality is becoming more and more important,” founder of David Green Eyewear, David Green, told OT, explaining that there is a trend towards niche, as opposed to mass. “Having the optimum version of one’s self as an individual is a huge trend, which will have a massive impact on eyewear in the future,” he said.

Speaking to OT around the show, co-owner of Wolf Eyewear, Ian Wolfenden, said: “Big is the new small. Frames are a little quirkier and generally the trend is a more European influence,” while company director at Booth & Bruce, Peter Sunderland, explained: “Metals are on the way back in a big way. I think it’s going to go more and more minimal.”