Exhibitors at Silmo on 28 September–1 October shared that the number of appointments with British practitioners increased at the 2018 event.
Design director at Cutler and Gross, Marie Wilkinson, said that the brand has noticed an increasing number of UK practitioners visiting their stand.
“As they get more interested in more high-end brands they want to see the whole selection of other brands. At Silmo, you can see everybody,” Ms Wilkinson shared.
Founder of Kirk & Kirk, Jason Kirk, said that the brand only had a “handful of clients” in the UK a couple of years ago but is now up to around 40.
“We have a lot of appointments with British opticians from places that we wouldn’t normally expect to be looking for really interesting eyewear,” Mr Kirk shared.
“British opticians are realising that they have to have something new and exciting to get the consumer involved in what they’re doing. Consumers are really well educated these days. They go online and find frames from all over the world. They want to discover something new and exciting,” he said, adding: “If you’re an independent optician you have to give your consumer a reason to walk through your door or you just don’t stand a chance.”
When talking to OT about attending Silmo, creator of Wolf Eyewear, Margaret Wolfenden, shared that it felt like the right time for the company to exhibit in Paris.
Ms Wolfenden said: “We’re just starting to get into the international market. We feel we can deal with the European market and step into international sales slowly.”
The founder of Danish eyewear brand Fleye Copenhagen, Annette Saus Estø, expressed a desire to expand in the UK.
“We know that the UK has beautiful niche shops that people like to be in,” she said.