The largest optical industry conference and expo in the world takes place twice a year, once in Vegas and once in NYC in early Spring. Sara Bonizio, Marketing & Community Relations manager for the Bronx’s own Metro Optics Eyewear, attends the Vision Expo East (VEE) annually, along with Metro’s opticians and managers, for multiple reasons: continuing education credits; to preview (and buy) the latest in eyewear products; eyecare technology and new optical equipment; and, some fun industry events! So we thought it would be fun to tag along with Sara and get the scoop on some of the latest trends and information pertaining to vision and eyewear!
Prior to the 4/15 kickoff of VEE, we snagged a pass to an exclusive co-presentation by The Vision Council and WGSN, the global trend authority for fashion and the creative industries, on the 2016-17 optical fashion trends:
Sara’s Notes: “Tech positive;” sustainable materials are growing in importance; double-bridge; oversize and rectangular; cool whites, greys, and military greens, deep corals, champagne, gold.
We learned that fine metals and intricate craftsmanship are becoming more prominent; with bolts and other fastening pieces becoming more ornamental as well as functional aspects of the eyewear. Also- Rainforest, Florals, & Jungle looks will be hot from Summer 2016 through 2017.
Beach to bar styling – “throw on a caftan and a hot pair of sunnies to go from the shoreline to the tiki bar in style.
Sara’s Notes: Classic Tortoiseshell is being updated with frosted effects and reflective lenses; for men we’ll be seeing materials layering, bright lenses, & sports silhouettes.
Sara’s Notes: Trendy shapes include: angular; optical aviators as well as sun; shield; small rounds and large rounds; updated “feline” (beyond traditional cat-eye); new takes on semi-rimless frames; and finally, contrast temples (e.g. differently colored than the front of the frame).
New Styles at Metro Optics
Metro Optics Throggs Neck location
As is tradition at VEE, head buyer and optician Aurora makes a significant purchase of new frame styles for the year (hint: head into one of Metro’s 4 Bronx locations over the next few weeks to check out the latest and greatest in designer eyewear – just in time for peak “sunglasses season!”)
Important Topic: Digital Eye Strain
A main eye health topic on everyone’s mind (and in most lens manufacturers’ expo booths) is digital eye strain and blue light protection. With adults and children alike spending multiple hours spent using smartphones, tablets, and laptops, it is imperative to protect eyes from the effects of “blue light,” which is emitted from digital devices and can affect sleep cycles, as well as possibly contribute to macular degeneration over time. For more on this, visit the Vision Council’s 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report.
Also on hand were the Think About Your Eyes eyeballs, who made the rounds showcasing one way their campaign promotes annual comprehensive eye exams.
VM Summit “BrainStorm”
Every year right before VEE officially kicks off, Jobson Health Information (a collection of optical trade publications based here in NYC) hosts the VM Summit, a full-day symposium of the latest and greatest in optical, eyecare, and other related technologies. This year’s presenters included:
Rachel Schectman, founder of STORY: Point of view of a Magazine. Changes like a Gallery. Sells things like a Store
Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Director of the Gazzaley Lab, on Adventures in BrainLand – virtual reality, neuroscience, and more “mindblowing’ topics!
The Summit ended on a high “note” with a rousing MasterMind Dialogue on the connection between music and creativity and a piano jam session!
Save The Date
Speaking of sunglasses season – Save the Date for our BronxMama/Metro Optics joint event promoting Kids’ Summer Eye Health & Safety on June 4th at the Metro Optics Flagship Location in the Throggs Neck Shopping Center (815 Hutchinson River Parkway at Lafayette Ave. Ample free parking is available) Keep an eye on our social media accounts for event time and other details.
–By Sara Bonizio, Marketing & Community Relations Manager for Metro Optics Eyewear and contributing editor to Jobson Health Information publications