9 April 2013
Seeing better business
- report from Mido 2013, Milan
|Increased numbers at Mido Milan.|
Companies attempted to meet these requirement by proposing many fresh ideas at Mido, which had a 3% increase in both exhibitors and visitors.
Europe is still an important export market for Asian production and Hong Kong opportunities were seen in numbers.
With 880 companies represented and global eyewear production at Euros2.7 billion (up 5.3% over 2011), Italy is still the world's largest exporter according to official Italian figures, with a market share of 25%, ahead of both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
Italian exports of eyewear, sunglasses, and separate lenses represent 90% of overall production and grew 7% compared to 2011, having reached an all-time peak of Euros2.6 billion.
|Luxottica sunglasses.||Cesare Paciotti brand.|
Europe and the US together account for almost 80% of the global Italian eyewear business, while Asia takes 18% of the country's sunglasses and ophthalmic eyewear.
Last year, Italian eyewear exports to the Chinese mainland grew by 61.6% (29.8% for sunglasses and 122.4% for general eyewear).
|Benedetti: Hong Kong hub.|
New markets, including Central and South America and the Middle East emirates are growing markets.
Italy's Brands O.I. signed a distribution contract with Miottica Korea to distribute its Borsalino Eyewear in South Korea and Greater China. Benedetto De Benedetti, President, said the US is the top market while Hong Kong is a hub for the Mainland.
The company's new markets are Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova.
At Mido Brands O.I. offered its new Cesare Paciotti collection, including sunglasses in acetate and featuring decorative black lace on a red background.
Italy's Pramaor, which manufactures and distributes its Blackfin and Bioeyes brands, indicated that the US and Northern Europe remained the top markets. The Blackfin collection has temples in titanium and beta titanium, a very flexible material.
The company closed 2012 with turnover growing 15% over 2011.
For many producers, there is no true recovery in the EU even though several markets are holding up well.
"In 2012 the French and German markets recorded double-digit growth. The US can be a dangerous market," said Elisio Tessaro, Brand and Product Marketing Director for Italy's Area 98, suggesting that promising US economic data was deceptive in the eyewear business.
He said: "Hong Kong, where we operate in co-operation with big chains of shops, [and it] is an entry portal for the Chinese mainland. [Also], today there are cities like Shanghai, where consumers are very fashion-conscious and know what they want."
|Tessaro: US can be dangerous.||Garofoli: emerging Latin American market.|
Lydia Garofoli, of R&P Company Srl, said the European market is somewhat stagnating while Latin America and the Middle East are emerging.
|Gottardi: Italian market in crisis.|
The firm owns the US-based VSP Vision Care Group and said Russia was a promising market for the future.
"The brand portfolio includes Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo and sporty products such as Nike and G-Star RAW," said Gottardi.
In China, the firm has a division in Shenzhen that produces medium-to-high level products dedicated to the Chinese market and distributed locally. Lacoste and CK by Calvin Klein are the brands making the profits in that market.
Asian pavilion features Hong Kong
Hong Kong's Simon Chim, Designer and Owner of the brand Chimmm by Simon Chim, said: "Russian and Chinese consumers prefer big brands. Tailor-made brands, like ours, are not suitable for all markets."
Chim said he's now looking at the Middle East for chains of stores.
|Chim: tailor-made brands.||Acetate vision.|
|Wong: open for business.|
"Hong Kong is a strategic point of sales [on the Chinese mainland], very open for business," said Wensty Wong, Senior Sales Executive.
Jenny Wang, Sales Manager of Jet Hing Optical Industrial Company of Hong Kong reported a scarcity of buyers at Mido and no new contracts. The best markets are still in Europe, with France and Germany top.
In Canada, there are customers for which Jet Hing manufactures products to order. At Mido last month it presented eyewear made from metal and acetate, with a mix of other materials.
Its designers this year proposed trendy as well as classic frames, made from injected materials, acetate and metal, and made to order. Bright colours were in trend for 2013, said the company's representatives.
Anna Lee, Sales Representative with Bossin Eyewear Manufacture (HK) Co Ltd emphasised that businesses in Italy and the rest of Europe are still going well: "however, our best markets are the US and Canada."
Aviators flying high
Among the fashion trends at Mido, the best sellers were aviator glasses, a glamorous look harking back to the 1950s.
|Inspiration from Salvador Dalì.|
Titanium continued to be a bestseller, thanks to its lightness, flexibility and 100% hypoallergenic nature. In 2013 it has appeared shiny, in matte and as a coating.
Silhouette proposed lightweight and minimalist eyewear in titanium high tech. The new line, Titan Minimal Art: The Icon featured famous Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey.
|John Lennon Collection.|
The innovative Kompas line had sunglasses and eyewear featuring a new hinge with magnetic inserts.
Adlens, established in the UK by James Chen, a Hong Kong entrepreneur and philanthropist, made a debut with Hemisphere, the first collection of eyewear featuring a variable focus, with a secondary John Lennon Collection to honour the famous Beatle.
There were also novelties for kids, including a new line of colourful and indestructible glasses, with frames made of rubber and interchangeable sun lenses.
|Kids' glasses in rubber.||High tech Silhouette.|
As for contact lenses, Safilens launched its Open 30, the first contact lenses to be manufactured for monthly insertion into the eye and made of silicone hydrogel Filcon 5 and based on the patented Fusion Technology.
PPG presented its ophthalmic lens Tribrid, characterised by a unique hybrid material.
from special correspondents Cristina Bellavista and
Clara Dodino, Milan