We travel around the world to discover new up-and-coming innovative designers and to meet with existing designers we represent at Insight Eye Care. In the past six years, we have been to Vision Expo East (New York City), Vision Expo West (Las Vegas), Silmo (Paris), Mido (Milano) and, most recently, Opti (Munich). Aside from giving us the opportunity to visit Vinylize in Budapest and Mykita in Berlin, attending Opti in Munich gave us a more intimate environment in which to explore the world of independent eyewear. Yulia, from Vinylize, told us that only serious buyers attend Opti; the focus is less about the spectacle, if you will, and more about the spectacles being created.
In Troy’s words:
We think it’s critical to stay connected with the people behind the brands. Eyewear that is made independently and creatively is not easy to come by.
Despite one of the main metro lines being under construction, we managed to navigate our way outside the city centre to the Opti show. We started out with a very wholesome breakfast at Das Maria, confessing in advance for the trouble we were about to get into with Bruno, Marina and Hélène from Bruno Chaussignand.
We spent some quality time with some of our well-loved Designers…
- Bruno Chaussignand
- Blake Kuwahara
- Vinylize (because they couldn’t get enough of us in Budapest!)
- ROLF Spectacles
… and we discovered some awesome new designers!
- Inspired by soupcans, handcrafted with a revolutionary hinge design and wearable steampunk aesthetic
Credit: Tavat Eyewear
- The titanium of wood, handcrafted with a lightweight and flexible design and a pallet of natural and bright colours
Trending in Munich
Aside from the eyewear show itself, where almost anything goes, we noticed a lot of refined metal frames once again. The metal frames in Munich did seem a little bit more sophisticated and/or artistic and a bit less hipster – by hipster I mean large double-bridged aviators. One of the collections we carry, Caroline Abram, has evolved to include some beautiful minimal metals that still retain their colourful and fluid style for which they are known.
Credit: Caroline Abram
Matsuda, who is known for their vintage-inspired titanium frames, continues to produce luxurious metals with intricate scrollwork.
More and more designers will be embracing metal, but, don’t worry, if metal isn’t your thing there are still some brand spanking new plastic frames that are stunning.
Jean Philipe Joly Sunglasses
Culture of Munich
What we saw of Munich was very pristine and organized. A few things stood out to us:
- The rows of apartments are so uniform they look two dimensional
- Everyone has a lane: drivers, cyclists, runners, walkers
- Traditional Bavarian restaurants everywhere
- Beautiful architecture pops out of nowhere like *bam* there’s a gothic church
- We tried to order a local craft beer and we were told, Ummmmm, don’t get that, the Scandinavian beer is much better