Our team have just returned from the annual trade show SILMO in Paris and are ready to give you the lowdown…
For those of you who may not have heard of SILMO, SILMO is an annual trade show which takes place in Paris’ Centre Paris Nord Villepinte. The exhibition welcomes the professionals of the optical & eyewear sector including manufacturers, opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists and buyers.
SILMO has been influencing the optical and eyewear world for more than 50 years. The event aims to be welcoming, committed and responsible, daring, creative and innovative. And the event certainly lived up to those promises!
Our team had appointments with many of our eyewear suppliers during the event to see new products, discuss ongoing performance and provide feedback from our wider team, customers and couriers. We also visited some brands we do not currently stock and explored some new accessories and equipment which we believe will elevate our service.
PRET A VOIR is based in Glasgow, so we set off early Sunday morning to Edinburgh before flying to Charles de Gaulle, Paris. As soon as we arrived, we headed to the Nord Villepinte.
After quickly looping round the exhibition centre to get our bearings, we headed to Marcolin.
Marcolin provides us with TOM FORD, Barton Perreira, Moncler, Swarovski and GUESS.
Marcolin stands out for their unique ability to combine craftsmanship with advanced technologies through the constant pursuit of excellence and continuous innovation. They are among the leaders in the eyewear industry and we really value our relationship with their team.
First, we saw the new TOM FORD collection. We were really impressed with the mix of classic and contemporary shapes across all the Mens, Womens and Unisex designs. The mix of rich acetates with unique crystals was really unique yet wearable.
As always, the instantly recognisable gold T at the hinge was shining through on every piece of both sun and optical, however there were a lot of new colourways and gradient lenses which really caught our eye for the upcoming Summer season.
Tom Ford’s New York 80s influence shines through his designs. In the 2023 Spring catwalk show, Ford’s use of glossy surfaces and metallic shine was noted by Vogue, and we were really impressed to see this continue into the eyewear. Sometimes there can be a disconnect between the accessories, such as eyewear, from the main catwalk shows. However, there was an undeniable thread tying this Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2023 collection together perfectly.
We then took a quick look at Barton Perreira, which we only added to our site in September last year. Now a full year later, we’re proud to be stocking both sun and optical for the incredible brand.
Barton Perreira is an independent brand that sees things differently, taking the time to invest in craftsmanship that produces nothing less than the finest eyewear in the world. Distinguished for their passionate attention to each one-of-a-kind detail, Japan’s leading artisans ensure every facet of Barton Perreira eyewear is brought to life with precision and virtuosity. This collection was no different but unfortunately we didn’t manage to sneak you any pictures…
The last brand we had viewed with Marcolin was Moncler. Moncler eyewear reflects technological innovation and combines aesthetics with functionality. The sunglasses and glasses include silhouettes designed for both mountaineering and everyday wear. This collection was definitely a lot more fashion-focused with frames perfect for that effortlessly cool, street-style, look with only a hint of that mountaineering tech.
We snapped some images of our three favourite models…
We then shot off from the Villepinte to the centre of Paris to visit Thélios, whose name comes from Greek mythology. Thé = Theia the goddess of light and sight and Hélios, the god of the sun. Together, we have a leader in the luxury eyewear sector.
Founded in 2017, Thélios produces and distributes sunglasses and optical frames for some of its most prestigious Maison's such as Dior, Fendi, CELINE, Givenchy, Loewe, Stella McCartney, Kenzo and Fred.
Their buying day was located at the incredibly grand Hotel Potocki. The Hôtel Potocki was the former residence of the Polish noble Potocki family in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and was known as the fashionable salon of Countess Emanuela Potocka. Today, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Paris - Île-de-France Region has its seat there.
At this appointment, we saw collections from CELINE which consisted of strong, glossy black silhouettes. Truly classic Heidi Silmane.
A lot of the pieces we viewed were featured in the Spring/Summer 2023 fashion show - like this narrow, chunky, black acetate frame below.
CELINE Eyewear is produced in Italy with high-quality acetate with exclusive colour combinations. Some of the CELINE Sunglasses feature mineral Barberini lenses while others feature Polarised lenses.
The collection was heavily inspired by David Bowie with hints of glam rock and 70s cool excluding from the collection. The sunglasses and glasses similarly include vintage-inspired, timeless styles revisited in new, contemporary ways.
Then we had a look at Dior, KENZO, LOEWE, Stella McCartney and Givenchy. Again, sadly no sneaky pictures for you all but we did manage to get a few snaps of the incredible decor at the Hotel Potocki.
From here - we darted off again - this time to visit the creative force that is Anna-Karin Karlsson.
Anna-Karin and her team were hanging out in The Loft Factory which was originally built in the 1870s, during the Gustav Eiffel period. The Loft was renovated from an old, abandoned Printing House used by the Resistance to print their newspapers and flyers but today gave off a very cool, relaxed yet luxurious vibe.
Anna-Karin Karlsson’s collections are like no other, and talking to the designer she shared with us that she dreams up her incredible frames. When she wakes in the middle of the night, she will quickly scribble her imagined frame and the influences compelling her then she shares these with her team to create the magic.
Anna’s sunglass lenses are one-of-a-kind, designed by Karl Zeiss himself, inspired by the sky outside her home where she does most of her designing. The gradient blue is a perfect match to an image Anna-Karin took of the sky - so no other lens will compare.
In this collection, she worked closely with Swarovski to create some unique components for her collection such as a glitter foil that is embedded in acetate as well as some of the incredible pieces you can see in the images above.
We will be restocking our Anna-Karin collection ASAP after this inspiring visit, so please keep a close eye on the site!
Day 2, coming soon!
PRET A VOIR