Fashion-forward frames with high-end design and advanced technologies remain the foundation upon which Silmo stands at a half century.

Turning 50 this year, Silmo has reached its golden anniversary. This follows nearly a quarter century after the Silmo d’Or (golden) Awards were introduced in 1994 during the annual French eyewear show.

The show has grown from 58 exhibitors in 1967 to 957 in 2017, of which 78% were international from 42 different countries. This year, 37,337 visitors were in attendance, a 10.5% increase over last year.

French eyewear company Morel occupied a special place in this year’s Silmo. Not only is the company among the show’s pioneer exhibitors, having participated since Silmo was founded in 1967 in Oyonnax, France, but Amélie Morel, one of the fourth generation owners and managers of the company, served as president of Silmo this year (following the death of Philippe Lafont of Lafont Eyewear), a position she will hold for the next three years. (See VCPN’s interview with Amélie Morel on page 16.)


The latest frame styles and newest manufacturing technologies were among the products on display during the event held in October.

Lafont, the family-owned, OFG-certified (Guaranteed French Origin) eyewear company, introduced limited edition frames as it always has at Silmo. They included two Papillon (butterfly) shapes and Empire State in contrasting black and bone colors.

Mondottica launched French eyewear brand Sandro, which uses a new technique that embeds metal inside acetate. Featuring subtle logo treatments throughout, Sandro eyewear has already launched in Europe and will be available in the U.S. in 2018.

Marchon introduced Longchamp eyewear (cover image), the first license for the company founded in 1946 by Jean Cassegrain and known for its Parisian style. (See page 20 for an interview with the designer.)

Safilo, in addition to introducing rag&bone, Moschino and Love Moschino eyewear collections among other products, demonstrated handcrafting with a full eyewear workshop on display and held a special event opening night honoring women in the industry.

The Safilo workshop

WestGroupe used this year’s show to introduce new eyewear under its brands KLiiK Denmark, FYSH UK, EVATIK and Superflex. Rodney Suliteneau, the founder of WestGroupe, one of Canada’s oldest, independent, family-owned optical companies, attended the very first Silmo held 50 years ago.

Kenmark Eyewear unveiled a new booth and logo at this year’s Silmo, representing the company’s rebranding earlier this year.


Copenhagen-based Ørgreen chose Silmo for multiple launches, including its streamlined and easily adjusted Quantum hinge, the 20th Anniversary Collection (some handpainted) in titanium and named for the company’s founders and designer, and Yuniku 3D-printed eyewear created in collaboration with lens company HOYA.

After years in development, Götti Switzerland’s Perception rimless eyewear was ready for display at Silmo. Consisting of only a few sophisticated components, connected to each other without screws, glue or soldering, these minimalist frames combine acetate with ultra-light, flexible Sandvik stainless steel temples. When the lens shape is added, the connector between the stainless steel and eyeglass lens is manufactured using 3D printing, providing a durable connection as well as a soft protective covering around the glass.

Essilor announced the launch of the Varilux X series of progressive lenses and featured a timeline showing the history of Varilux lenses since the company first introduced them in 1959 after they were invented by Bernard Maitenaz.

And these are just some of the products introduced and on display at Silmo this year.

Marcolin’s Emilio Pucci

Since their founding in 1994, the Silmo d’Or Awards have been the highlight of the show, and this year was no exception, with the winners honored at a majestic event held in the Grand Palais, the historic site located on the Champs-Élysées and built for the Universal Exposition of 1900 held in Paris.

Seven Silmo pioneer companies that have exhibited at the show since it was founded half a century ago were honored at the start of the awards. They are BBGR, Essilor, Grosfilley, Groupe L’Amy, Luneau, Lunettes Grasset and Morel.

The Silmo d’Or winners were: Sunglasses Design, Veronika Wildgruber; Sport, SK-X Optical; Low Vision, AB Vision; Sunglasses Trend, Grosfilley Avec Aari Bostroem; Vision, Novacel and Essilor Varilux X Series; Premier Class, Fleye Fox; Frame Technological Innovation, Rolf Deville; Material/Equipment, Nidek TS-310; Optical Frame Trend, Marchon Avec Chloe/Palma; Children, ADCL/Piwatoo; Optical Frame Design, LIO/IVM 1048; Special Jury Prize, Blackfin Arc.

Next year’s Silmo will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2018.


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