Models wearing Gucci and Prada eyewear peer from billboard-sized ads upon travelers traversing Milan’s Malpensa Airport, many of whom in February were on their way to and from the MIDO Eyewear show that takes place every year in that fashion capital of Italy.

Also during MIDO, on Via Montenapoleone, the most prominent street in Milan’s fashion district, a curious crowd filled the street ogling A-listers being welcomed to the Moncler Boutique celebrating the launch (with Marcolin) of the Lunettes Collection.

These examples of eyewear being exposed to the general public are joined by other efforts that bring our profession and its products to the mainstream. For example, the documentary The Story of Sight aired on PBS in October to coincide with World Sight Day, an initiative that itself expands awareness of eyecare and eyewear. The film is narrated by Sir Elton John whose outlandish eyewear also did its part over the decades to call attention to glasses. Of course, celebrities spotted wearing glasses have become ubiquitous and surely influence others to want to emulate their style.

All these examples illustrate the fact that exposure influences awareness, which surely encourages behavior. Today, industry members and eyecare professionals have joined to take advantage of this effect through Think About Your Eyes, a nationwide public awareness initiative promoting the importance of an annual eye exam and overall vision health.

In an exclusive interview with Ashley Mills, chief executive officer of The Vision Council, an organization that participates in Think About Your Eyes with other industry entities, she told VCPN, “We know it’s working.” During 2016, more than 1.15 million exams could be attributed directly to Think About Your Eyes advertising, an increase from 828,000 in 2015. Furthermore, the patients who have taken action because of Think About Your Eyes continue to report a shorter exam cycle, from 24 months to 14 months for 2016, a 42% improvement.

The optical industry, once little on the minds of consumers, is becoming more and more visible, which ultimately will result in more and more growth.
email me at


Leave A Reply