100% Optical 2019 was brilliant. For those that aren’t familiar, it is the UK’s biggest optical trade show. It takes place at London’s Excel every January and this year saw over 9000 visitors and more than 200 exhibitors. I was there as an official media partner, as a speaker and as an AOP awards judge.
100% Optical 2019: Fashion Show
Eyewear is the main focus of the exhibition. The catwalk shows are always eagerly awaited and this year it was presented by DJ and model Annaliese Dayes.
100% Optical Eyewear
Dunelm Optical celebrated its 50th anniversary with the biggest stand at the show. The highlight for me was meeting the gentleman that is world-renowned fashion designer Paul Costelloe, who has a range of eyewear.
Carrera, one of Safilo’s brands caught my fiance Ian’s attention with its VR race track simulator.
However, it was Safilo’s licensed brands Jimmy Choo, Fendi and MaxMara that caught mine.
Mondottica invited me to their stand to show me their eyewear and to take some photographs. I swooped down on this grey leopard print Sandro frame immediately.
Independent eyewear designers exhibiting at 100% Optical included Francis Klein (below), Anne et Valentin, Lio, Bird and Feb31st.
I’ve mentioned Italian brand Feb31st a few times now. It was lovely to meet Stefano, the owner and to catch up with the UK distributor Jason Robinson. I designed a bespoke piece of eyewear each which I’ll write about in more detail when we have taken delivery.
One of my roles for Optometry Today was to choose some standout eyewear and present to camera. My favourites included designs from Face a Face, Jimmy Choo and Lulu Guiness.
100% Optical also signalled the end of the very first Eyewear Week. Although it had a soft launch, the campaign gathered momentum and I think it will see huge success next year.
100% Optical 2019: The Equipment Hub
More than 20 suppliers exhibited including Topcon, Optos, Zeiss, Heidelberg Engineering and Essilor. It is always interesting to see new pieces of kit. I was very impressed with AOS Anterior. This is ocular surface and image enhancement software distributed by Bondeye. It uses AI (Automated Intelligence) to analyse any digital image from any device including a smartphone.
100% Optical 2019: Presentations and CET
The vast choice of free education and CET, (continuing education and training) is a huge part of 100% Optical. In fact, a lot of visitors go for that alone. I presented about fashion and eyewear trends on both the Saturday and the Sunday.
I only had time to attend one lecture, a very enlightening talk about myopia and hypermetropia control. My fellow Aston University alumni, Dr Nicola Logan and Dr Ian Beasley presented it.
100% Optical 2019, The Aftershow Party
Once the doors close at 6pm on the Saturday, the after show party starts. Everyone lets their hair down and has a few well-deserved drinks. This provides some very welcome downtime and an excellent opportunity for networking of the more informal variety. This year the gorgeous models and dancers treated us to flash mob dance routines.
100% Optical 2019: The AOP Awards
The AOP awards took place on Sunday 13th January. I was a judge in the frame category for the second year running. I always enjoy formal events. Comedian Jo Caulfield presented the awards and gave her own hilarious take on her profession. She was excellent.
100% Optical 2020
2020 will be a big year for the optical profession. 100% Optical will be bigger and better still and will take place 25-27th January. It’s already in my diary.