Vision Expo West // Top 10 Must-See brands

With 750 exhibitors and 200 speakers, there is a lot to experience at the Vision Expo West this year. Therefore, we created a little list of the Must-See brands, which are really worth a visit! Brands in a wide variety of categories, to match anyone’s desires: 

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-116

​The new collection thrives on abstract shapes, architecture, and above all comfort. Our designer created instant icons and focused mainly on optical frames. The inspiration was found in the successes of the solar frames released on Silmo Paris 2018.

The emphasis is on universal gender neutral wearability. Timeless but contemporary, round but square, with a little Henau edginess on the side. En avant l’avant-garde.

Eyewearcouture: the perfect way to describe Henau’s vision. Our 100% Belgian glasses blend optical functionality with avant-garde design and that typical craftsmanship character. Recognisable, because we stick to our ways. A trendy look that oozes timelessness.

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-118

Expanding on his brand ethos of creating eyewear that is at once “artful yet wearable”, Blake Kuwahara will be debuting “The Grey Label”- a totally new concept. By using casting techniques more familiar to jewelry makers, Kuwahara was able to replicate the structure and articulation of bones and joints. 

“My intention is never to shock or to have any one element of the frame jump out at you. Rather, it’s about discovering the beauty of the skeletal system with its subtle, nuanced details”, says Kuwahara.

In addition to the introduction of the Grey Collection, 10 styles with Kuwahara’s signature “frame-within-a-frame” will also be debuting at SILMO.

Recognized as one of the preeminent designers in eyewear today, Blake Kuwahara is the founder and creative director of FOCUS GROUP WEST (FGW), the Los Angeles-based, multi-disciplinary boutique design firm that takes a comprehensive approach to branding and designing for eyewear and fashion companies. Kuwahara launched his exclusive eponymous range of sunglasses and optical frames in Fall 2014.

His groundbreaking use of engineering and production techniques to create texture and detail for KATA Eyewear reinvented the way eyewear design is approached today. He has also designed eyewear collections for Coach, Converse, Lucky Brand, Rock & Republic and for New York-based fashion designers Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Behnaz Sarafpour, and John Varvatos as well as a collection for the legendary haute couture Japanese fashion designer, Hanae Mori.


Each of the 14 styles in STATE’s 2019 release are named for the Chicago streets that influenced it and explore the defining architecture and colors of the city.

New creative director, Nico Roseillier, introduces several features into this release – a new temple shape, bridge, and signature décor – inspired by Chicago’s rich architectural landscape. Exclusively at VEW, take an immersive 3D experience through the STATE factory and the 75 steps that go into every frame.

State Optical Co. is a first-of-its-kind brand of luxury American eyewear. Meticulously handcrafted in Chicago, U.S.A. to be a genuine expression of one’s personal style and distinct personality. Designed to be every bit as substantive, captivating, and original as the people who wear them.


Experience the super stay-on capacity, extreme flexibility and trendy design of Milo & Me eyewear from Hilco Vision (at Novacel booth). Discover this young brand for active kids and fall in love with their colourful collection.


Milo & Me believes all kids should feel free to play, run, jump and explore without worrying  about damaging their glasses. The frames are super strong,  very flexible, and have an amazing stay-on capacity. They are a 100% made with love for all the little dreamers, explorers and rebels out there: be yourself, your eyewear can handle it!


Blackfin launches AURA, the new collection of beta titanium frames with acetate rims. The Blackfin core material interacts with and is illuminated by a powerful perimeter of light and color crafted in Italian cellulose acetate.

Introducing the AURA collection – optical frames that take the concept of cross-contamination to its purest expression, where the elements blend naturally, achieving the perfect balance of techno-glamour that breathes life into true objects of design, in authentic Blackfin style.

Top quality titanium eyewear entirely hand made in Italy with excellent materials. We are Italian and we work in Italy. We care about people, the land and our history. This is what we call neomadeinitaly.

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-205

Monoqool is show casing the new Sculpture collection. 80s inspired square shaped glasses with a twist.  The collection comes with a more 3 dimensional design language and Monoqool added a ‘sculpture’- like effect on the frames. 

 Using all the advantages that 3D printing is offering in regards to design freedom, the new collections ads a new dimension to Monoqool range. 

Monoqool is all about innovation. Finding new ways and new technology to make cool glasses. They specialise in ultra lightweight glasses, which they 3D print in Denmark using a cool technology to develop glasses completely without any screws or soldering.

It is their vision to become the world’s most innovative eyewear company.


A colorful and pop campaign. Discover our new product like the model Scorpios, Alhambra and Peggy. Looking for an original experience, a trip with Traction Productions.

The creative process for Traction Productions: perfect transformation of materials to express a unique vision of eyewear. We have been cultivating our craftsmanship since 1872. Unique craftsmanship that expresses freedom supported by outstanding technical excellence.

Unbound by convention, we design stylish, ground-breaking eyewear.
Wearing Traction Productions frames is a powerful affirmation: my life is an ambitious and unique search for style that I embark on every day.​

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-205

For years, we have had a vision of creating a brand that caters to the urban chic lifestyle, by bringing together all of the things that make life interesting, fun, fresh, and exciting .

Today’s urban dweller leads an exciting and active life beyond uniformed stores and boring shopping malls. They appreciate the social element and cultural connection of a shopping experience as well and gravitate towards retailers who enrich their lives in some way. We love color and the perfect shape. 

NW77th is created by Erkers. Independent retailers who know what other retailers want and need to maximize cool factor and profits. The fall of 2019 brings many new shapes and different takes on a translucent acetate and great new finishes on our sleek and colorful block steel frames.

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-205

The Erkers love stories and for the past 140 years they have told so many. Each season they bring a new story from their past: from their creation of the goggles for Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight over the Atlantic to the German history coming to America for the first time. Erkers bring a new element into the logo each season and adorn our special eyewear with this logo to put our anchor of this great moment in time into the history books.

This season we release the vintage microphone. This tells the story of how many of the the great American sportscasters trusted us to make their iconic eyewear which includes the great Harry Carray and Jack Buck. So the microphone will be placed strategically on all of the designs released in the Fall of 2019.

A Family Company Since 1879 Inspired by the generations that came before them, they have dedicated their lives to the art of beautiful eyewear. For over 140 years the Erker family continues to design, high quality, fine eyewear that can last a lifetime. Their high standards of excellence only allows the absolute best of the batch to be available to the market. From the silkiness feel of the frame to the strongest hinges, know that you are getting the best eyewear  money can buy. 

The Venetian Hotel, Suite 36-118

Bolder colors are definitely a theme this Fall. Perhaps this comes from a desire to change and to push forward, but also a new beginning.

Bevels core values will not change, of course. We are releasing 12 new styles in total: 6 titanium, 2 combos and 4 acetate. A tad larger than the Spring release in terms of eye size, the emphasis is definitely on a forceful palette of striking colors.

Bevel’s eyewear brings out the natural beauty of the human face. Their form, function, and quality depend on a minimalist philosophy expressed through innovation and striking color combinations.

Bevel owners love wearing Bevel

Author: maarten weidema

After being a freelance eyewear designer since 1999, TEF founder Maarten Weidema now solely writes about his fellow designers in the optical industry. His passionate mission is to promote independent eyewear to the international optical arena, backed up by a large group of bloggers and journalists from all over the world. He has recently been awarded “International Optical Personality of the Year” for his efforts to promote independent eyewear to a community of 410.000 eyecare professionals.

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