The HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair 2016 will open on 9 November and continue through 11 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association, the 24th edition of the fair continues to enjoy strong industry support.
The three-day event will feature a record of more than 780 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, providing a comprehensive trading platform for the industry. There are newcomers from Indonesia, Poland and South Africa while the Chinese mainland, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan will mount group pavilions. Both the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association and Visionaries of Style will also set up pavilions to showcase new eyewear products.
At today’s press conference, Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director, HKTDC, said, “In the first eight months of 2016, Hong Kong’s total exports of spectacles, lenses and frames exceeded HK$13 billion, marking a 35 per cent year-on-year increase. This was a result of the strong rebound in demand in mature markets. The United States is Hong Kong’s top export market, followed by Italy and the Chinese mainland. Exports to ASEAN have also been remarkable. Hong Kong has always been a key city for promotion and sourcing eyewear, and local manufacturers have been striving to improve the quality and design of products to enhance their competitiveness. By participating in the Optical Fair, exhibitors can gain international exposure and expand their business.”
This year’s Optical Fair features nine zones, showcasing a broad spectrum of eyewear products. The renowned Brand Name Gallery will return to the fair, gathering more than 200 of the world’s hottest brands, including CONVERSE, EVISU, JAEGER, Markus-t, Miga, MINIMA, MUZIK, MYKITA, QUIKSILVER, Roxy, Superdry and Tonysame. Also joining the Brand Name Gallery will be Sodamon, a Korean brand that won the Grand Prize of the Good Design Award in both Korea and Australia, as well as German brand KUBORAUM and local design Luisa Leitao, which is an eponymous brand created by the well-known Hong Kong artiste.
Other zones at the Optical Fair will display the latest eyewear in different categories, including sporting & professional eyewear, kids’ eyewear, reading glasses, eyewear accessories and optometric instruments & machinery. A number eyewear parades will also be held during the fair with models showcasing the latest collections of trendy eyewear brands.
Eye care and high-tech eyewear
Nowadays, people are spending more time using smart devices, and the effects of blue light emitted by digital screens is causing concern, especially for youngsters. As a result, huge market potential is offered by spectacles with protective lenses to block this harmful blue light. To cater to the demand, the Optical Fair will feature a variety of related products, including SWISSCOAT’s lens filter, which can minimise eye fatigue while enhancing visual clarity.
High-tech solutions continue to be a highlight of the fair. With 3D printing technology maturing, many eyewear brands are using the technology to design and manufacture spectacle frames. One such company is renowned German brand ic! berlin, which has been perfecting the use of 3D printing technology. This year, the company will showcase its “outside skeleton” series, which uses 3D printing technology to create screwless hinges that are stronger and smoother than conventional products.
Other high-tech elements like augmented reality (AR) is also applied in eyewear. A Hong Kong company is presenting its Faceme AR Glasses that enable users to “try on” virtual glasses by simply looking at the screen. Meanwhile, Austrian brand Swarovski Optik has designed lightweight binoculars for outdoor enthusiasts. Users can connect a smartphone to the product to easily see and record the views.
Hong Kong eyewear competition highlights design talent
To enhance the quality of eyewear designs, the HKTDC has teamed up with the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association to jointly organise the 18th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition. The theme of this year’s competition is “Uniqueness”. Designers competed in two categories, Open Group and Student Group. The competition aims to encourage local designers to unleash their creativity, and promote Hong Kong designs to international buyers. Eight awards were presented at today’s press conference. The entries were judged on such criteria as creativity, design, function and market potential.
Last year’s Open Group Champion, Lai Pui-yan, clinched the title again this year with her design entitled “Note”. The work’s unique frame design also won The Creativity Award. Inspired by different ways of recording daily happenings, Ms Lai aims to build up a new channel of communication through spectacle frames to deliver messages. The Student Category Champion title went to Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) student Chan Wai-mau, for his work “Recall”. The designer found inspiration from the typical folding tables that are used by many families in Hong Kong, and wanted his design to rekindle this unique and warm memory. The Made-to-Sell Award was won by another HKDI student, Lee Cheuk-chung, for his work “Image”, which features leather and metal complexes to give the appearance of a simplistic and modern industrial style.
Judges who served on this year’s judging panel included Joyce Yau, Executive Director, Puyi Group Limited; Richard Li, Executive Committee, Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association; and Dr Alex Lee, Chairman, Chartered Society of Designers (Hong Kong). The judges unanimously agreed that the design and quality of this year’s entries were outstanding and possessed immense market potential. All the winning and finalist works will be on display at Hall 1D during the fair, showcasing Hong Kong’s design prowess to international buyers. Buyers can also cast their votes to select the winner of the Latest Look Award.
Activities for industry exchange
In addition to eyewear parades, a number of seminars will be held at the Optical Fair to help industry professionals gather global market intelligence. Topics will cover the optical industry’s response to economic conditions and the latest trends and business opportunities in emerging markets. Renowned German market research institute GfK will return to the fair to examine the retail and consumption trends in the eyewear industry.
The 14th Hong Kong Optometric Conference will be held on day two (10 November). Optometry experts from Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the US will discuss the Advancement in Ophthalmic Treatments. Speakers include Prof Larry Abel, Associate Professor, Department of Optometry & Vision Sciences, The University of Melbourne and Dr Geunyoung Yoon (US), Professor of David and Ileen Flaum Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester. The speakers will examine a variety of topics, including “Effect of Myopia Control Lenses” and “Recent Development in Refractive Surgeries”.
Winning works of the 18th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition: http://bit.ly/2fbmoXr