Eyewear Trend Future Vintage
Eyewear Trend Future Vintage

15 Mar. 2012


Eyewear Trend: Art and Craft
Eyewear Trend: Art and Craft
MIDO, the International Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology Exhibition, that took place in Milan's Rho-Pero from March 11-13 occupied six pavilions, themed areas and dedicated spaces, and hosted more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 40 countries worldwide.

In 2011, Italian eyewear production came to €2,650 million, at an increase of 8.2% from the previous year. Producers totaled slightly more than 900 companies and more than 16,000 employees, basically as many as in 2010. The Italian trade balance for the eyewear sector closed the 2011 fiscal year on a very positive note (with a trade surplus of €1,644 million), up by 13.6% from 2010. Exports of frames, sunglasses and lenses, which by now account for about 90% of production in the sector, rose by 10.9% over 2010 and exceeded their maximum pre-meltdown level of 2007 by almost 6 percentage points. In 2011 they stood at €2,451 million; their performance is the result of an upturn in both main segments, frames and sunglasses, with the latter driving the increase again. The only negative note were imports, having climbed 5.7% over the previous year to €807 million.

Look at Me! - Eyewear Trends from MIDO 2012
The key export markets for Italian eyewear - Europe and the United States - together account for more than 70% of Italian eyewear exports, despite the fact that the Italian industry is present even in more distant markets, such as Latin American and Oceania.

The main export market for the Italian industry in 2011 was once again Europe, which accounted for more than 50% of all Italian eyewear exports and grew by 9.9% over 2010 (+11.8% for sunglasses, +6.7% for frames). Driving this growth was the excellent performance of Germany, the leading market outlet for Italian exports of sunglasses and frames, boosted by a veritable boom in sales of sunglasses. As a result, Italian exports of sunglasses-eyewear to Germany grew by 22.2% over 2010 overall, with +27.2% for sunglasses and +16.1% for frames.

The share of exports to America in 2011 was 28%, with a 10% increase in sunglass-frame exports from 2010. Within the two main areas, the increases were very different: North America posted a +7.3% while Central and South America exports of sunglasses and frames achieved +21% over the previous year. As a result, these areas absorbed 6% of Italian exports by the sector (5.5% in 2010).

Asia, an area that now claims almost 18% of Italian exports of sunglasses and frames, posted the best result in 2011: +18.4% as compared to 2010.

Eyewear Trend Playful Details
Eyewear Trend Playful Details
Italian exports also did well in France (+11.6% overall versus 2010, with +12.2% for sunglasses and +10.7% for frames), Spain (+6.3% overall versus 2010, with +7.9% for sunglasses and +2.3% for frames) and Belgium (+11.4% overall, with +12.1% for sunglasses and +10.6% for frames).

Italian eyewear now has an advantage over upcoming markets of growing interest to the sector: the Arab Emirates, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and India to mention just a few. These countries are still clearly potential markets for eyewear.

The domestic market in 2011 amounted to €1,006 million, slightly up by 0.4% since 2010, which was still a positive sign considering the negative economic climate that characterized the year.

Mido's trend forecast studio has devised four main trends in eyewear for spring/summer 2012: A first group of products focuses on playful details, bright colors and glittery surface frames. A second area bets on “clinical white", glasses made to observe reality scientifically, though always ironically. A third trend focuses on "do it yourself,” customized elements and décor frames. The fourth element is centered around “future vintage,” consisting of emphasized and exaggerated vintage styles.
Maria Cristina Pavarini

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