Optical world looks to Hong Kong
Innovators are reinventing traditional eyewear, with one local design incorporating audio headphones.
01 November 2019
Furthering its reputation as the device that ate everything, the smartphone is now being connected to eyewear, as visitors to the 27th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Optical Fair will learn. As well as showcasing spectacles incorporating Bluetooth earphones from a Hong Kong brand, the fair will also feature innovative eyewear makers who turn out pieces inspired by fine artists.
The fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association (HKOMA), will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from 6 to 8 November. At a press conference preview, the HKTDC revealed the latest eyewear design trends and showcased some of the highlighted products from the 2019 fair.
“As a major production centre and exporter in the global optical industry, Hong Kong’s total export value in the first nine months of this year valued over HK$15.3 billion, similar to that of last year,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “Eyewear is considered necessity goods and demand for innovative and quality products remained steady, making Hong Kong an important player in the global eyewear market. The Hong Kong Optical Fair provides a one-stop marketing and sourcing platform for the industry.”
The fair has attracted a total of 810 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, helping companies to grasp business opportunities on a global scale. More than 600 exhibitors come from outside Hong Kong, proving that the city remains an attractive trading platform.
Mr Chau also noted that the HKTDC has organised 80 buying missions from 55 countries and regions, bringing close to 5,500 buyers to the fair. Among the participating buyers, more than 80% come from emerging markets such as Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. More than 5,000 buyers have pre-registered to visit the fair.
A strengthened free shuttle bus service is provided to take event participants between the event venue, major hotels and transportation hubs. HKTDC Service Counters are set up at Buffer Halls of the Hong Kong International Airport with service ambassadors to provide event participants with the latest transportation information upon arrival, while on-site Buyer Concierge Desks strengthens the connection between exhibitors and buyers.
The fair features 12 group pavilions, including France, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The Mainland China pavilion will gather exhibitors from Yingtan in Jiangxi province, Danyang in Jiangsu province, and new participants from Mayu in Zhejiang province and Chongqing. A highlight will be the Brand Name Gallery, featuring 230 internationally renowned eyewear brands, including new participants Absolute Vintage Eyewear (Hong Kong), Maserati (Italy) and NANOVISTA (Spain). Other well-known international brands include Paul Hueman (Korea), BMW (Germany), Stepper (Germany), Matsuda (Japan), Etnia Barcelona (Spain) and Savile Row (United Kingdom).
The HKOMA will promote the development of Hong Kong’s eyewear sector by showcasing the latest collections from 30 local eyewear designers at the Brand Name Gallery and Hong Kong Eyewear Good Design. Participating brands include BIG HORN, HACHILL and P+US. Other thematic zones at the fair include Frames, Lenses & Parts, Eyewear Accessories, Sporting & Professional Eyewear, Kids Eyewear & Reading Glasses, Optometric Instruments & Machinery, Contact Lenses & Accessories, Diagnostic Instruments and IT Solutions, Shop Fittings & Equipment.
Diversified design trends
Eyewear design continues to become more versatile and more sophisticated as technology and craftsmanship advance. This year’s fair features a range of trendy thematic designs, including sunglasses from Taiwanese brand Miro Piazza. Inspired by the work of Spanish painter Joan Miró, the design combines geometric shapes with vibrant colours to create artistic eyewear.
Spanish brand Etnia Barcelona will present a titanium eyewear collection. Using sophisticated technologies and innovative materials, the eyewear features a frame made from 100% recyclable and biodegradable natural organic fibre, together with Barberini lenses from Germany that are harder and more scratch-resistant than regular lenses to offer clearer vision to the wearer.
Also featured will be the Connector smart glasses from Hong Kong brand OSSII SOUND that combine eyewear with Bluetooth earphones. The glasses can be connected to the wearer’s phone, transmitting music through bone conduction, while phone calls can be received and music controlled through touch-enabled buttons on the arms. The design was awarded the silver medal at Geneva’s Invention Expo.
Symposium examines trends, technology
The 17th Hong Kong International Optometric Symposium will be held on 7 November with the theme “Advancements in Optometric Specialties”. Prof Rob Jacobs, Associate Professor of the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Auckland, Dr Frederick R Edmunds, an optometrist from the United States, and other optometry experts from Malaysia, Hong Kong and the mainland will examine a number of industry issues, such as the application of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology and optometry, trends in specialty contact lens, and sports vision.
The symposium has been certified by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) for the first time this year. Optometrists participating in the symposium can apply for COPE credits, which are approved by optometrist associations and supervisory committees from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As for local certification, the symposium continues to be certified by the Hong Kong Optometrists Board, allowing participants to apply for three or six Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours for half-day attendance and full-day attendance respectively.
Design Competition puts entries on international stage
To foster local creativity and innovation, the HKTDC has joined hands with the HKOMA to organise the 21st Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition, the winners of which were announced at the preview press conference. The theme for this year’s competition was “Muse”, with entries from the Open Group and the Student Group competing for awards in various categories including “Originality & Creativity”, “Aesthetics”, “Practicality & Functionality” and “Marketability & Product Feasibility”. The judging panel included representatives from the HKOMA, Hong Kong Productivity Council, Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, the Hong Kong Optometric Association, Puyi Optical and Milk Magazine.
The competition received nearly 100 quality entries. The Champion in the Open Group was Chan Kong-ngai from S&J Optical Limited, for his work “Tag#slider”, which also received the Made-to-Sell Award. Inspired by price tags and luggage tags, the entry uses 3D-printed photosensitive resins to create a fashionable and functional design. The Champion in the Student Group is Li Yuen-ying from the Hong Kong Design Institute. Her entry, “Nation of Etiquette”, was inspired by Han Chinese clothing. The Creativity Award goes to Leung Ngai-ming from ArtsGroup, who was also the First Runner-Up in the Open Group. His piece “Small & Taste” was inspired by local food, combining food images with the lenses to create a fun and unique design. Wearers can also attach tablets filled with the aroma of classic Hong Kong dishes to the frame.
All the award-winning and finalist entries will be on display at Hall 1D during the fair period to showcase Hong Kong’s creative force to international buyers, helping Hong Kong-made eyewear to expand into the international market.
HKTDC Hong Kong International Optical Fair
- Hong Kong