Hong Kong Optical Fair Lauded as Major Success

By Evra Taylor

From November 7 – 9, 2012, eyecare professionals from around the world gathered for the 20th Hong Kong Optical Fair held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The show attracted 629 exhibitors from a record-breaking number of countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.S.,India and Turkey.

A wide range of optical products was represented, including frames for prescription spectacles and sunglasses, specialty sports glasses, contact lenses and optometric equipment. Two featured zones – Diagnostic Instruments and Eyewear Accessories ­– were added in response to popular demand.

A highlight of the exhibition was the Brand Name Gallery, which featured a special exhibition showcasing 166 high-end brands of regular and designer eyewear – the highest number to date. Among the major brands exhibiting were Guy Laroche, Hummer, Issey Miyake, Karen Millen, TD Tom Davies, and Vera Wang.

As part of the show, the 10th Hong Kong Optometric Conference took place under the theme “New Frontiers in Ophthalmic Dispensing”. A number of seminars were held, covering such topics as the retail outlook in optical products, and European fashion eyewear. Experts fromItaly andFrance were featured speakers, with market research company GfK Italy spotlighting the latest trends in eyewear and fashion design.

Under the theme “Timeless”, the 14th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition had more than 200 entries this year. Eleven prizes were awarded to nine local designers, and three innovative products by OKIA made their mark. For the first time, OKIA was awarded all the prizes in the Professional Group section: champion, first runner-up and second runner-up. The Champion award was presented for the “Mag Type” frame, whose innovative design is based on a typewriter, while the other award-winners – “Choi Lan Kang Fa” and “Catch” – are fashioned after a cat-eye cloisonné and paper clips, respectively.

For fair veterans and newcomers alike, the show did not disappoint. Emmanuel Gonzalez, export manager for Henry Jullien, said, “We are participating in the Hong Kong fair under the French pavilion for the first time. We have already received some good orders from buyers from Southeast Asia, Kazakhstan and Turkey. The Hong Kong fair is the place to be in terms of building contacts and business relationships with international customers. It is really worth coming here.”  And buyer Abdul Majeed K, manager of the Lens Magic optical boutique in India, added, “This is a great fair to find quality eyewear products at competitive prices. I’ve identified five potential partners for the supply of middle-end spectacles and frames. I like the ambience of the fair as well as the amazing variety of products and participants.”

In the first nine months of 2012, Hong Kong’s exports of spectacles, lenses and frames amounted to US$1.4 billion. Additionally, Hong Kong is the world’s third-largest exporter of optical goods, after Italy and theU.S. For medium- to high-end optical products, the Hong Kong Optical Fair is increasingly seen as an important event on the global optical calendar, as evidenced by the growth and success of the fair in 2012.