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Founder of Lafont Paris Dies at 70

MARCH 8, 2017 -- Philippe Lafont, president of the Lafont Paris eyewear brand and a respected leader in the optical market, has passed away at age 70.

A tireless advocate for “made in France,” Lafont was involved in the development and cultivation of the international optics industry in his role as president of SILMO, as well as his contributions to GIFO. Most recently, he used his standing in the optical community to promote French ingenuity and manufacturing. As board members holding key management positions for the last 10 years, Thomas and Matthieu Lafont will continue to support their father’s efforts promoting the “made in France” proposition, the company states.

Lafont has been a prominent name in the optical world since 1923, with the opening of the first shop in Paris by Louis Lafont. In a statement to the press, the company said "the Lafont house, founded in 1979 by Philippe and his wife Laurence, will continue the family’s legacy as a pioneer and innovator of luxury eyewear made in France, upholding the company’s core values of integrity, craftsmanship, and elegance."

Since 2012, Philippe Lafont had devoted himself to developing the SILMO exhibition, seeking to make it a flagship forum for all industry stakeholders.

“Continuing the work begun by Guy Charlot, Philippe’s commitment has seen SILMO become a valuable tool for opticians and helped to raise the profile of the French optics sector. Under his leadership, SILMO has also pursued its international development,” SILMO representatives said this morning in a statement.
“His death is a huge loss for all who were fortunate enough to work with him. SILMO’s administrators and teams extend their deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”