Photo courtesy Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Canine Commitment

Eschenbach Optik of America, Inc., has a new furry friend.

The company highlights its commitment to providing vision-enhancing products and improving customers’ overall quality of life through its new partnership with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, sponsoring the breeding, raising, and training of a Fidelco German shepherd guide dog.

Eschenbach’s customers, end users, and others are invited to follow the Eschenbach-sponsored puppy through its journey from pup placement and training to its matching with a remarkable client: .

—Kerri Ann Raimo

4 Key Trends From Hong Kong

the HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair, which welcomed a record 16,800 buyers from 111 countries and regions at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, was buzzing with activity, and with good reason—this year’s Fair boasted a wealth of fresh, new eyewear and sunwear trends on tap from 810 exhibitors from 23 countries. EB was on hand to take in the style directions in Asia, as well as take the stage to present the key eyewear trends prevalent in the U.S. in a Trends Forum presentation on day two of the Fair.

Here, we unveil four key specs trends revealed at the Fair:

Colorblocking: Specs and sunnies featuring colorblocking (even in contrasting colors on each eye) in head-turning hues were prevalent throughout the Fair, including styles from Orgreen and Plein Les Mirettes.

Feminine Butterfly: A fresh take on the cat-eye frame, the butterfly was a new, pretty shape taking flight at the Fair, including a favorite shown OVVO Optics.

’70s Redux: Vintage silhouettes made a comeback in both sun and optical styles, with key shapes such as throwback rectangles and boldly oversized rounded rectangles making a statement, including notables from Etnia Barcelona.

Next-Gen Aviator: Amped up with modern edge, new aviator styling revealed at the Fair ushered in a whole new look for the classic frame style. Unique takes on the brow bar lent a fresh feel. Standouts included styles from iO Ethical Italian, with a floating brow bar, suspended lenses, and a double metal rim.

The Eyewear Parade runway show was presented to a standing-room-only crowd.

Models show off the latest styles at the Eyewear Parade.

➌ EB editor Erinn Morgan gives a U.S. fashion trends presentation at the Fair.

The Fair’s Brand Name Gallery was home to many familiar names reaching the Asian market.

—Erinn Morgan

5 Questions for…
Marcolin Group CEO Massimo Renon

Massimo Renon

Massimo Renon has a strong history in the eyewear arena, prefaced by a tenure in luxury sports cars. He was named CEO of Marcolin S.p.A. in October 2017. Previously he was Marcolin S.p.A’s worldwide commercial general manager, as well as the head of business region EMEA at Safilo Group S.p.A. since 2012. Renon joined Safilo from Ferrari, where he held the role of global head of sales and after-sales. He also has more than 10 years of experience at Luxottica, where he held several positions of increasing responsibility in Italy and internationally, becoming new Europe Region director before leaving.

EB: What have been Marcolin Group’s major accomplishments in 2018?

MR: The eyewear sector is facing big changes and challenges, after decades based on licensing agreements. We are assisting alliances and partnerships between larger groups, and companies that are internalizing their eyewear production are bringing it back in-house.

In this context, Marcolin Group has created a joint venture with the global group leader in the luxury sector, LVMH, which has recognized us as the perfect partner with the proper skills and know-how to better respond to their needs and demands in the luxury eyewear category. This venture is recognition of the worth that the company has established over time, while providing added value.

Furthermore, we are focused on leveraging the equity of the existing brands in our portfolio, which is balanced in terms of luxury brands and diffusion, sunglasses/optical frames, and men’s/women’s.

This year we set a worldwide licensing eyewear agreement with Bally and renewed the agreement with Guess, Tod’s, and Timberland.

EB: What will be Marcolin Group’s goals + new directions for 2019?

MR: In terms of geo coverage, we are a worldwide leading company in the eyewear industry with direct presence in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Our main goal is to bring our brands to the fullest possible extent and results, always keeping in mind a quality approach.

We are working to become an alternative partner, able to support our clients in terms of creative and high-quality products, innovative collections, and brand portfolio, as well as giving them a global service.

EB: What do you see as the major challenges for the eyecare professional leading into the new year?

MR: The price war is becoming a dangerous battlefield where our industry is falling prey. Competing only with extremely aggressive prices and hard discounts affects high-risk company investments on selective distribution and product innovation, with a considerable impact on the quality of the sales.

EB: How can eyecare professionals address these business challenges to remain successful?

MR: ECPs could benefit from a focus on selecting products that suit the needs of their overall demographic and cover a wide range of price points. Approaching their buying choices in a more diverse way can help insulate them from these types of price wars and help them continue to serve the needs of their patients.

Marcolin’s wide portfolio of brands delivers these advantages by offering product in a multitude of segments, while maintaining the quality of each style.

EB: Beyond a strong product lineup, what does Marcolin Group offer to help ECPs be successful in today’s unique marketplace?

MR: We are a wholesale company and take care of our worldwide distribution network partners who represent us in front of the consumers every day by purchasing the eyewear collections we create.

Professional education is still key in order for our sales reps to sell each brand from the company portfolio, ensuring a premium image and positioning.

Marcolin Group has also developed an auto-replenishment platform that maps the spaces in the stores, allowing the company overall management of these areas to guarantee a higher and faster level of service, resulting in a significant increase in sales. —Erinn Morgan

Cutting-Edge Concepts + CE

the 14th annual Optometric Management Symposium (OMS), held Nov. 1-4 at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort, brought together 400 ECPs for three and a half days of learning, networking, and a little fun in the Florida sun.

Hosted by EB’s sister publication, Optometric Management—and featuring the Eyecare Business Optical Strategies track—the PentaVision conference has developed a reputation as a premier event offering a unique mix of continuing education in clinical, business management, and retail strategies areas. OMS also offers a lively exhibit hall featuring a wide variety of product offerings.

OMS’ CE tracks (offering 50+ credits) included Global Specialty Contact Lenses, Clinical Management, and Business Management + Optical Strategies.

One of the many highlights was an EB-sponsored Retail Strategies Panel, moderated by EB Editor-in-Chief Erinn Morgan and featuring a group of highly successful optometrists, presidents of large eyewear makers, and a high-end multistore retailer/optician in an engaging, interactive session about growing a practice through optical retail sales.

Next year’s OMS is scheduled for Dec. 5-8 at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. —Susan Tarrant

The EB Retail Strategies Panel included (from left) Safilo President and CCO Stephen Wright, luxury retailer/designer Edward Beiner, Bridgitte Shen Lee, O.D., EB EIC Erinn Morgan, De Rigo REM President Alessandro Baronti, and Eric White, O.D. (not shown). On far right is EB Publisher Mark Durrick.

From left: EB’s Mark Durrick and Roger Zimmer, publisher of Optometric Management and Contact Lens Spectrum, with some happy attendees.

Samantha Toth leads a CE session.

Attendees check out the latest offerings in the OMS exhibit hall.