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opti 2022: Prize-Worthy Independent Design
A dozen young designers will be showing their new interpretation of spectacles at opti from 13 to 15 May 2022, and will thus be competing to win the first opti BOX AWARD. The criteria are design, sustainability, functionality, technology and marketing. The awards ceremony will take place live on site on Saturday at 12.30 pm in Hall C2 in the opti BOXES area.
“So cool and such an honor!” Italian eyewear blogger and social media expert Giulia De Martin (Behind My Glasses) is delighted to be one of the judges of the first opti BOX AWARD – and is looking forward to the exciting designs that have been announced. Twelve cool start-ups will present themselves at the spring edition of opti in the YES independent design area.
Traditional handcraft combined with state-of-the-art technology. Among them is LEINZ Eyewear Berlin (opti BOX 1). For two years now, the founder, managing director and designer Beate Leinz has been combining traditional Italian eyewear handcraft with state-of-the-art 3D printing technology from Germany. In doing so, it is important to her to use high-quality materials and to be sustainable: “New products and processes are being developed with ecological aspects in mind.” Even the elegant spectacle cases and advertising displays are made from resource-saving, recycled leather. Frameshaper Eyewear (opti BOX 3) also attaches great importance to sustainability. The local production in Leipzig minimizes the delivery distances and material shipping. In all other respects, the focus is on “Made for you!”: Not only can the glasses models be adapted, but customised shapes can also be designed – both for opticians and end customers.
The sophistication is in the detail
At MYDOT (opti BOX 5), it’s also all about individuality. “We don’t know the background stories of many people around us, and we should be understanding about all their views and characteristics. Because these are their pivotal issues,” said customer advisor Sabrina Giordano, explaining what lies behind the noticeable “dots” on the lightweight frames.
Not only German, but also international start-ups can be found in the opti BOXES from 13 to 15 May. MITA Sustainable Eyewear (opti BOX 6) from the Sunshine State of Florida already features environmental awareness in its name. Founded in 2020, the young US company impresses with its natural sophistication in design, materials and production – and through its recycling principle: A stylish pair of MITA glasses consists of five recycled PET bottles. The equally jaunty and daring Proud Eyewear collections (opti BOX 7) from Valencia in Spain are also manufactured in a very special way. “We use five hinges and a safety screw in all spectacle frames,” explains founder Marce Garcìa proudly – just as the “Proud” in the company name suggests.
Speaking of technically refined: RAYDIANT (opti BOX 11) from Cologne offers an exciting clip system and the possibility of custom-made designs. Individualization is also at a premium in opti BOX 10, at O-CCX EYEWEAR. Peter Meyer, who founded the Osnabrück start-up, said: “With their individual design aesthetic, the glasses can cover the nose area, or even accentuate special facial features, if desired.”
Making the spectacles sector more inclusive
Everyone should be able to find a pair of spectacles that fit properly, this is the approach adopted by Reframd (opti BOX 13). According to the team led by Shariff Vreugd and Ackeem Ngwenya, all spectacle frames are made to order, eliminating the need for inventory and wasting a minimum of resources. Reframd shares opti BOX 13 with LooC, another Berlin company that has a new feature to present in Munich – measuring the face to identify the perfect frames. LooC’s products are equally suitable for spectacle manufacturers, stationary opticians, online retailers and ophthalmologists. The portfolio ranges from virtual solutions to try on glasses on different online platforms right through to digital vision testing with an innovative color test.
MUNIK (opti BOX 8) has home advantage in the exhibition halls at the Fairground Munich. At MUNIK, no old spectacle frames are ever thrown away, but instead donated; new models are produced in small quantities and designed to be stable for long use. Social Media Manager Sophia Lindner: “We want to create highlights with fairly calculated prices that are lots of fun.” Another start-up also comes from the opti location of Munich. Planet Pop by p5 Consulting is just one year old, and is presenting its environmentally-friendly children’s eyewear collection in BOX 4. Each pair of glasses is made of 47 percent plant-based, renewable, BPA-free material, sold in 100 percent sustainable, renewable cork containers and with a recycled microfibre cloth for the spectacle lenses, explained owner Petra Eckhardt-Köstler. LEGENDS (opti BOX 12) has also only been around since 2021, and they’re very excited about being present at opti 2022: “We are already delighted to have taken another step towards participating in a real community,” is the message from Fürth in Franconia. Like the majority of opti BOX award candidates, LEGENDS has fully committed itself to sustainability, which includes all components – production “made in Germany”, new materials such as the high-performance bioplastic Polyamide 11 and regional projects, such as tree donations.
Bettina Reiter, opti Exhibition Director and jury member of the first opti BOX AWARD, said: “Design, sustainability, functionality, technology and marketing are the criteria for our prize. I am excited about what the candidates have to offer in each of these areas. For me, each of the opti BOX companies is already a winner.” “We live and love the world of spectacles,” emphasized juror Giovanni Graffweg from Optik Breiderhoff in Essen, confirming the innovative power of the start-ups. For Dr Jürgen Bräunlein, who is a member of the jury as editor-in-chief of the trade magazine eyebizz, the opti BOXES are also an absolute highlight of the trade show.
The opti BOX AWARD will be presented on Saturday 14 May 2022 at 12:30 in the YES independent design area in Hall C2 at the opti BOXES.
The prize is endowed with a voucher for opti stand rental for 2022 and 2023 of 1,000 Euro each, plus marketing PR support from the partners eyebizz and Ebner Media Group worth a four-digit amount.
Inform yourself online and buy tickets in advance. Along with the other exhibitors at opti 2022, all the start-ups in the opti BOXES can be found in the exhibitor directory on the opti website. Tickets for the May edition of the international trade show for optics & design are only available online at www.opti.de/tickets/. In addition to contactless access, the generous planning and intensive cleaning at short intervals will ensure safety and well-being at the Fairground Munich on all three days of the trade show (13 to 15 May). It is recommended to wear a mask.