• About Séamus

    Originally from Northern Ireland, I came to England seventeen years ago. My first proper job was in an opticians and I have never left the industry since (apart from one month at a bespoke shirt makers). I have sixteen years experience of the eyewear industry and have a passion for handmade spectacles and sunglasses with an eye on innovation in design.

  • Paris at last…

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    I guess enough time has passed for me to write my piece on the Paris trip. Sorry for the delay but I was also in Amsterdam last weekend on a less than business trip. Good times in both cities but what happened in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam. Let me tell you about Paris.

    Paris this year was probably the best since my first in terms of excitement. There was a real positive atmosphere and lots of new and interesting things to look at. New brands, new styles and new attitudes to eyewear.

    My trip this year was shorter than usual and I had to forego my annual pilgrimage to Le Relais de l’Entrecote. Very disappointing for me and no doubt for the waitress who usually serves me. No Velibs, no wandering round the 5th arrondissement, strictly business this year. Probably not a bad thing.

    Before I even set off, I was studying the floor plan of the trade show and I was struck by how many names were new to me. When you go every year, you see the same names come up again and again if I have not shown an interest yet, there is probably a good reason. This year, while planning my attack on the unsuspecting eyewear brands in Villepinte, I found myself wondering who these people were. So I knew I would have a busy time getting around it.

    Unfortunately, as always, a lot of these new brands were copies of brands that not only did it first, but do it better. Once an idea wins a prize at the Silmo D’Or, expect copycats to follow. Lots of wooden brands this year but none as interesting as the M.A.D.E. frames I already have in store.  However, there were some genuinely interesting new ideas out there. Some will come to the store later in the year or early next year but sooner than that, Res/Rei

    I first met the designer Olivieri a few years ago while he and a friend were in London working as design consultants. We had a long talk about eyewear and they admitted that they were planning a eyewear brand soon. I knew from meeting them both that what they came up with would be something special and told them to let me know as soon as they were ready for the market. Olivieri’s partner unfortunately got himself a well paid and high profile job in America so their collaboration was not to be but Olivieri soldiered on and this is the outcome of his labour.

    It was the most exciting new concept I have seen in a while. They are beautifully made and there is a real desire for these frames to seen as durable and long lasting, indeed they are labelled “Hand made with love in Italy.” The hinges have springs that have a very wide flex but even better is that the hinges are replaceable should they wear out. Something which is not possible on other spring hinges and that is why I have never stocked a brand that features spring hinges till now. I will write a full feature on them then they arrive in a couple of weeks.

    Of the brands I already carry, there were great new shapes and amazing new colours from Kilsgaard and Framers, whose Airline themed booth drew lots of attention. See Marie, Coco and Micha in their excellent uniforms below.

    As expected, the Paul Smith stand was incredibly busy and I just don’t queue so today I saw the new frames in the comfort of 29 Floral St. There some wonderful new shapes and colours which will be in stock in the coming weeks.

    It wasn’t a total washout socially, I did manage a respectable night out with two unnameable eyewear designers. Which included the revelation that there exists such as thing as electric bagpipes! Here is a photo to prove we didn’t hallucinate it. Till next year Paris…


    2 Responses to Paris at last…

    1. Andy says:

      Unnameable eyewear designers – you’ve forgotten our names again haven’t you?