Designing an Experience: Behind the Scenes at MIDO 2018

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                                The internet has undoubtedly made the world a smaller place, erasing distances, and assisting collaborative efforts between parties across the globe. Even so, industries with international reach like design, fashion, and technology still rely upon trade shows to allow designers, manufacturers, buyers, and even occasionally the public to congregate under one roof for valuable hands-on, in-person interactions to learn what&#8217;s on the horizon.
After attending MIDO – the world’s largest international eyewear show hosted each year in Milan, Italy – for three years in a row, we recognized an ideal opportunity to investigate the behind-the-scenes logistics, planning, and design of a trade show attended by over 1,300 exhibitors and 58,000 attendees from around the world. Though much is reported about what is on display at trade shows, rarely are the details of trade shows themselves revealed. We spoke with both Giovanni Vitaloni, the newly appointed President of MIDO, and Francesco Pagliariccio,
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Marble, Architecture, and Geometrics Come Into Focus at MIDO 2017

Marble, Architecture, and Geometrics Come Into Focus at MIDO 2017

The Italian Trade Commission takes notable pride in touting the MIDO Milano Eyewear Show as the international eyewear show of the world. And why not? With the exhibit’s characteristically exuberant and international pastiche of 1,200 exhibitors strewn throughout seven pavilions visited by more than 55,000 attendees, MIDO can sometimes feel less like an industry-only trade show and more like a celebratory party where everyone is dressed great and accessorized with the finest eyewear.

The MIDO Milano Eyewear Show showfloor is a spectacle everywhere you look.

Running parallel with Milan Fashion Week, MIDO has become the optical extension of Italy’s fashion industry; players from around the globe ranging from multi-brand luxury giants to established fashionable mainstream staples all the way down to boutique avant-garde designers add to the party-like atmosphere, while more serious trend and trade reports keep retailers, resellers, and manufacturers informed.

A historical timeline of the Superfuture catalog.

Design Milk Visits MIDO Milan Eyewear Show 2016

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                                The weather outside Milan, Italy was gloomy, but the mood inside was downright party-like at this year&#8217;s 46th annual <a href="http://www.mido.it/index.php/en/" >MIDO Milan Eyewear Show 2016</a>. At the invitation of the Italian Trade Commission, Design Milk was invited this year to experience what turned out to be an overwhelming surprise in scope and scale, a trade event dedicated to eyewear in every form and fashionable imaginable. For three days, the world of eyeglasses and sunglasses met in Milan to celebrate the spectacle of spectacles with design in focus.
52,000 visitors from around the globe convened into a multitude of halls showcasing the latest in eyeglasses, sunglasses, eyewear storage, and fabrication devices used by those within the industry, with the fashionable attendees themselves part of the show.

52,000 visitors from around the globe convened into a multitude of halls showcasing the latest in eyeglasses, sunglasses, eyewear storage, and fabrication devices used by those within the industry, with the fashionable attendees themselves part of the show’s party-like atmosphere.

Boutique brands showcased their wares inside sections designated for more daring and innovative debuts, and it was there where we discovered the majority of our favorite designs on display. Innovative use of ecologically sourced materials
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garconne-nyc-round-sunglasses-saint-martin-pink-front
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RolfSpectacles
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K3-Cage
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Behnaz Farahi Synapse 3D-Printed Helmet Is Controlled by Brainwaves

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                                Returning from this year&#8217;s <a href="http://www.mido.it/index.php/en/" >MIDO</a> – the Milano Eyewear Show – I came back with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the global eyewear industry, bearing witness to most all of the 1,200 exhibitors showcasing countless permutations of eyeglasses and sunglasses in every form and material. That said, I noted glaring absences at the premier industry-only show: smart eyewear, augmented reality vision wear, and other wearable technologies.
Despite the relative failure of Google Glass to capture the public’s imagination and adoption beyond the first adopter set, it still seems a solid bet eyewear will continue to evolve beyond static optical improvement and retinal protection traditionally offered in the category and into the realm of interactive and technology featured solutions. In fact, if one begins including virtual reality gear and augmented reality solutions, eyeglasses and sunglasses are at the nascent of becoming something wholly different from its hundreds of years history. Which brings us to
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