Last week, Lindy and Randall traveled to New York for Vision Expo East. On their hunt for the next addition to the Eclectic Eye brand catalog, they met with brands you already know and love, too. The annual trip to Vision Expo is often the only time Eclectic Eye is able to meet the designers of the brands carried in-store, and soon, you’ll see why!
Every year in early spring, eyewear enthusiasts travel to New York City to see the best of what the eyewear industry has to offer. Held at Jacob Javits convention center, Vision Expo East houses everything from independent eyewear brands to new lens technology, production equipment, and diagnostic tools. Just up the block, you’ll find many of our brands at the LOFT, an eyewear collective open to independently owned designers.
At Vision Expo, you experience more than just eyewear. New collections are revealed and/or sold exclusively at this annual event. While you browse, you are listening to brand stories and learning about the collections’ inspirations straight from the source; the designers.
At LOFT, we got a sneak peek at the newest designs from Anne et Valentin, theo, MYKITA, and MASAHIROMARUYAMA. Never short of ingenuity, these collections we already know and love continue to bring unique shapes and colors to complement your face. We even scoped out a few new independent collections we’ve had an eye on.
In the evening, we popped into a VADA party in Greenwich Village – the perfect opportunity to explore the neighborhood. We ended the night with a New York-style slice of pizza.
Saturday morning was dedicated to viewing the expert craftsmanship within new collections. The process of creating a brand is hard work, and it can take time to get established. One vendor started his designs in 2012. He was displaying his eyewear for sale for the first time. It was an honor to see his vision finally come to life.
In the afternoon, we spent time with Eclectic Eye cult favorites: Rigards, Kuboraum, and Jacques Marie Mage. As opticians who are passionate about what they create, we are often a bit star-struck! Seeing the new designs is a treat, but having the designer themselves describe their creative process is truly magic.
The night ended with a fantastic Italian meal at Il Mulino in Tribeca and a walk through the Chelsea Market to check out the Moscot store.
Visiting micro-produced collections at Vision Expo is a must. Sunday started off with Jessica, our brand Mr. Leight rep, who explained Larry Leight’s Hawaiian inspiration for the new collection. Collections like Mr. Leight’s produce only 100 of each frame, which are often launched and sold out by the end of Expo weekend. If we didn’t venture to New York, we might never see them hit our shelves. As our time at Javits came to a close, we spent the rest of the time there soaking up as much as we could. We connected with a few new collections that you might be seeing in Memphis in 2023.
We rushed over to visit Katz Deli for lunch and made a quick stop at the Anne et Valentin store in SoHo. It was fun to see other stores and talk with their opticians about their best sellers and best practices.
Be on the lookout! Many of our Expo purchases will arrive in Memphis early this summer. Check our social channels to stay up to date!