The Silmo eyewear show will be celebrating its 50th anniversary from Oct. 6 to 9 at the Parc des Expositions fairgrounds in the north of Paris, adding a number of special events to its usual schedule.

Initially launched in 1967 as a plastics show in Oyonnax, close to the Jura region, with 58 exhibitors on 1,500 square meters, the French exhibition has come a long way since then, becoming one of the leading international eyewear shows in the world.

This coming edition will host a total of 958 exhibitors, slightly more than last year, including 154 new companies that were not showing at the previous edition. In terms of square meters, the organizers report a 5 percent increase in the surface as compared to 2016. 

Non-French companies have come to represent 78 percent of the total number of exhibitors. Among the French exhibitors, a few were present at the first edition of the show in 1967, some of them under a different name: Essilor, BBGR, Weco, L'Amy, Lunettes Grasset or Grosfilley for example. Among these Silmo pioneers is also Morel, whose communications director, Amélie Morel, has been acting as president of Silmo Paris since earlier this year following the sudden death of Philippe Lafont.

The four days of the 2017 edition will feature the usual staples of the show such as the Silmo Academy, the training and information scientific program, which will focus on dazzle this year; the Low Vision Forum, which will hold its 20th edition; and the results of the Optical Monitor in partnership with Mido and GfK, a research report on consumer buying habits and the optical market in the main European countries.

However, several new events and activities are being added to celebrate the show's anniversary. Visitors and exhibitors celebrating their 50th birthday this year, or born between Oct. 6 and 9, will be offered champagne and gifts at a dedicated stand.

Visitors will also be able to play with slot machines at a different stand in each hall in an attempt to win the “50th Anniversary Jackpot.” The prizes consist of €500 vouchers for the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris as well as trips to Bangkok, Sydney and Istanbul, three cities where the organizers have recently launched Silmo-branded eyewear shows in partnership with local players.

On the design theme, the usual Pop Up presentation of new frames and sunglasses will be complemented by a selection of 50 iconic models that have been successful in the last 50 years.

A roundtable will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7 on the subject “1967 – 2017 – 2067: 50 years of design, past, present, future.” It will be moderated by Luisa Redaelli, a communication specialist, and Alessandro Spiezia, a Roman optician about whom we have already reported. He has become famous for the originality of his models that he selects and the fact that he has been a supplier to several popes and other celebrities.

This year's Silmo will also present a 50th Anniversary Special Prize for which exhibitors were invited to submit one product or service from their present or past catalogs that they have found to be most iconic or historically important. A total of 120 companies are participating in this competition and their products are being presented on Silmo's Facebook page, where the public is invited to vote until midnight on Oct. 6 for the product of their choice. The winner of this special prize will be announced during a very special new version of the Silmo d'Or Awards.

In recent years, the Silmo organizers have often found original or prestigious venues to hold the Silmo d'Or Awards' ceremony and this year will set a record with the event taking place at the Grand Palais, a large and historical Parisian exhibition hall and museum located near the Champs-Elysées. Built for the 1900 Universal Exposition, the Grand Palais is particularly famous for its spectacular glass nave.

Two new categories have been added this year to the Silmo d'Or awards as the usual Optical Frames and Sunglasses categories have each been split into two subcategories, Trend and Design. We are listing on this page the detailed list of the nominees. Contrary to previous practice, the ceremony will take place on the second day of the show, on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Silmo d'Or 2017 Nominees

Company/brand

Product

Vision

Essilor

Varilux X series

Novacel

Binova Iflex

Transitions

Signature Style Colors

Material / Equipment

Access

ID Inventory

Art'monium

Art'Sight

Essilor

Pro E 600

Nidek

TS-310

Opti 3

Le Cube

Low Vision

AB Vision

Mercury

Axos

Snow 7 HD Plus

Ceciaa

E-Sight

Etex

Jordy

AB Vision

SeeBoost

Children

ADCL Aplus

Piwatoo 261

Demetz

Andy

KNCO

Kaliboo

ODLM

Façonnable, Bobine 02

OPAL

Star Wars

Trend Optic Frames

Caroline Abram

Witty 521

Grosfilley

Zilli, ZI 60000

L'Amy

Balmain, Jordan

Marchon

Chloe, Palma CE 2134

Mondottica

Sandro, SD2000

Design Optic Frames

Blake Kuwahara

Larsen

Bruno Chassignaud

Hayman

L.A. Eyeworks

Dublin

LIO

IVM 1048

Parasite

Anti-retro

Trend Sunglasses

Caroline Abram

Widana 613

Grosfilley

Aari Bostroem, Metropolitan

Marchon

Chloe, Poppy CE132S

Mondottica

Maje, MJ5000

Fleye

Fox

Design Sunglasses

Blackfin

Silmo 2017

Blake Kuwahara

Gropius

Lucas de Staël

Minotaure 1900

Rigards

Rosewood

Veronika Wildgruber

Arthur

Sport Equipment

Alternativ'Optic

Clipoptic

Bolle

Playoff

Eyewear from Barcelona

Slastik Nuba

Marchon

Nike Elite

SK-X Optical

SK-X Optical Solution

Frame Technological Innovation

Guivert

M, Collection Optique

New Optic Italia

TRE

Oxibis Group

Exalto, 36K

Rolf

Deville

Urband

Coosh