Trenti Industria Occhiali, Italy's oldest producer specializing in children's eyewear, was among the 8 winners of the traditional gold awards bestowed on the best exhibitors at the last Silmo fair in Paris. The company employs 45 people, and was founded in 1959 by its current owner, Walter Da Rin.

The award coincides with a certain activity in the children's eyewear market under the impact of major licenses like Harry Potter. In 1980 Trenti presented the market's first ever children-specific collection of glasses, under the Lilliput name. Since then, it has been developing between 30 and 40 new models every year, culminating this year in a collection of 50 different styles. According to Trenti, variety is important in this market, as a child's face changes constantly, and children's glasses have to be changed every 8 months.

Da Rin says the secret of his success lies in the fact that he has always worked closely with opthalmologists and dispensing opticians, in order to adapt the product to the child's face. For example, the frames are designed so as not to fall onto the child's nose, and the length of the side-pieces is calibrated to provide the best possible fit. The latest models feature side-pieces that rotate at 270 degrees, making them resistant even to the most turbulent young wearer.

Last year Trenti's total sales rose by 20 percent to 6.2 million euros, with children's glasses representing around 35-40 percent of the turnover. The USA took 60 percent of Trenti's production, and this proportion is not going to decline. Da Rin reacted immediately to the September attacks by flying out on his own to see the 5 or 6 US wholesalers that import his products, instead of waiting for them to come over.