by Karen Alberg Grossman

In preparation for the upcoming 50th edition of MIDO, the international eyewear show to take place from February 29-March 2, 2020 in Milan, show execs and Italian government officials hosted a press luncheon last week at Il Gattopardo, a fabulous Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

“In 50 years, MIDO has grown from a B2B event to a comprehensive industry hub involving stakeholders, opinion leaders, buyers, institutions, celebrities, media, and international influencers,” remarked Giovanni Vitaloni, president of MIDO and ANFAO, the Italian Optical Goods Manufacturers’ Association. “MIDO is the eyewear industry event no one wants to miss, always on the leading edge of trends, with carefully curated installations and aesthetics. Its spirit is international but with an all-Italian focus on design and style.”

Giovanni Vitaloni

Vitaloni discussed the show’s growth from 1970 to the present. At the first edition, there were 95 exhibitors (67 Italian and 28 from other countries); in 2019, more than 1,320 exhibitors representing 70 countries showed their wares in seven pavilions. Based on a legacy of leadership over time, attendance has grown by 20 percent in the last five years: the most recent edition hosted nearly 60,000 attendees from 159 countries. The U.S. has consistently been the largest recipient of Italy’s eyewear, importing 17 million pairs of sunglasses and 6 million optical frames from Italy last year.

With a goal to become one of the first sustainable trade shows in the world, MIDO has implemented a Plastic-Free policy promoting the responsible use of water, paper, food and energy, and a Stand Up for Green award for the most sustainable booth. There will also be international Bestore awards for the best optical shops, a WSGN forecast of the latest trends, and a presentation of interesting insights from a new global survey aimed at investing in future eyewear developments. Also at the upcoming show, two unique books will be presented: Mido, 50 Years a Global Crossroads by Adriano Moraglio, and History of Optics by Silvio Maffioletti and Sergio Cappa tracing the history of optics from the 1300s to the present.

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