MIDO: the countdown has begun

Spotlight on Milan. Cirillo Marcolin, President of MIDO, explains us the Never Ending Wonder.

MIDO 2015 was described as a “record edition”. What are the expectations for this year?
The 2015 edition confirmed MIDO’s unquestionable leadership at world level. We are proud about the very high number of international professionals and the presence of the entire segment. The “players” at MIDO were the big, medium, medium-small and small companies in every product category. Although it has been almost impossible to expand the exhibition offer, which is totally comprehensive in itself, this year we added no fewer than 106 new companies. This means that company confidence is very high and the market believes in MIDO and considers it an essential element of business. A part of this growth context is the ultranew More! area, where we will present the trends and the future of the eyewear world. It will be a place of extraordinary creativity, design and innovation, a laboratory of ideas, concepts and experiments. An ad hoc space where bold designers will display the most innovative “artefacts for the eyes”: a place for seeing future trends and having a hands-on experience of avant-garde design.

Does the MIDO trend also reflect the trend in the Italian eyewear sector?
We do not yet have the final data for end 2015 but, in any case, it was a very positive year for Italian eyewear from two aspects: Italy had record exports, which represent over 80% of production (the expected growth in value should be above 12%); on the domestic market, the previous stagnant trend has been reversed and it is at last showing interesting signs of a recovery with significant additional percentage points in value and volume, especially for sunglasses, a product that had suffered the most. Specifically, we estimate that sell-in for prescription frames will close 2015 with an increase of about 5 percentage points compared to 2014. The increase in sunglasses should be around 10%. Worthy of note is the trend in ophthalmic lenses, which are recovering and will close the year with significantly positive results in value and volume. Overall, we estimate that the domestic market has recovered by about 6% in value.

As president of FIAMP – the Italian Federation of fashion and personal accessories – what actions are you taking to promote accessories?
Firstly, let me point out that with the encouragement of Confindustria FIAMP was set up in 2004 by the Italian associations of manufacturing companies in the fashion and personal accessories supply chain: AIMPES (manufacturers of leather and leather substitutes), ASSOCALZATURIFICI (footwear), ANFAO (eyewear), FEDERORAFI (jewelry), and AIP (furs). The aggregate turnover of the Italian “accessories” segment, which includes over 21,000 companies and employs 163,000 people, is approximately 24,000 million euros, and over 80% of its products are exported. Important figures that assume an awareness of the importance of a system for promoting the entire accessories segment that boasts more than one jewel in the Made in Italy crown. It is what we are trying to do with the institutions in an even wider context than the fashion system in general.

Coming back to MIDO. Will this year also include initiatives to encourage Italian visitors?
Yes, we confirm the free trains that will bring the opticians directly to the fair. This year there will be departures from Turin as well as from Rome and Venice.

We began with the amazing results of the 2015 edition. Can you reveal the secret of your success?
I believe that MIDO is the result of years of scrupulous attention to the needs of those involved – visitors and exhibitors. We have become a benchmark for the sector by promoting innovation, sharing experiences and maximizing interaction. The entire segment knows that it is essential to take part in MIDO.