MIDO and VEDERE, half a century of collaboration

Vedere International, the international optics and ophthalmology magazine founded in 1953 by Claudio Morpurgo, has been exhibiting at MIDO ever since its first edition, in 1970. Through the words of Isabella Morpurgo, currently editor-in-chief of the magazine and Sole Administrator of the company that publishes it, Edizioni Ariminum, we retrace the first fifty years of the trade fair.

What can you tell me about Vedere’s relationship with MIDO?

In 1953, encouraged by the Cavalier Lucio Lozza, my father Claudio Morpurgo created the magazine Vedere (which over the years added the connotation International and was joined by TECH International, Vedere Italia and AOI – Annuario Ottico Italiano – the Italian Optical Yearbook). Our participation in the first edition of MIDO in 1970 was the natural continuum of our activity. When we were founded, and probably also during that edition of the fair, we were the only magazine specialized in optics and eyewear, at least at the European level.

I remember attending MIDO since 1971, first as a student, accompanying my father’s collaborators in our stand, then in a more operational role in dealings with the sector.

Every time I think about those editions, my mind goes back to those Greek workers who asked my father, who was fluent in Greek, having been raised in Thessaloniki, to act as interpreter for them at various companies. And every time, he did as they asked!

How did you experience the evolution of MIDO?

My most vivid memories date back to the 80s, when fashion invaded the world of eyewear; companies brought famous endorsers such as the Italia Singer Vanoni,  and the football player Cabrini… They were also the years when politicians often attended the event.

The thing about MIDO that has always struck me is its international character: there have always been so many different languages spoken in the corridors.

What did your father tell you about those early years in the trade?

I remember his trips in Cadore and in France, which I then started replicating thirty years later. It was a smaller, more personalized world: you established friendships with companies. There were no mediating agencies looking after the advertising planning. I remember my father negotiating directly with Del Vecchio, Coffen Marcolin… MIDO was also a convivial moment: a way of meeting up with old friends.

How did you view the evolution of MIDO?

The first important step was transferring from the pavilions in Piazza VI Febbraio to the Portello, which made it possible to rationalize the exhibition layout and to divide up the hall by theme. The move to Rho was the great leap forward.

The current management has succeeded in being visionary: notwithstanding the crisis that markets all over the globe are experiencing, MIDO has managed to become proactive and establish itself as an incubator of innovation and as an enormous showcase, in addition to generating business and culture.

MIDO has the companies that ‘matter’; these days, it is essential to exhibit in Milan. It is the most international trade fair in the world… the place to be! Then, of course, on the basis of its strategies, every company can decide whether to attend other salons or not; but to have a global vision, you have to be at MIDO, even if you are only ‘sniffing out the trends’.