Dear Shaded Viewers,

Focusing on stylish and high-quality spectacles and sunglasses, the MIDO Eyewear Show is one of the most famous and respected optical fairs in Italy, gathering global buyers and press looking for the next big thing. This year's edition was record-setting, with over 49.000 visitors including two thirds coming from abroad. The fair showcased around 1200 exhibitors, from the most established brands to exciting start-ups. Despite its impressive size, I found the fair easy to navigate through, realizing during my visit how substantial and large the eyewear market has become. Divided into clear parts, such as the Lab Academy, Fashion District or Design Lab, MIDO addressed key industry segments, illustrating a growing variety of styles. New manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing, kept popping up within the fair, allowing designers to create innovative shapes. If the notion of trends as we knew it is not as tangible now, color and vintage-inspired shapes were important, evidencing the need for familiarity. With key brands such as Gucci putting spectacles back on the runway -and making it a strong statement accessory- it is indeed a good moment for Italian brands. Despite the current climate, Italian handicraft keeps seducing new destinations, finding the right balance between novelty and expertise. MIDO did, in fact, a great job balancing household names with inspiring newcomers. 

Gucci backstage image courtesy of Sonny Vandevelde

Philippe Pourhashemi

A freelance fashion writer, consultant and stylist, Philippe Pourhashemi was born in Tehran in 1976. He grew up in Paris, before moving to Scotland to study Foreign Languages. His passions are fashion and culture, as well as music and film. He writes and styles features for Metal in Barcelona, Behind the Blinds in Brussels, Contributor in Stockholm, Veoir in New York and SKP in Beijing. He was named Fucking Young's Editor-at-Large in 2016 and has contributed to ASVOF since 2008, acting as Correspondent-at-Large since 2012. An avid traveler, he likes to explore exotic fashion weeks and unexpected destinations whenever he can.