MIDO 2019 – Where oh where do I start?
My whirlwind of a month started 3 weeks before MIDO, when I found out I had been sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency to attend.
Yes, that’s right…3 weeks’ notice to attend one of the top experiences on my work bucket list!
So with my newly started identity (theeyeweargirl) , thrown together business cards, a last minute (VERY expensive) passport and an open mind, I headed off from my small town coastal home town in Victoria, Australia to Milan.
Having been in the Australian optical industry for over 17 years, I’d heard many stories about MIDO – the size, the product etc but nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience.
The 7 halls of innovative materials, products and technology instantly made me feel like an ant. Tiny. My passion for quality product has been there from the start but what I’d been exposed to before now was nothing in comparison.
My role as The Eyewear Girl is to give confidence to the consumers in Australia to ask questions and understand what they are spending their money on. To experiment and not just follow the ‘branded crowds’, and that it is worth understanding and investing in the right product.
MIDO opened my eyes to a world of opportunities and grew my passion for quality even more.
Obviously there were a LOT of beautiful frames, new colours, material combinations, brand launches and opportunities to see new release products before the rest of the world. Then, there were the displays and marketing ideas, that feel like an extension of the brand rather than just a ‘standard pillar’ window display.
But for me, this was all secondary.
What truly got me, was the people. I was blown away by the passion of the designers for their products. Their reasoning for being so meticulous with their design and material choices, their brand and model stories and their willingness to share themselves and ask questions to help us broaden our understanding of their craftsmanship. There is NOTHING like someone that has unwavering commitment to their craft and their passion is contagious. I couldn’t help but appreciate how much these designs are more a work of art than just a ‘frame’.
I’ve always been an advocate for eyewear being an extension of someone’s personality, and MIDO sure delivered that idea in spades.
I came away from MIDO with so many things
– A bigger appreciation for people behind the brands
– A fascination for asking ‘Why’ to every design decision
– Many new relationships and industry friends
– Inspiration to embrace individuality in every single form
– An obsession with colour
– A sound belief that while I may only be one person, I’m going make a difference in the Australian Eyewear Industry. ‘Quality Eyewear’ in Australia is worlds away from what our end consumer thinks it is, and MIDO showed me even more how important education to our consumers really is.
MIDO for me was an eye opener. In between running from booth to booth to help select new product I couldn’t help but notice how happy everyone was. It’s exciting to be surrounded by like-minded people who appreciate quality.
So, will I be attending again? OF COURSE!
I’ll also be pushing every way I can to get to as many more shows and events that I can so that I can help inspire people to appreciate our Industry and the people behind it.
And if someone were to ask me why I would suggest attending MIDO? Because there is no better way to be inspired, than directly from the source.