Last month, Milan hosted the 2018 MIDO Milan Eyewear trade show, which brought the best the eyewear industry has to offer under one roof. The trade show showcased 1,305 exhibitors from around the world, including many new designers and start-ups in their Lab Academy, out of which two major trends emerged. The first: ’90s-inspired style eyewear, with a focus on small, Matrix-style shapes. The trend has been gaining in popularity for the past year, but officially has staying power. Canadian designer Orion Demetrioff, who debuted his first collection this year, was a stand-out example, with both metal and acetate frames on trend with futuristic, microsize shapes, like the ones we are seeing on L.A. It girls like Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, and the Hamlin sisters. The second trend was a focus on sustainability and ethically sourced materials. This green attitude seems particularly relevant in the industry as a whole given the recent shift to up-cycling and faux fur by major fashion designers like Gucci, Versace, and Givenchy.
Here are three brands discovered at MIDO’s Lab Academy to keep an eye on as the temperatures start to rise and beach season approaches.
Nature of Reality
Designer Orion Demetrioff debuted his first collection of Nature of Reality eyewear at the trade show. While the collection presents a futuristic aesthetic, the designer has collected inspiration from social movements of the past, like the ’70s punks, the ’90s rave scene, and early-aughts club kids, all of which he described as “subcultures which used outlandish fashion statements as their voices against mainstream society.”
Eyewear brand Rigards created handcrafted horn frames with a conscious focus on sustainability. The frames are made by a master artisan, using traditional non-high-tech hand tools to carve the frame, thus avoiding machines and reducing their carbon footprint. The natural 100 percent buffalo horn is not the only thing that stands out. All of Rigards’ frames have an original and unconventional avant-garde design.
London-based eyewear brand Blyszak is also experimenting with a mix of materials, including titanium and ethically sourced water buffalo horn. The brand, however, approaches eyewear with a more laid-back refinement—merging atypical frame shapes with a sense of wearability and inclusion.
Which Celebrity Has Worn the Tiniest Sunglasses of Them All?
Kendall Jenner is seen on September 08, 2017 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Christina Aguilera poses for a photo in the Mercedes garage before the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on April 29, 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
FKA Twigs in a bright green jacket is seen out in Soho on March 03, 2017 in New York, NY. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Vanessa Hudgens arrives at Knott’s Scary Farm and Instagram’s Celebrity Night held at Knott’s Berry Farm on September 29, 2017 in Buena Park, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Rita Ora seen out and about in Manhattan on April 9, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce attends The 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Gigi Hadid seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 20, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Kaia Gerber seen after the Alberta Feretti show during Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on February 21, 2018 in Milan, Italy. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lady Gaga is seen in Greenwich Village on June 26, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Selena Gomez is seen arriving at Haneda Airport on August 1, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Bella Hadid is seen on April 30, 2017 in New York City wearing an “under-boob” crop top and Matrix sunglasses.
Rihanna attends the “Okja” screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival wearing white sunglasses by Andy Wolf Eyewear.
Suki Waterhouse poses for an Instagram selfie wearing Matrix sunglasses and a black leather beret.
Singer Kim Petras during the Life Ball 2018 at City Hall on June 2, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Kourtney Kardashian is seen in NoHo on June 5, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Actress Millie Bobby Brown performs on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on October 31, 2017. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elsa Hosk poses for an Instagram selfie wearing Matrix sunglasses, a chocker, and flaunting a messy summer hairdo.
DJ twins Simi and Haze Khadra pose with musical artist Kehlani wearing Matrix sunglasses while at an event in Los Angeles.
Model Doutzen Kroes is spotted wearing Matrix sunglasses with a gown during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 23, 2017 in France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Amelia Gray Hamlin wears Matrix sunglasses while drinking coffee outside in California wearing a long-sleeve graphic t-shirt and short shorts. Photo courtesy of Instagram.