Monday, 15 October 2012

[Vol.8] Introducing more exquisite exhibits!

It’s getting closer and closer to the opening of IOFT and there is actually only a week to go until the doors open.
Where did all that time go I wonder?...

Anyway, it’s time for more juicy information and photos from IOFT exhibitors!
Today we will be introducing the following exhibitors:

  • Mr. Kurt Vanoosterweyck, theo ambassador to Japan,
    Japanese agent, theo

  • Mr. PIERRE CARIVEN, Owner and Designer, PIERRE Eyewear by NIV

(Interviewer: Chiharu Nishiura, International PR, IOFT Show Management)


Hi Mr. Vanoosterweyck. We heard that Theo is planning something different this year for IOFT.
Can you tell us something more about it?

Mr. Vanoosterweyck:

Well simply said: we will not sell frames during the show.
Instead, we will deal in information.

Mmmm, interesting, but can you be more specific?

Mr. Vanoosterweyck:
It means we will not have the typical sales booth any more at IOFT.
Instead, we'll provide a contact point, in the “tide” area,
where we can welcome our clients as well as all those interested in Theo.

This year however, our main focus will be on a special program we have arranged for our customers, which will take place during the show in Tokyo Big Sight. 

Why this sudden change?

Mr. Vanoosterweyck:
Well, as you know, the optical world has changed a lot over the last 10~15 years.
With Theo, we pushed the notion of fashion frames, frame design & how to sell them
to a whole different level than it was before.
Together with so many concept stores we directed the end consumer to a different kind of product, and a different kind of shopping experience. 

But lately, the flood of cheap glasses has changed the market a lot.
Nowadays, people expect frames to be cheap.
Cheap, fast, mass ... these are the keywords.

But our business idea and philosophy is 180 degrees the opposite of this kind of thinking.
You don't sell an expensive car in 3 minutes on the way home. 

You don't expect a high end watch to be cheap.
And certainly you expect a lot of expertise from the shop who sells it to you. 

It's the same for our products. Our business is very added value orientated.
And this is where we observe some problems with the concept shops of today.
Often, they feel insecure in how to tackle the future. 'What can we do?' is a very much heard question.

IOFT is a place where the whole optical world comes together.
So we thought it might be a good idea to use this opportunity to focus on a more 'meta' level of the business.
The sales part we can do IN the shop.
But the synergy of having all our shops together in 1 place and exchange ideas, discuss problems and so on, is unique.

What will this program look like?

Mr. Vanoosterweyck
It is called DREAMTALKING. It consists of 2 parts. 

For the first half, we invited the famous Belgian trend watcher 
Herman Konings. Of course, his name won't ring a bell among Japanese, but that doesn't make his insights less interesting. He will give a presentation about world-wide future trends (social, economical, cultural etc.) and how they affect all of us. 

In a second part, we will discuss some main problems the Japanese shops are facing these days, and perhaps we can come up with some solutions and ideas. But it's all about 'change'! Change is difficult, change happens, change is opportunity. This sums it up quite nicely.

Will you do this all by yourself?

Mr. Vanoosterweyck:
No. As I said, it's a kind of 'meta' talk. We want to tackle problems that go beyond brands or shops. We have to stand together in this. Besides our president Wim Somers and his son Mik we also invited our colleagues from Lunettes du Jura (Mr. Takahashi Kazuo) and Ann&Valentin (CEO Christoph ...). And we'll have the lovely Ms. Hiromi To, optical journalist, to lead the discussion.

Thank you so much for informing us about all this! I will be wishing for your success!


Mr. CARIVEN, thank you so much for joining us for IOFT NEWS today!
Your brand is so unique and the designs are so eye-catching. Would you like to share a bit about your brand history?

Patience and determination are two of PIERRE Eyewear’s hallmarks.
From my youth, fashion and design have been my passions (I am a devoted admirer of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and my 911).
For practical reasons I pursued business school, graduating at age 21.
From there, my attraction to novelty and change drew myself to the United States.
During my ten-year stay there I discovered the eyewear world while participating in the development of the collections of Lacoste, L’Amy et Nina Ricci.
Upon returning to France, my collaboration with several creators renewed my own creative and entrepreneurial spirit. I thought to myself, “Why not set free my personal inspiration and create my own collection?”
One of my favourite quote is, “If you have a dream, give it a chance to happen” by R.Devos

Strengthened by my unique experience and encouraged by my clients, I developed my first prototypes. My mind brimming with sketches and my flair for innovation left no doubt that the time was ripe for launching out as a creator. I think my determination and patience are the keys to achieving my dream.

Could you tell us a bit about your concept of eyewear?

My concept of eyewear is:
“Without a soul, eyewear is only an ocular prothesis. It is the creator who gives it life.”

I think above all, eyewear should be an object of beauty.
Above and beyond being a fashion accessory, it can be a work of art!
It is an ergonomic and comfortable object, naturally, but also one that is a pleasure to look at, to possess and, of course, to wear.

Your frames are all handmade, am I correct?

Each frame is the product of high quality fabrication, handmade by skilled craftsmen using advanced techniques.

The expertise of French manufacturing in the international eyewear market is supported by Pierre-Eyewear:
«100% Certified, Hand Made in France» is the mark of the brand.

There is so much purpose and pride in your work, it’s amazing!
Could you share something about your exhibits for this year’s show?

This is an image of the frame that I will be launching at IOFT.

Wow! These are so unique but somehow so familiar.

Thank you Chiharu.
I think IOFT is the best way and the nicest way to reach the Asian market.
At the show, I would like to meet my current customers and eventually meet new ones too.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with us please contact:

Thank you so much Mr. CARIVEN! I hope for the best!!


[Editor’s Note]
Today’s interviews definitely made me re-think the concept of eyewear and the different dimensions of how we can enjoy and get in touch with them.
I am definitely looking forward to the presentation and discussion lead by theo and it would certainly be interesting to see and learn more about superb brands such as PIERRE Eyewear and by actually meeting the designers.
IOFT this year definitely will not be just a show, it will be the place to witness the “change” as Mr. Vanoosterweyck mentioned and will be the best place to get in touch with the deep meaning, history and concept of the great brands showcasing at the show.
For more information about the show, please contact Show Management or access the relevant sites listed below.

IOFT Show Management
Attn.: Ena Masui, International PR
TEL:+81-3-3349-8519 FAX +81-3-3349-8530

Written and edited by Ena Masui, International PR, IOFT Show Management

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