April 16, 2016

International Vision Expo 2016 NYC – Eyewear Industry’s Largest Show

Photos, Video and Article By: Len Rapoport, Gladys Rapoport & Tamae Ishii

Show and Conference


e first covered Vision Expo in 2014 and was shocked and surprised at the size and scope of the eyewear industry.   It is estimated that the eye-care industry is an eight billion dollar business and this show is one of the largest and most exclusive shows of its kind.

Show Video

Be sure to watch this in full HD…Bottom Right of this video is the settings.

The International Vision Expo East is the most important global conferences in the world for the . It is second only to its sister show in Europe and the smaller show held in Las Vegas.  If you are in the vision industry it is the must show to attend.

registrationThe show ran from April 14th for conferences and exhibits opened on April 15th and ran for three days and ended on Sunday April 17th.

Once again held at one of the largest convention centers, New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.  With more than five football fields of dazzling exhibit space encompassing fashion, accessories and medical equipment this is the show to attend if you are in the eye care or eye wear industry.


Dr. Ryan Parker explains importance of Blue Light protection.

The first day of the show is devoted to education for opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals with other seminars and lectures being held along with the exhibition. Over 333 hours of education, innovative technology, high quality products and the ability to network with thousands of eyecare professionals makes this the must go to show.

It is estimated that more than 28,000 professionals went to their appointments at 590 exhibitors to place their orders for some of this seasons hot new styles and products.   The show offers an opportunity for attendees to learn of industry updates and get an in-depth focus on clinical, technical and business topics related to their work.

Education and Technology

The show is focused on Education, fashion and technology and we had an opportunity to get a preview of some of the hottest styles in eyewear and learn about new products to protect and maintain our eyes.

Stephanie Fisher - Acct. Manager - Optos

I was even able to have my eyes retinas photographed at the Optos booth where Acct. Manager Stephanie Fisher used their new Optos Dayton ultra wide-field retina imaging machine to capture a 200° color image which gave us a clear and detailed views of my retinas in one vs. multiple images.

The amazing part of the exam was that it captured it in less than one second, doesn’t need extensive training for the operator either .  This is an amazing breakthrough for the eye care industry, I was impressed.

Exciting Innovations and Styles

26361036212_473f9a85ca_zVinylize By Tipton

We saw many  exciting styles from around the world including frames and glass cases made from repurposed vinyl records.  At Vinylize, Zachary Tipton explained how they find new vinyl records from dealers around the world and recycle then into these beautiful frames and cases.

You can see the records grooves if you look closely and even the record labels on their cases.  The vinyl is fused to cellulose acetate, a hypoallergenic material made from wood fibers and each one is crafted by hand over the course of months in their European factory. Every frame is unique and represents the work of some of the best talents in the industry. Watch their short video to see just how this is done and by all means visit their website.



In our photos you can see some of the exciting and innovate eye glass frames now available.  Eye Kuboraum's Veil/Scarf eyeglass frameglasses are a fashion statement and as you can see Kuboraum based in Germany and Italy has taken it to a whole new level with this combination lace like scarf and eyeglass. I found it a bit frightening at first, but I suppose Lady Gaga and the celebrity’s looking for anonymity will find this an interesting way to hide their identity.

Their unique designs and quality is unlike anything we have seen at the show and you must visit their website for one of the most unusual presentations I have ever seen.


My Way by Assoluto

Click to Enlarge

Another notable manufacturer that caught our eye was Assoluto Eyewear.  Based in Italy this manufacturer prides itself in on a line of beautiful and elegant designs for the young and trendy set.  Their frames are colorful, trendy and are unisex too.  You will see a number of their frames in our photo album.


Click to Enlarge

We loved their new  MyWay Eyewear collection.  Their frames are made with natural materials, including cotton and cellulose paste, and their exclusive colors are produced to last for many years and will maintain the grace and beauty.

For those looking for a light and colorful frames with an emphasis on detail and finishes will want to see their line.  The frames are also unisex, colorful and specifically designed for the young and trendy set.

Vue DC

Vue DC - Designed and Produced in France

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Another show stopper for us.  Husband and wife team bringing some of their incredible and interesting designs to the show.  Made and designed in France their frames were true works of art.

“The purity of lines and the antagonism of the design by Christian Mascré created a collection defined as much by its creators than its wearers. All stages of the manufacturing process are entirely made in France, a country of great tradition in artisanal creation.
The 1st Vue dc… collection was presented in New York Vision Expo where it was immediately noticed and appreciated by the professionals of the eyewear industry. Since then Vue dc… has been represented across the world”

Baby Banz

Baby Banz Sunglasses

Baby Banz Sunglasses Click to Enlarge

We were stopped in our tracks when we saw the beautiful display at the Baby Banz booth.  We understand that they began in 2001 in Australia a harsh UV climate and during a search for a proper pair of ‘sunnies’ for his infant son an Australian, decided to find a solution to protect his son’s vision.  This lead to the development of the now popular Baby Banz sunglasses.

Baby Banz sells its products nationwide in a variety of outlets including optical and specialty baby stores. Baby Banz has not only made a name for itself in Australia, but across the globe as well. Baby Banz products can be found in countries such as America, South Africa, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, England and New Zealand.  We can’t wait to get some for our grandchildren and share our photos with our readers.


Everyone knows the great works that Toms does to those that live in countries that don’t enjoy the simple necessities like owning a pair of shoes, having clean water to drink, helping mothers give birth in a clean and safe environment and so much more.  Now they have taken their original concept of selling one pair of shoes and giving one pair away to glasses.

Toms 2TOMS Eyewear purchases provide a person in need with a full eye exam by trained medical professionals. Each patient then receives the treatment he or she needs. TOMS supports treatments for three of the most common vision issues: Prescription Glasses, Sight Saving Surgery and Medical Treatment.

For their eye glass program, eye care professionals determine the corrective lenses a person needs and provide the right pair of eyeglasses. The patient is able to choose their own new frames, and a technician grinds the lenses to fit the patient’s exact prescription.

They now offer a line of sunglasses for men and women with quality Zeiss lenses at a fraction of comparable retail. For every pair sold they will donate one pair to those in need.  They have already helped over 360 thousand people in need through this one for one program alone.

Tom's Virtual Reality Demo

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At the show they had an amazing demonstration of their program using Virtual Reality 3D headset showing their charitable works.  Amazing to see this in full 360 degrees, as you turned your head or looked around it was as if you were there right in the middle of the action. Fantastic stuff, be sure to visit their website and give others a helping hand.

The Big Boys

Many people don’t realize that the eyewear market has two Italian companies that control the bulk of this industries production and sales of eyewear.

Luxottica Group S.p.A. out of Milan and Safilo Group S.p.A based out of Padua, Italy.

These companies truly know  how to entertain their guests.  As you will see in our photos and video there were guest stars like

Luxottica.svgLuxottica, controls over 80% of the world’s major eyewear brands.  Luxottica house and licensed brands include:  Oakley, Ray-Ban, Armani, Brooks Brothers, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Chaps, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Donna Karen, Polo Ralph Laurent, Prada, Stella McCartney, Tiffany & Co, Versace and many others.

In addition to manufacturing frames,  they also own more than 7,000 retail locations around the world which include:  LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Bright Eyes and others. So when you are shopping for glasses don’t be surprised if you are buying from one of their retail locations.

SafiloSafilo is the second largest company and is considered the world leader in the premium eyewear segment and creates eyewear. They have been making eyewear products for over 75 years. They design, manufacture and distribute high-quality prescription frames, sunglasses and sports eyewear under licensing agreements for leading luxury and premium brands. Some of these brand names include:  Alexander McQueen, Bobbi Brown, Bottega Veneta, Carrera, Céline, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Pierre Cardin, Saint Laurent and others.

Zyloware_Company_ProfileHowever our third entry into this field is an American company who manufactures their frames here in the United States. Zyloware. Founded in 1923 by Joseph Shyer, Zyloware first made its home in Long Island City, New York, when the area was surrounded by potato fields. For 87 years, through several expansions and its evolution into the global supplier it is today, Zyloware remained on the same block, just across the East River from the Manhattan skyline. You can find out more about the history and their products by visiting their website.

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal – Click to Enlarge

We had the opportunity to meet one of Zyloware’s spokesman Shaquille O’Neal. Unlike the other two giants Zyloware has created a number of lines including celebrities like Sophia Loren,  the first celebrity to have an eyewear brand, Daisy Fuentes, Randy Jackson, Gloria Vanderbilt and a number of other lines to include: Stetson, Invincilites, Zyloware Collections, Via Spiga, Project Runway, Leon Max, Red Lotus and Red Tiger.

 Designer and Upscale Eyewear

Vision Expo-2014 - 097

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Unfortunately time did not permit us to view their North Tower where they showcased their designer and high-end line of eye wear.  Next year we will try to plan a two day visit to the show to do an even better job covering this exciting fashion and eye care event.



The eyewear industry is a multibillion dollar business and their products are worn by a great majority of people around the world.  Proper eyewear is essential to most of us and our eyesight is precious. We need to be sure that the quality of our eyewear is not compromised by inferior and potentially damaging products being sold in the market today.


220 High Resolution Show Photos

Please see our high-resolution photos from the show. You may download any photos for your personal use.  Others please email me for permission and use.

All photos © 2016 Len Rapoport –

Click our link here or the photo below.


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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport

IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive.

For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media.

I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant.
I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.

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