Passion Is the Tie That Binds

Perhaps it’s because as we were pulling together this issue we were coming off our Share the Love campaign (see page 6) or maybe it’s because Spring is in the air with all its “birds and bees” connotations, but the concept of “passion” has been on my mind a lot lately.

I had the opportunity to do some traveling in the first few months of the year. I visited Opti-Munich for the first time and Milan twice, once with Luxottica for the launch of the Giorgio Armani collection (see page 28), and another for MIDO. Everywhere I went I encountered passionate people— passionate about design and creativity, passionate about their jobs and their companies, and I realized that you truly need passion to be a part of this industry.

The new eyewear designers that regularly populate Opti’s Young Eye Styles area, MIDO’s Design Lab and Vision Expo’s Underground and Galleria don’t do so because they are expecting to get rich (Warby Parker’s multimillion dollar funding notwithstanding). They do so because they believe that they’ve truly created something that the world needs to see.

Most independent opticians, mom-and-pop retailers and high-end boutiques don’t expect that selling eyewear is going to make them millions. Most are happy to give homes to frames they believe are beautiful, help people see better and make them feel great. If in the end they can pay their bills and provide for their staffs and families then it was a good day.

Then we have all those who are passionate about lenses, innovations in technology or advancing the industry, among the million other occupations that make up the optical community.

I doubt many of us dreamed of growing up to do what we do now and I recognize that sometimes we are strangers, competitors, or just flat out at cross purposes, but the one thing that we all have in common, the thing that ties us all together, is passion.