IOFT Organizers Report Healthy Traffic at 2012 Event in Japan

TOKYO—Organizers of IOFT, the Japanese optical show which was held here in late October, reported a busy and lively event, with strong attendance from buyers from within Japan and Asia as well as a wider range of exhibitors from Japan, Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Hosted by the Fukui Optical Association and Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. at the Tokyo Big Sight venue here, the three-day show featured 520 exhibitors and 14,839 visitors participating from 20 countries. The show targets the Japanese market but organizers say IOFT is becoming a key venue for Japanese and Asian buyers to purchase eyewear from the international market. The number of brands taking part from overseas has been increasing.

A featured part of IOFT is the “tide,” the IOFT International Designers area, dedicated to top international stylish and edgy brands. The “tide” section was launched in 2011 but an increased number of newcomers joined the “tide” at the 2012 event. Compared to last year, organizers reported, 27 brands exhibited there for the first time.

Besides fashion frames and sunglasses, exhibitors spanned the spectacle lens, contact lens and equipment and accessories categories. There were three international pavilions organized by French, Korean and Taiwan industry associations.

IOFT Show Management also invited premium buyers from Asia to aid the business between the Asian buyers and exhibitors of IOFT. This year 200 top retailers, wholesalers and importers from Korea, China and Taiwan were specially invited to the show.

Representing IOFT, an opening speech was given by Ichiro Kuroda, president of Fukui Optical Association, who said, “Despite the difficult market condition, this year 70 companies from Fukui (a major production area of eyewear in Japan) are exhibiting. These exhibitors have an aggressive mindset to introduce their products to the buyers around the world and lead to fruitful business.”

IOFT presented Eyewear of the Year 2013 honors across five categories including men’s eyewear, ladies’ eyewear, kids’ eyewear, sunglasses & sport glasses and functions & technologies. The Grand Prix winners included: Men’s Eyewear: Taniguchi Optical Inc for Turning/T-166; Ladies Eyewear: Mari Vision Inc/Thorough Distribution, Oliver Goldsmith/Library SI Lavender; Kids’ Eyewear: Boston Club Co., BCPC Kids, BK-008; Sunglasses & Sports Glasses: IC Berlin Brillen, Ic!Berlin/nameless 2012, and Functions and Technologies: Charmant, Inc/Charmant Z/ZT11775E.

All of the companies involved in the EYEWEAR OF THE YEAR 2013 are viewable here.  Next year’s IOFT will be held Oct. 9 to 11 at Tokyo Big Sight.