20/20 Magazine’s James Spina was honored with the first NOW Optical Achievement Award.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Vision Expo East 2023 announced the winners of the inaugural NOW Awards on Saturday, March 18 at the Javits Center in New York City. The awards honored brands that embodied the latest trends and innovation in eyewear. More than 100 companies and 180 brands participated in the competition, submitting products to eight different categories. All Vision Expo East exhibitors were invited to enter one frame (optical or sunglass) or lens product per company they felt best represented one of the themes for this year’s show.

The themes included Eyewear Icons, Colors of 2023, Showstoppers, Alternative Materials and Technologies, and Diversity and Inclusion. Winners were chosen by an Advisory Review Committee comprised of esteemed media and retailers.

The 2023 NOW Award Winners:

 The first ever NOW award winners included (l to r) Corey Shapiro of Vintage Frames, James Spina of 20/20 Magazine, Pierre Cariven of Pierre Eyewear, Chris Esposito of Ethnicity Eyewear, Andres Warszawski of Rimmel Eyewear, and Guillame Thuau and Julia Gogosha of BAARS x Gogosha. Other NOW award winners not pictured here included Nora Cabrera of Mita Eyewear, Guillaume Pottecher of Maison Nathalie Blanc, and Tom Kramer of Strak Eyewear.
NOW Best Sunglass Award: Under $250 retail category
Mita Eyewear
Nora Cabrera
Boca 20W frame

NOW Best Sunglass Award: $250 to $500 retail category
Maison Nathalie Blanc
Guillaume Pottecher
Clara C656 frame

NOW Best Sunglass Award: $500 & above retail category
BAARS x Gogosha
Julia Gogosha and Guillaume Thuau
CHKE frame

NOW Best Optical Award: Under $250 retail category
Rimmel Eyewear
Andres Warszawski
RMLOP11 frame

NOW Best Optical Award: $250 to $500 retail category
Ethnicity Eyewear
Chris Esposito
Laval C04 frame

NOW Best Optical Award: $500 & above category
Le Lab by Pierre
Pierre Cariven
HABIBI Tokyo frame

NOW Optical Achievement Award
James Spina, Jobson Publishing

NOW Special Design/Brand Activation
Vintage Frames Company
Corey Shapiro

NOW People’s Choice Award
Strak Eyewear
Tom Kramer
A5 frame

A curated selection of submissions were displayed at the NOW Pavilion for the duration of the Show.
“NOW by Vision Expo brought together the most innovative designs, trends and technologies from iconic, world-class brands and exciting newcomers, alike,” said Nico Roseillier, creative director at Europa/State Optical/American Optical, and creator and organizer of NOW. “I am thrilled by the talent and creativity submitted this year and offer my sincerest congratulations to all of this year’s winners. I am looking forward to seeing NOW by Vision Expo grow next year for the 2024 edition.”

“It is a breath of fresh air to be honored amongst creatives striving to change the game,” said Corey Shapiro, CEO and founder of Vintage Frames Company, and winner of the NOW Special Design/Brand Activation Award.

NOW by Vision Expo was developed in partnership with the NOW Advisory Committee, who helped select the winners for the NOW Awards: 1st Edition.

NOW Advisory Committee Members include:

  • Christian Roth and Eric Domège – designers/co-founders, Christian Roth & OPTICAL AFFAIRS | CFDA Member

  • Julia Gogosha – owner, Gogosha Optique

  • Kristen McLaughlin – director of marketing, Tura

  • Dr. Nwamaka Ngoddy – optometrist and founder/designer, Anwuli Eyewear

  • Jessica Goebert - public relations & communications consultant

  • Sophia Strawser - editorial assistant & social media manager, Accessories Council
"When I heard my name, I was excited thinking the NOW Committee was asking me to come up and present the award,” said James Spina, editor-in-chief, 20/20 Magazine and winner of the NOW Optical Achievement Award. “When I realized I was actually being presented with the trophy, tears of absolute gratitude hit my eyes. I’m so honored.”

A curated selection of submissions were displayed at the NOW Pavilion for the duration of Vision Expo East. Launched in 2022, the NOW Pavilion returned to Vision Expo East 2023, and exhibitors were invited to submit products as a complimentary, value-added opportunity to gain additional exposure at the show.