Skip to content Skip to footer

Fascinating insights from Vision Expo East

Jonathan David and Lene Ringman of Affinity Optical report back on technology, frames and general insights from Vision Expo East 2022 in New York– the first opportunity for the global eyecare world to get back together in two years.


Despite the lower than usual attendance, not unexpected given ongoing Covid restrictions in various parts of the world, there was still a great buzz at being back together again.

More than 360 companies were there including the ‘big 5’ instrument suppliers: Nidek, Topcon, Zeiss, Huvitz and Visionix (the new global brand name for Luneau Technology).

And online providers such as Digital Optometrics and 20/20Now as well as associated dispensing technologies such as ACEP and Fitting Box were all demonstrating their latest enhancements and services.

Across the supply spectrum it was generally accepted that Covid has been the catalyst for accelerating change in testing and dispensing and the general feeling was that this ‘new way of working’ was being embraced by customers and patients in whatever country they were from.

Of course this may be just wishful thinking from the new technology developers but clearly such they are putting their investment into innovation as the way forward.

Frame trends  

As always, the buzz of the show was around the frames. Catwalks were held several times a day demonstrating the latest trends in frames and fashion.

One of the big trends is the individual statement frames. Iris Apfel seems to be everywhere at the moment and her personal frame style is certainly inspiring designers to deliver big, bold and colourful frames.

Oversized frames are another trend taking us back to the 70’s with frames and sunglasses covering most of your face. Even low temples are back again.

There were also lots of colourful crystals in clear acetate, easy to wear and not necessarily requiring you to have loads of glasses. In the same classic category we also see tortoise and black frames still – they will probably never disappear completely. Finally, we still see cat-eye frames, this year in exciting new colours.

There was a playful event at “The Acetate Kitchen” where you could create your own acetate for personalised one-off frames.

New materials such as paper, recycled plastic bottles and thin layers of wood were at the exhibition, though sustainability has yet to be fully adopted by the frames manufacturing.

And our overall impression?

Two general challenges kept reoccurring in our conversations with other attendees: supply chain and clinical recruitment with shortages and increasing costs in both areas.

Economic concerns were a dominant talking point ranging from supply chain resilience in the face of ongoing covid lockdowns in China, supply shortages of components, logistics mega inflation and the consequent extending lead times for supply.

It was clear there were no easy answers, and the mood was pessimistic in that it was only going to get worse with the conflict in Ukraine particularly driving up energy prices further. None of this is news since it is broadcast daily into our lives but what was interesting was the very real feedback from the supply coalface on its impacts.

The long-term solution discussed was a rebalancing of manufacture and supply closer to home. In the interim, closer supply chain alliances and partnerships together with accelerating forward orders seems to be the logical way to mitigate the worst impact.

Clinical recruitment likewise seems to be an accelerating problem in most countries and it was recognised that recruitment and retention of clinical staff could be affected by the level of clinical equipment they were able to use.

Fascinating to be there and looking forward to meeting up again at 100% Optical in London from 23 to 25 April and MIDO in Milan from 30 April to 2 May!

Go to Top


  • Design, manufacture and supply of prescription frames
  • Own brand/white label ranges for your brand
  • Affinity Eyewear collection
  • Global and local brands
  • Eco range, 100% recycled materials
  • Global brand licencing
  • Cases and cloths, sustainably sourced
  • Design, manufacture and supply of stylish Ready Readers


  • Design, manufacture and supply of sunglasses
  • Manufacture and supply of your Own Brand / In-House range
  • Supply of global Designer Ranges
  • Special selection of Affinity Eyewear collection – both fashionably stylish and suitably sun protective
  • Special design service for specific markets

Retail environment

  • Inspirational retail design delivering attractive display solutions
  • Store layout design
  • POS / POP display manufacturing
  • Retail Technology solutions
  • Project management and store fitout

Supply chain

We work alongside your team to develop and deliver a strategic approach to:

  • Product design and supply
  • Brand licensing, marketing and creative
  • Logistics and planning
  • Clinical technology –
    instore and online
  • Cloud-based software for product subscription and online sales
  • Economic, social and corporate governance


Digital technology is fuelling disruption and innovation in optics just as it is in the rest of our lives. Changing consumer behaviour and better data – as well as government focus on clinical efficiency and safety – creates new opportunities for our clients in prevention, intervention and care.
That’s why we partner with global leading-edge developers and suppliers to keep ahead of the curve, enhancing the clinical journey for your customers.

Contact lenses

  • Latest technology – all brands
  • Own brand/white label to enhance your brand and margins
  • Affinity Eyewear lenses
  • Excellent partnerships with leading manufacturers
  • Lens care and dry eye products, branded or white label


  • Latest technology ophthalmic lenses – single vision and multifocal
  • Modern technology coatings – blue light and anti-reflective, polarised, colour-reacting
  • Lab equipment – advice, specification, sourcing and supply
  • Lab design, layout and operations


  • Design, manufacture and supply of prescription frames
  • Own brand/white label ranges for your brand
  • Affinity Eyewear collection
  • Global and local brands
  • Eco range, 100% recycled materials
  • Global brand licencing
  • Cases and cloths, sustainably sourced