Italy & Independent Eyewear

We recently got back from a trip to Milan, Italy. It is our 20th wedding anniversary next month and there was an international vision/eyewear show, called MIDO, being held there in Milan. I’ve always dreamed of going to an international show AND Italy…it just needed to happen. I closed the shop for a few days and we went, taking our 17 year old with us. Gelato, old stone roads, ancient narrow streets, striking eyewear designs, cathedrals built in the 1300s…we were saying “wow!” around every corner. So grateful for the experience and I’ll share some photos at the end of this post.

Regarding Milan, I’m trying to put an observation into words so bear with me. When I dreamed of Italy, I imagined small quaint shops full of handmade leather goods, with an artisan working in the back room creating. I did see one shop like this, a suit maker cutting patterns & pieces of wool while we walked by his shop. But you know what the biggest busiest stores were? Urban Outfitters, Foot Locker, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret. It was honestly a bit disappointing. Somehow humankind is losing the artisan crafts & individuality. These chain stores were sometimes built up next to an ancient old church where every detail was formed by a skilled artisan tradesperson – plaster etched with delicate flowers, wood carved into detailed scrolls, marble formed into lifelike statues. When did humans lose the appreciation for products that take time & skill to produce? Why do we want all of our cities to have the same huge stores? Maybe it’s because we were visiting the touristy areas in a big city? I dunno.

The good news? Skilled tradespeople still exist and I am absolutely honored to carry frames that are formed by artisans, by hand. And I like to think I offer skills that create individuality & a custom bespoke fit. As humans, let’s think about our purchases and what our generation will create for our future. Will it be mass produced & disposable? Or something that will last for ages and be admired with awe?

While at the eyewear show, I procured my newest line Nina Mur, sustainable art for your face made out of wood! – the order is currently being created and will take 1-2 months to arrive from Spain. Good things are worth the wait. Cathedrals took 500 years. 😉