Friday, April 4, 2014


It was through the thoughtfulness of Beth Dempsey at Images and Details that we became connected with the Vision Council, a member driven global organization, promoting the vision industry through consumer outreach, education, advocacy and the overseeing of one of the largest vision events in North America, Vision Expo East.
It has traditionally been held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City at the end of March/beginning of April. What we do is create the press booth for the Vision Council. They call their event and the booth: Eyecessorize. The purpose of the booth is to provide a mini-look into the trends of the show providing a Cliff Notes look at the retail half of the show.
The set-up of the booth began on the Tuesday before the opening of the event. We take a small crew and begin constructing the space once the Javits union guys have come in and laid our electric and carpeting.
Hacking IKEA would be very proud of the way we've been able to use their Expedit series bookcases to form the enclosure of our space. Using several different configurations of the Expedit line and then creating our own caps, connectors and bonnets we have designed a series of towers linked by poles supporting wooden panels and linen drapes to form our perimeter.
We added a grouping of metal and Saarinen knock-off tables to fill out the room and then topped them with display stands the crew built to compliment the wood of the perimeter.
After that it was a matter of adding flowers to complete the space and give it some color and life.
The booth is only available to the press and then only really used for the first couple of hours of the first day of the event. In addition to trends presentation there is usually a hook involved to lure the press in at the onset of the show.
This year the hook was a book signing by Bobbi Brown connected to the introduction of her new line of eyewear. After that the booth remains open to straggling members of the press to either view the trends displays or come and sit at the provided tables and get a load off their feet.
Bobbi then moved on to one of the larger booths were her crew gave cosmetic makeovers to retailers making hefty purchases of her eyewear.
The show is huge and walking the entire show is time consuming as well as fatiguing. When we began doing this show I had no idea of the enormity of the luxury eyewear industry. It rivals the fashion industry and nowhere is that more evident than at Vision Expo East.
There are massive installations costing in the millions of dollars to build and install.
There are runway shows, bands playing, and bars set up where champagne is poured gratis in settings rivaling the chicest New York hot spots.
You can make a video, win a scooter, or meet a celebrity.
My daughter and a couple of her friends from Wisconsin were visiting for their Spring Break. It happened that one of the celebrity photo ops was with Green Bay Packer defensive linebacker, Clay Matthews. I snuck the girls in line for a signed picture and a photo with the very gracious hunk.
Our booth, by comparison to previous years, had been downsized to half its previous square footage and relegated to the back of the Javits floor. We were so far back and squeezed in and over-shadowed by some of the big boys you needed a search map and a hikers fully stocked backpack to find us. Still we managed to garner compliments on the appearance of our booth.
All this stays for the three days of the show and then either goes back into our crates and out to our Catskill storage unit until next year or ends up dumped in the trash or stolen by the Javits cleanup crew. It is a little like clockwork for us at this point but as long as the Vision Council wants us to continue we are more than happy to oblige.

Edith Head, costume designer, Hollywood
Photographer, unknown

No comments:

Post a Comment