Seven months into the new world in which, with no small amount of difficulty, we are all facing, we can say with good reason that we have never really stopped. The willingness and stubbornness of all of us to react to such an abnormal situation has filled and will continue to fill pages of newspapers, journals and many books in every discipline up to and including those of history that will hand down this singular moment to posterity.
The more time passes, the more I become convinced of the fact that what allowed our legs to stop and gave us the strength to put our lives on standby was precisely the frantic rush of our thoughts and reflections that spontaneously and unceasingly sounded out every possible solution, every alternative road to the obligatory one that lay open before us, shedding light even on those that had not yet been attempted.
This is the feeling I experienced at the beginning of an atypical September everywhere. In fact, September has always been the real New Year’s Eve in the optical industry as well: everything always started again from this time of the year when time was marked by the frenetic pace both in the stores as a reflection of the new year beginning and in the industry with the major trade fairs, conferences, conventions and canonical wide-ranging appointments.
The great realization that much has changed since a year ago and the need to confront new stringent rules in security, has brought novelties that respond to the desire to realize projects and reflections matured in the lockdown, that is, all the new ideas on how to continue working while preserving the road traveled and directing the future one perhaps by improving it. So here it is that since the beginning of September, private showrooms organized by independent brands have been taking place every weekend in different Italian cities from north to south, inviting opticians to rediscover the pleasure of looking at and touching products, selecting them and why not finding in this act so taken for granted and now almost revolutionary, the energy needed to face the period ahead. Their formula is fresh, quick and effective, and they are children of exactly this moment to which they respond brilliantly with their main goal of not stopping and not giving up by focusing on spaces that allow them to communicate their identity in the round and safely accommodate a number of people appropriate to the times. The idea is not to deprive themselves of the opportunity to tell about the product and what is new, to listen to the opticians and their new needs, to confront each other, to believe together again, to smile under the masks and to look into each other’s eyes to have in turn confirmations that they still have the same goals as before and maybe even the same tenacity in pursuing them. Small realities that have also thrown their hearts over the hurdle testifying with their plurality to the great willpower of this sector not to give up by choosing to move not in the traditional way but in their own time, steps and rhythms.
I had the desire to go and experience these initiatives, to touch upon the palpable desire to begin again, and to hear from the voices of those who have landed on these alternative solutions that have nothing approximated, the enthusiasm for a new beginning.
September is not orphaned, however, by a major event….at least in Italy! In Florence on Sept. 19-20-21, it will still be DaTE, a great act of courage that reopens the doors to as many industry daredevils who will gather to discover the latest in cutting-edge eyewear and restart the engines in the industry both nationally and internationally.
Do you remember the chessboard of Ferdinand De Saussure the linguist I was quoting a few articles ago (actually it was just September last year…) and which was so successful? The game of chess to which he had compared language allowed him to explain and understand its changes because he likened it to a system that changes because the change of a single element (the move of a checkmate) changes the whole system.
Well here all the patterns have blown up! Chess moved not one at a time but all at once. Now the ambitious task is defined for those with broader views and greater possibilities for aggregation to identify an even newer, even more avant-garde path and pursue it by joining forces again with those who have never given up as soon as we are out of this tunnel.
For the time being we catch beauty where it is expressed and try to draw energy from the passion that moves all things in this world where a broad “vision” must always be found.