The entrance hall at Javits, celebrating 40 years of Silhouette.
ABOVE, FROM TOP: A display wall
of Silhouette advertising. Tom Cruise in Silhouette. Kristin Davis
The name Silhouette stands
for the power behind an innovative idea that eyewear can be more
than an implement to improve vision; rising to become a fashionable,
YEAR was 1964. My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn
was showing in movie theatres; the first Ford Mustang rolled of
the assembly line; the Beatles made their very first appearance
on the Ed Sullivan Show; and, in Austria, Arnold and Anneliese
Schmied launched their vision of creating the first eyewear company
to design glasses that are both beautiful and functional. They named
their young fledging company Silhouette, and started a revolution
in the international eyewear industry that has shot them to the
top. of the Silhouette Eyewear Company and to pay tribute to their excitingly
influential past, the present continued success of the company and
to further greatness and prosperity in the future, Mr Schmied and
company held a stunning extravaganza at the 2004 International Vision
Expo East in New York City to kick off their year-long anniversary.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation
The name Silhouette stands for the power behind
an innovative idea that eyewear can be more than a simple implement
to improve faulty vision; rising to become a fashionable, stylish
day-to-day accessory of unique design. Silhouette eyewear pieces
are verified expressions of personality, combined with exclusive
quality and function. To this day, Silhouette International Schmied
AG is a family-owned business with
a total of more than 1,000 employees, with Silhouette's collections
exported to over 90 countries.
At the International Vision Expo East 2004, held
March 258 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City,
Silhouette invited 400 of its customers—mostly optometrists who
sell its glasses—to reflect on its four-decade history. ‘We wanted
to give a sense of the past and the history of Silhouette, and its
evolution over the years,’ Cynthia Srednicki of Vision PR
said, ‘and then focus on the experience of projecting to the future.’
That history was expressed in many ways, beginning
with a historical tribute that reflected the diversity and history
of Silhouette eyewear. As guests walked up the red carpet, models
lined the entrance hall wearing retro clothing, hair, make-up, jewellery
and of course eyewear from 1964 to 2004. Each look was exquisitely
detailed for authenticity.
In the cocktail lounge, a display wall of Silhouette
ads and eyeglasses showed the evolution of the brand. While guests
drank champagne and sampled hors d'uvres, aerialists
from the Amazing Imago Balance Acrobats wearing Silhouette sunglasses
(who used only silk rope for support from the high ceilings) flipped
and spun above the crowd.
Guests were then ushered into a conference room
for remarks and keynote speeches from Silhouette president Arnold
Schmied, NASA chief optometrist Keith
Manuel and NASA astronaut William
McArthur Jr (Silhouette is the official eyewear provider for NASA).
A cool, custom video wall that split open as the headliners made
their entrances gave the event a high-tech element. In his speech,
Arnold Schmied, president of Silhouette, charmed the crowd as he
talked about the past and future of the company, which his parents
set in motion so many years ago.