Milan, the FF capital of the world - Fashion and Finance. What a great pairing for creative minds and accounting counters, with equally balanced influence over the end result. That's to say, coming from Australia, where creative endeavors are out numbered and voiced by penny counters and paper pushers. The end result leaving the creative resolve somewhat watered down and conservative on Australian shores. So the refreshing balance of design in Milan won us over straight away, the coffee, selection of shoes and exotic cars also helped.

View from MIDO North to the Dolomite Mountain range.

View from MIDO North to the Dolomite Mountain range.

Ottica Astrologo staff in Rome.

Ottica Astrologo staff in Rome.

First stop on the Mido journey was with our good friends at Ottica Astrologo in Rome. This family run business has one of the most impressive store fit-outs you've ever seen. If you're in town for the Pope, make sure to have a poke here.

The Frecciarossa, average speed from Milan to Rome 298km/hr. 

The Frecciarossa, average speed from Milan to Rome 298km/hr. 

Next stop, the afternoon train to Milan on the Red Arrow - such a novelty again - a fast train, something Australia still lacks. With speeds up 400km/hr it was a great way to see the country side, talk business and support the bar staff. We successfully put, at least 3 staff members, through higher education on that journey.

MILANO - More place to guilt free shop and worship than you can poke a stick at.

MILANO - More place to guilt free shop and worship than you can poke a stick at.

MILAN.
Not many people know this, Milan is the home of the original shopping experience. Situated perfectly aside the Duomo, what better a place to relax and unwind after hours of Mass. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, is best viewed early morning before the hoards of people spoil the architectural details of the interior and facade.

Sadly at this point of the journey what little photographic skills I had evaded me, so no photos from the Mido show itself. But highlights included NEW STOCKISTS, new European suppliers, old faces, new friends and how could I forget the IC Berlin stand winning the coveted Most Annoying Stand award, as awarded by other stands, for their droning live 'contemporary musac'. To call it music, would be paying a compliment. 

Mount Blanc, enroute from Milano to Lyon

Mount Blanc, enroute from Milano to Lyon

Post Mido, we motored over to Lyon, France, to catch a store that has fallen hopelessly in love with Niloca. On the way there we decided to pass through Switzerland, for sheer novelty factor - as you can't drive through 3 countries in 1 day in Australia. A quick pit-stop and throw of snowballs, we were back in the car cruising through one of the longest tunnels in Europe, at 30km long - it makes for riveting driving and so it should at 40 Euro - the Australian Outback has many parallels with this long, straight and loaded with trucks, deep below Mount Blanc.

Optique des Createurs - just off Espace des Jacobins

Optique des Createurs - just off Espace des Jacobins

On the other side of the snow covered mountains were the proverbial pair of Sunshine and Lollipop. But no time for pleasantries as we had to meet Sebastian in Lyon! Arriving a tad early we basked in the glorious clear sunny skies of Espace des Jacobins - while sipping a thick coffee in a cafe, who's decor could've been used in the cafe scenes of Amelie, resplendent in it's Bright Orange plastic sheeted ceiling. Safe to say the Australian Designed and Made eyewear by Niloca has made a great impression in Europe, with a strong fan base in France.

Closing off the month of March is Vision Expo East in New York City and needless to say Niloca will be bringing the love to Northern American shores. More details on this show in April as we've got bags to pack and planes to catch. Come see us at our Drawing Room in Tribeca.