TECH TALK WITH SVEN GÖTTI
Glasses for a rimless avant-garde
Are you watching closely? As we head into Summer 2017, rimless eyewear has all the makings of a hot season trend. After bold frames and expressive materializations have dominated the scene for years, delicate frame designs are stealing the spotlight as of late. This includes not only metal frames, but also acetate versions. The leap from going thin-framed to losing the rim altogether is, then, a logical evolution of this trend. But let’s be honest: Rimless frames are not the most obvious candidate for a trend phenomenon. They have been around for decades and offer wearers a sense of lightweight utility – but not so much in the style department. Until now, their most striking characteristic was their ability to take a step back, and never draw too much attention to themselves. But we are now witnessing a new generation of rimless frames that are bolder, younger, and more fashionable than ever before.
A brand that characterizes this new rimless generation significantly is GÖTTI – otherwise known for their bold and expressive frame designs. The Swiss label has actually been quietly perfecting their rimless version for ten years. It took until 2017 for the project to go public. Behind the rimless collection lies an entirely new GÖTTI technology, in which the frames are assembled entirely without screws, soldering or glues. The lenses basically never touch metal, but are mounted on a polymer connective element – created via 3D-printing – that also holds the stainless steel temples and nose bridge. Starting things off, GÖTTI is releasing the rimless collection in six shapes and three lens sizes, with options for opticians to add their own twist to the shapes. While all of this is breaking new ground in a major way, GÖTTI is keeping it classic by paring down color choices to black, silver, and gold. All you need.
TECH TALK WITH SVEN GÖTTI
We sat down with founder and designer Sven Götti for the full story.
Sven, why the sudden hype about rimless glasses? They’ve really been around forever…
The hype surrounding more delicate metal frames has been building for some time now. So rimless frame designs are taking that to the extreme.
Is there a new avant-garde customer demanding these frames? Or is demand more driven by technical features such as lightness, comfort, and unimpeded field of vision?
Right now they are actually kind of the new nerd glasses. Some people find them ultra cool, while others regard it as an old hat. I find it super interesting that the fashion avant-garde has discovered rimless glasses. But I think that rimless frames embody the larger trend towards more delicate glasses, so they’ll be having a revival.
Is that also the reason why you have chosen to jump on the bandwagon now?
Oh no, we’ve been working on this area for quite some time. Believe it or not, our rimless project already started ten years ago, in 2007.
And now it’s here, the rimless frame by GÖTTI, the Perspective Collection. Despite the fact that you have a reputation for visible frame designs and high-grade materials.
Next to our classic manufacturing methods, we have also spent the past few years working on new and innovative ideas. And we do not want to be limited by a certain material or production process. We are more interested in learning which kind of concepts are compatible with our design language. There’s room for everything in our universe, from acetate to titanium all the way to 3D-printing.
Compared to the rest of your line-up, the design and manufacturing of rimless frames seems a bit less involving, at least at first sight.
Yeah, but only at first sight. In the frameless arena, you can’t just dust off any old design and put it back on the shelf. You need to live up to the same standards in terms of design and implementation as all other kinds of frames.
In how far?
Our DNA consists of fully formed designs from high-grade materials. Much like frames from all other materials that we work with, our frameless models reflect the same commitment to creating understated and modern designs. Combined with real innovations, the result is an authentic product that reflects our DNA in an even more refined manner.
What exactly are these rimless innovations?
Our goal right from the start has been to not just develop another screw-based, rimless frame. We wanted an entirely new system, entirely independent of screws, soldering, or glues. At this point I can attest that it’s a pretty ambitious goal and really an example of major league eyewear design.
Without screws and other fixtures, how did GÖTTI succeed in connecting the lenses to, say, the nose bridge and temples?
After countless variations and experiments, we decided to create the connecting element via 3D-printing. Thereby we ended up finding the perfect material characteristics for our system. The connecting element is inserted into the drilling hole and adjusted in length depending on lens thickness. Our temples and nose bridges are pressure-joined with the connecting element via a proprietary clavalus, creating a long-lasting connection.
What are the advantages of your technology?
There is far less strain on the lenses, since they have no contact whatsoever with metal, only the polymer connecting element.
Let’s talk about the design in more detail. Rimless glasses are meant to practically disappear. Is it hard for a designer to still lend a signature to such a product? How did you pull it off?
Although rimless frames tend to be rather unassuming, there is no such thing as the typical rimless glasses. Every rimless system has its own character and represents a certain style. Driven by our “form follows function” philosophy and unique lens mounting principle, we have create a unique product with its own identity.
As part of this philosophy, you are also emphasizing a “freedom of choice” in terms of lens shapes. Can customers order any shape they like in these frames?
We offer a set of six lens shapes, each available in three sizes. But the opticians are free to modify these shapes or come up with their own versions.
So frameless GÖTTI glasses can be customized individually?
What is your choice of temples material and what color options are available?
The frame itself is crafted from stainless steel in order to achieve utmost flexibility. The components are bent into shape via a proprietary tool and then coated with PVD. Right now, the frames are available in silver, black, and gold colorways.
So “only” three colors?
But the most important ones! And thanks to the fact that all components are modular, we can offer color changes or combinations. For instance, you can connect silver temples to black hinges.
What kinds of customers do you wish to attract with the collection’s theme of being “radically minimalist”?
These glasses are more about a personality type than an age group. They are people with an interest in design, who understand the appeal of a systematically reductionist concept.
Are there other aspects of the Perspective Collection you would like to emphasize?
All processes behind this project were developed in-house and many are implemented right here in Switzerland. We have also created a win-win situation by continuing the working relationship with an organization that trains and supports adolescents with learning disabilities. All of this has allowed us to create a high-end product, “Made in Switzerland”.
Thanks for the interview.