TITANIUM TO NATURE // TI-LINE FROM HOFFMANN NATURAL EYEWEAR
Germany’s Eifel region has long since enjoyed a reputation as an incubator for high-grade eyewear. Resident brand HOFFMANN NATURAL EYEWEAR contributes to the legacy by combining horn with other natural materials. As of recently, the brand has also been implementing titanium. For the background story on their new hybrid frames, we connected with HOFFMANN’s Philip Mautner during this issue’s photo shoot in his hometown of choice, Cologne.
Hello Philip, where are you from and how long have you been part of HOFFMANN NATURAL EYEWEAR?
I was born in Stuttgart but have been living in Cologne for a while now. I’ve been on board at HOFFMANN NATURAL EYEWEAR for more than three years now. As a native of Swabia, I received a warm welcome in the scenic Eifel region and the HOFFMANN family. I really enjoy it here. Plus, I really like the contrast between the dreamy Eifel landscape and city life in Cologne.
We could not agree more. What is your focus at HOFFMANN?
I pour a lot of heart and soul into marketing and social media.
What are some of the specific challenges in your field?
Since we are a family business, lots of things are handled in-house. Aside from design and craftsman manufacturing, the marketing side of things also includes our website, social media, marketing brochures, our “40 Years of Hoffmann” anniversary chronicle and POS design. That means a lot of work, but it’s also tons of fun and we are of course really proud of constantly evolving our brand image.
Your image is also part of your brand name. How important is the tangible product aspect for you?
Next to the people and philosophy behind the HOFFMANN brand, aspects like “handmade in Germany” and our use of natural materials are really dear to me. Every visit to our manufacture is a special event for me. Only when you have witnessed how our frames are created by hand with lots of love for detail can you understand what makes our glasses special. Anyone who has ever worn or held a pair of handmade horn glasses just knows their unique haptic sensation.
You are widely known as one of the leading brands in terms of craftsmanship. And you also work with materials beyond horn, especially in combination. What is your philosophy when it comes to materials?
Our focus firmly rests on natural materials and the highest level of quality. Our drive to constantly work with new materials sourced from nature always opens up new innovative combinations and concepts. We place great emphasis on the added value of the materials of our choosing – true to the motto: A dose of luxury for every day.
This sense of luxury truly shines in Ti-Line. When did you launch this collection?
Our new Ti-Line series recently had its official premiere at SILMO 2018 in Paris.
What are the main characteristics?
Minimalism, flexibility and up-to-date frame shapes meet the natural radiance of natural horn. Thanks to the titanium frame structure, the glasses are comfortably lightweight, both in terms of their aesthetics and comfort of wear. And fitting lenses is also easier than traditional horn frames.
In how far can materials such as horn and titanium be brought into a harmonious union?
The operative themes in our new Ti-Line models are lightness and contrast. The two materials are strikingly different from one another – horn is warm and natural, while titanium is cool and rather technical. That’s what makes these frames so exciting.
Is the Ti-Line a fashionable extension of HOFFMANN NATURAL EYEWEAR? Are you aiming at a different target group with this collection?
Natural horn is the world’s oldest material for eyewear. At the same time, genuine horn has retained its contemporary relevance as a frame material today. Paired with titanium, natural horn assumes a fresh, modern look. From an optician’s perspective, these frames are easy to fit with lenses and for the customer they are somewhat more affordable than a full-on horn frame. We’re also hoping to win over some customers who would otherwise never consider a buffalo horn frame. And at the same time encourage opticians to get “comfortable” with this great material.
So from a fashionable perspective, customers are on the safe side?
Today’s eyewear customers are extremely lucky because fashion is currently headed into two opposite directions: On one hand, minimalism is dominant, on the other hand there’s a trend toward oversized designs. We adopt all these trends in our collections.
We offer a rather large assortment of frames, as there are plenty of other collections aside from the Ti-Line. So we are well accustomed to uniting a diversity of design aspects ‘under one roof’. The rims can be delicate or bold, models can be classic all the way to eccentric. Plus, we offer a choice between over 500 colors! And aside from natural horn, we carry natural materials such as wood or slate.
How do you organize storage of all these colorways and models?
It’s actually only possible because our frames are usually manufactured by hand after an order has been placed. That’s how we can offer a such diverse line-up in the long run.
How many models are part of the Ti-Line collection?
The Ti-line offers a variety of prescription frames that are highly combinable. They are equally suited towards women and men, as well as wearers of all ages. In the latest series, we introduce three innovative types of models and every frame is available in a variety of colors.
Our focus lies with natural horn colorways, which attain their special charms from their unique grain patterns. They really complement any type of outfit!
More Info: www.hoffmann-eyewear.com
Brand Profile at Spectr.