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The Marwitz family name looms large over the history of German eyewear manufacturing. And the legacy started almost 100 years ago is alive and well today. Three generations later, the eyewear heritage is in the hands of Adrian Marwitz. More than just continuing the family tradition, the Munich-based designer decided to add his own perspective by launching his own eyewear brand four years ago. ADRIAN MARWITZ blazed its own trail with a combination of craftsmanship and forward-thinking designs that have won over opticians across the world. At the same time, Adrian wanted to pay tribute to his family’s storied history, which is why he is now launching the new Marwitz Since 1919 collection. SPECTR sat down with Adrian Marwitz for a retrospective of his family’s achievements and a close look at the new models.
Adrian, how many generations have been crafting eyewear under the Marwitz name?
Granddad, dad, and myself. Three generations, so far.
You are now paying homage to this heritage with the Marwitz Since 1919 collection. What’s the story?
I wanted to create a reminder on how long our family has been manufacturing eyewear. The fact that my grandfather started it almost 100 years and we have never been able to put it down. Eyewear is our life and just so much fun!
How did your grandfather get started making eyewear?
In 1919, he and his partner started the firm Marwitz & Hause in the town Aalen, near Stuttgart.
And what happened then?
Through a couple detours, the company ended up under the ownership of Carl Zeiss in the 1960s. My grandfather continued to work for the company for his entire life.
Does Zeiss still hold the rights?
No, they’re mine now. Zeiss was kind enough to sign over the residual rights last year. The registration date on the brand name is September 21, 1955. Pretty far out.
And how did your father continue the eyewear tradition?
He founded Conquistador, Marwitz Berlin in the 1970s. The company is still successful today. And since our family has a strong drive for self-actualization, I also went and started my own company, which brings us full-circle.
It’s been four years since you launched ADRIAN MARWITZ. Was it a logical choice to use the family name?
I knew right from the start that I wanted to use my name. It was all about creating my own designs and fully standing behind my creations, which is enhanced by using my own name. It wasn’t primarily about using the family name Marwitz, but going at it as Adrian Marwitz.
Does your family name create a kind of commitment to tradition that goes beyond your personal standards?
I think that my personal standards are very much in line with any traditional obligations towards the family heritage. All of our eyewear is basically “Made in Germany,” so our quality positioning is really solid!
Let’s talk about the new collection. How many models does the Marwitz Since 1919 line entail?
We’re starting out with three prescription frames and three sunglasses. It’s a manageable size, which we intend to continue in similar quantities over time.
In how far are your new styles inspired by models from family history?
A whole lot, for instance by the Conforta Collection from the year 1940. Back then, frames with very thin wire proved to be in high demand, and have now made a big return. That’s also proof that everything tends to come back at some point. And we’re also using Zeiss lenses in our sunglasses.
You have been known to focus exclusively on titanium, a material not yet implemented into eyewear in the last century. What materials will be used in the ‘1919 collection?
We will be working with classic materials such as nickel silver and monel, similar to what people used back in the day. But we are also bringing in titanium in our pads, thereby creating a link into modern-day designs and our main collection. We are also using acetate in our temple tips. The coating is almost identical to our titanium collection, thereby making sure that wearers with nickel allergies can still wear these frames.
Do you think the new materials will help reach a new target demographic?
Well, using these materials naturally creates much more affordable price points than our titanium frames. So it does expand our potential customer base. Otherwise, our targeting is similar and we also want to keep our eyewear exclusive to select optical boutiques.
Will the collection name feature visibly on these frames?
Yes. The temple insides will read, “Marwitz since 1919 by Adrian Marwitz,” together with the original logo from the old Marwitz Collection.
Will your regular collection also expand its focus to new materials?
ADRIAN MARWITZ will remain dedicated to titanium frames, at least for now. We’ll see how things evolve in five years.
Adrian, let’s be honest. You’re launching a throwback to the first Marwitz Collection from 1919 in 2017. You couldn’t wait two more years for the full 100-year anniversary?
Now we’re at 98 years. Which is also quite nice!
So what will you be doing for the 100-year anniversary two years from now?
I really don’t want to create high expectations, but we’ll be throwing a party for the ages with lots of confetti, champagne, and off-the-hook German country music. It’s going to be a blast!
More Info: www.adrianmarwitz.com