Swiss label EINSTOFFEN is taking major strides in 2022 with the new collection Stranded, never lost. The almost 100 new products include two special eyeglasses – »Imker« (beekeeper) and »Honigdieb« (honey thief) – that carry special meaning to co-founder Philippe Rieder.

Hello Philippe, what’s behind the title of your new collection “Stranded, never lost”?

That has a lot to do with our own self-image. Setbacks, struggling, stumbling, and getting stranded are part of every company and life story. Often they are unavoidable. But it’s how we deal with them that makes us who we are. When you’re going through life with your eyes open, you’ll find new routes towards your goal in the most unlikely places. New opportunities or ways of thinking often originate in times of crisis or defeat. Getting back up, carrying on. That’s a bit like the unofficial EINSTOFFEN creed.

How important is looking ahead into the future for your brand?

In these uncertain times we find it especially important to maintain and spread a kind of baseline optimism. You’re not getting past a crisis by curling up into a ball. You need to risk something. We cultivate this anti-cyclical approach since our support initiative for opticians in early 2020. The new Stranded, never lost collection represents our unbroken belief in the future. And we’re launching almost 100 new products.

How is this optimism reflected in the collection?

The colours are happier and more vibrant thanks to innovative shades of Havana and experimental color gradients. Overall, we are offering far more colorways per model than before. The shapes have also become more adventurous. We’re experimenting with thick acetate, beveled edges and daring titanium constructions. What’s more, we’ve perfected our new »E«-wood metal temples to reach a higher level of stability and a more refined look in our frames.

It’s also part of your DNA to name your eyewear styles after occupations. What’s the story?

Yes, it’s traditionally been our concept to name our eyewear models after jobs. In a broad sense, I might add, since some terms like »Schwarzfahrer« (illegal passenger) or »Ganove« (crook) may pop up. But the concept has been working and creates some sort of suspense for the models and their stories. Especially the unconventional jobs.

What are some standouts?

It’s been quite the collection so far. From the »First Lady« to the »Kopfgeldjäger« (head hunter) and »Professor« as well as »Smutje« (ship’s cook). But our favorites are really the kind of occupations that are obscure or even obsolete, like »Hafner« (oven builder), »Hutmacher« (hatmaker) or currently »Imker« (beekeeper) and »Honigdieb« (honey thief).

The two latter models are part of your brand-new line. What are the stories?

For the photo shoot in the middle of our current look book we followed a traditional beekeeper in Iran on the job. Definitely an eye-opener!

How so?

The beekeeper’s story really raised our awareness for the disappearance of wild honeybees in Switzerland and Europe. Now we are joining forces with the Swiss bee protection organization FREE THE BEES to repopulate free-living honeybees in Switzerland by donating 10% of the proceeds of sales from the two new models, plus the Christmas initiatives surrounding our fashion products such as shirts, hoodies, t-shirts, and watches.

Do you see any parallels between the fate of the bees and the eyewear business, or perhaps the EINSTOFFEN story?

Beekeeping is really similar to eyewear or fashion – it requires a change of thought on a holistic level. We are working towards placing the bees and their survival at the center of the narrative, not the maximum yield of honey. From a sustainability angle, we do indeed notice some analogy to independent eyewear culture. This brings the story of the bees, the motto of our collection and the unchained philosophy behind EINSTOFFEN full circle: The optical business will blossom more when it’s free and independent, so even small players can achieve great things.

Thanks for the interview, Philippe.

Find out more about Einstoffen and their inspiring collections here: www.einstoffen.de/

Brand Profile at SPECTR and FAVR.

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