GLORYFY launches optical collection
Austrian label GLORYFY has become a fixture in the functional sports eyewear segment over the past decade. True to the brand slogan Unbreakable, the glasses have gained a solid following among prominent athletes across different actions sports. Then again, GLORYFY not only specializes in athletic eyewear, but also boasts an impressive Lifestyle and Optics Collection. The common denominator is an uncompromising focus on functionality, as company founder Christoph Egger details in our interview.
Hello Christoph, you have been a fixture in the sports segment for some time now. When did you launch your first eyeglasses?
That was back in 2011. In Austria we’re a well-established sports lifestyle brand at this point. And we’re developing really well in Germany and Switzerland.
How much do you feel at home in the eyewear business?
The eyewear market is a highly competitive environment, ruled by enormous corporations. That’s killing the passion for innovation in the industry, making it hard for young brands to gain a foothold.
But nevertheless, here you are.
Yes, thanks to our Unbreakable Technology we offer a technical USP, which made it possible to enter this market in the first place. Now we need to scale up this position internationally!
What provided the initial spark for your eyewear brand?
At my previous start-up company, I first explored plastics manufacturing. The first impulse for developing unbreakable eyeglasses was when my friend suffered a sports accident, during which he severely injured his eye.
How significant is regional manufacturing for you?
We are highly driven by innovation and technology, so we just need a manufacturing site that’s accessible. I really appreciate the fact that I can get there from my desk withing two minutes. Since mid-2019, we operate out of our 3,500-square-foot headquarters with all departments under one roof, including manufacturing.
Let’s get back to your brand DNA. What exactly makes GLORYFY unbreakable?
Our frames are crafted from the innovative and patented special plastic NBFX that makes them completely protected against breakage and airbags. The risk of suffering eye injuries in an accident due to eyeglasses breaking is practically zero, because even under extreme impact, the frame doesn’t splinter or otherwise shed components.
In the early days, what were some milestones of building the brand?
Developing our unbreakable glasses and transitioning into serial production was a major challenge! The material as well as the manufacturing process were entirely uncharted territory in the eyewear universe. And we were – and still are – the only ones with such a technology, which meant we had to develop our own solutions for emerging problems without being able to draw on other people’s insights.
That sounds exhausting.
Absolutely. But although it may sound trite, what always proves to be the key to success is: Believing in your idea, and your product. We know that our glasses provide a noticeable added value to our end consumers and thereby prove highly attractive to retailers.
How would you describe your company philosophy?
We create products for eternity that provide their owners much pleasure for a long time, instead of serving the disposable mentality of the ‘fast fashion’ generation. We manufacture stylish high-tech products Made in Austria with added value that wearers experience directly, not throwaway stuff ‘Made in Asia’. That’s not only easy on the environment, but also on our customers’ wallet.
Does that also apply to the lenses?
Yes. What’s more, our lenses offer unparalleled clarity. This is the result of a very slow, almost pressure-free process during which the material is poured into the molds. The slow pour ensures a high optical quality in the lenses. As opposed to polycarbonate or other injection molding materials that are injected under high pressure, our process does not exert stress on the material, thereby achieving total clarity without distortions. In combination with other properties intrinsic to the material, this provides the foundation for our Contour Lens Technology.
What are some other technical features of your eyewear?
Due to the specifically low weight of NBFX, our glasses are real lightweights that offer the ultimate comfort of wear. The latter is achieved by our proprietary Inclinox Technology allowing an uncomplicated, cold state adjustment of the temples to the wearer’s anatomical head shape.
Really entirely cold without heating the frame? How does that work?
The combination of flexible NBFX plastic and a stabilizing metal insert supports the perfect cold fitting to the wearer’s requirements in a matter of seconds. It provides a secure fit during physical activity and a loose fit while relaxing. We’re currently offering Inclinox in our Lifestyle and Optics Collections.
We also heard about an upcoming innovation in the works…
Starting in September, all of our eyeglasses will be permanently 99.9% free from bacteria and viruses (not all virus strains). In order to achieve this, we’re adding an ingredient to our coating that kills nearly all bacteria and a large variety of viruses. This also offers significant advantages for opticians, with frames passing through hundreds of hands before selling. Thereby our coating adds extra safety for our opticians as well as their customers. Overall, it makes an essential item such as eyewear a bit more hygienic, especially since its worn for 12 hours and more. It helps avoid conjunctivitis and other pesky diseases caused by smear infections.
You already mentioned some collections outside the athletics line, what are they?
Aside from the Sport Collection, our Lifestyle and Optics Collections perfectly supplement our offering, so people can cover every aspect of life with a perfectly equipped GLORYFY frame.
Do your optical models ensure the same high level of functionality as your sunglasses?
Yes, our optical frames offer the same technical properties as the sunnies in our Lifestyle Collection. Unbreakable frames and lenses, utmost lens quality, self-adjustable temples and the antibacterial coating.
Why are these features also important in optical models?
The main advantage of unbreakable frames lies in the safety angle. Of course the sports background plays a major role here. But it’s also about safety in everyday life. Just an example: There are more than 1,000 car accidents with personal injuries in Germany every day. Eyeglasses that shatter upon release of the airbag pose a tremendous risk of injury, which GLORYFY frames help to lower significantly. Then there are many practical advantages. Leaving eyeglasses in the backpack, coat pocket or in the hands of curious children… Everyday life is a dangerous place for your favorite glasses!
How important is traditional optical retail to you?
In an era of digital transformation and booming online retail we still highly encourage our customers to consult their local optician when it comes to purchasing a pair of GLORYFY Unbreakable glasses.There is no better customer service than at the optical store. No laptop, tablet or smartphone can replace the competent and friendly advice of a trained expert salesperson in a personal dialogue. We offer a ‘try at the dealer’ service allowing customers to have three pairs of their choice shipped to a shop. This reflects our commitment to offer the best-possible service in cooperation with our expert retailers. Then again, there are some blank areas on our retail map. And to fill these gaps, we also offer online orders to our end consumers.
In the lifestyle segment you’re collaborating with streetwear label iriedaily. The Austrian mountainside meets Berlin’s urban flavors. How did that come about?
For us, the intersection of sports, music and fashion was always fluid. Over the past few years, our glasses reached audiences well beyond the world of sports. We also share many philosophical similarities with legendary Berlin-based streetwear brand iriedaily, namely DIY spirit, sustainability and innovative drive. We started this past summer to perfect a special edition that has been available on the market for some time now and hopefully provides a foundation for an enduring partnership.
And looking ahead, how important are optical frames for your brand in the future?
Extremely important! Our optical frames have unlimited potential and, compared to sunglasses, really just starting to include them in our collection. We have a lot in mind and also look forward to bringing these glasses to the entire world with thousands of GLORYFY partner opticians.
Good luck and thanks for the interview.
Find out more about the Brand here: www.gloryfy.de
Brand Profile at SPECTR.
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