In its on-going quest for innovation, the Etnia Eyewear Culture Group brand proudly presents CROMALYT® Beta Titanium. A perfect balance of new materials with a completely new, patented hinge.
CROMALYT® Beta Titanium will be available as part of the TECTONIC SERIES collection. Weighing in at just 4 grams, and thanks to its composition with Rilsan® for the front and Beta Titanium temples, CROMALYT® frames are ultra-light, flexible and comfortable, as well as extremely robust.
Frames created with the highest of high-tech materials
Cromalyt® is an exclusive Rilsan® based compound, partially made from natural raw materials, and is characterised by its lightness, flexibility and by the fact that its production process produces very little waste. It is free of BPA and BPS, and so completely innocuous.
Beta Titanium is produced from titanium, a pure natural element with unique qualities. It is an ultralight, flexible and highly resistant metal, all the very best qualities one could look for when making temples. The result: 1.2 mm diameter temples in a range of metallic hues, the ideal complement for Cromalyt®.
Moreover, Cromalyt® Beta Titanium can be designed in a huge variety of colours and shapes. A total of 11 hues created for an exceptional product, designed to delight the senses.
With their bevelled lenses and cold construction, they are quick and easy to assemble. Since no heat is required to assemble them, there is no risk of warping the frames.
lool labs has developed and patented a novel, screwless hinge for this new product. With the low density and flexibility of Beta titanium, together with the strength of nylon, we obtain the ideal stability required for a pair of glasses. That way, the lifetime of the glasses is extended to over 15,000 cycles.
Spanish Minimalist Eyewear Style
Although lool ranges among the rather young brands in the optical industry, the finishes and innovative product details are top-notch. That’s because the Spanish brand follows the time-honored creed ‘less is more’. SPECTR talked to David Soliva, lool DNA owner, about the brand that joined the Etnia Eyewear Culture Group in mid-2021. Time to get the details.
Hello David, when did you start lool?
lool was created in Barcelona back in 2016.
What was the initial spark for the creation of a new eyewear label?
lool eyewear was born by chance during a meeting with friends from the optical sector. We were discussing some issues in some existing collections when it comes to assembling and disassembling frame components. Like assembling the lenses, the need for specific tools, and so on. And how with the passing of time and wear on glasses, they lose tension or effectiveness in the opening and closing of the rods. This was something that, in my opinion, should never happen in products at this quality and price.
Where did you go from there?
Together with an industrial designer we started to investigate how we could solve all these issues. Thanks to this research we designed a patented hinged, called the hub, which inspires our entire business model based on simplicity and functionality.
What is the philosophy behind lool?
‘Less, but better,’ as Dieter Rams used to say. Under this premise we pursue the search for beautiful, timeless designs and materials that last over time. We always use as few raw materials as possible. We have a clear commitment to our customers, top quality, premium service, and affordable price.
At first glance, the brand’s name lool seems quite unusual. You even stylize it as a graphic derivation. What’s the story?
Following the same logic as our philosophy, we considered that our name and logo should represent simplicity. With two elements we built a logo and a name, which in the end is still a pair of glasses. If someone had to draw a pair of glasses reduced to its minimum expression, it would boil down to two elements, a rod and a circle. From this impulse, looking for the essential, we arrived at lool.
Is there a design language specific to lool?
Our approach to product design is influenced by the great European design schools. We believe that functionality is above form, and that our concepts should express their essence through minimalist design.
You are particularly proud of the low weight of the glasses. How do you achieve that?
Getting to 4 grams in the new construction made of our Cromalyt® material and beta titanium was not easy. It is the result of teamwork, and the search and research of materials that allowed us to lighten the structure and weight, all while increasing strength and durability.
Why is the low weight important to you?
Because it is important to our customers who are looking for beautiful, comfortable, and light glasses that they don’t even notice while wearing them.
You mentioned materials research, which one stand out for you?
Mainly steel, specifically Sandwik 11r51. Just recently, we celebrated a new launch with our material Cromalyt®, an evolution that gives us extreme resistance and maximum lightness.
Which possibilities arise from the material?
Many, because it allows us to work with other constructions, combinations with mixed materials. We must continue to implement other materials and complete our offer.
lool models leave a high-quality haptic impression. Do you work with special finishing processes?
We work a lot on the finishing and are very demanding in all the processes. Currently we use two main coatings: PVD and premium lacquers. PVD is a very technical coating that lends the piece an extreme resistance both in terms of color and hardness. The lacquers are of the highest quality and achieve excellent adhesion to the components, thanks to a process we carry out prior to application.
Talking about lacquers, is there a specific color world for lool?
We really like intense colors like orange, red, blue… but the best is yet to come.
In what sense?
The addition of lool to the Etnia Eyewear Culture Group portfolio has given us another perspective colors. The company works like nobody else, and we have specialists dedicated exclusively to color. I believe that little by little we are going to see lool become a reference in its segment thanks to color.
On that note, since when has lool been part of Etnia?
lool was acquired by Etnia Barcelona in June 2021.
Looking beyond the frame construction, a pair of glasses is only as good as the lenses.
I totally agree. That’s why we use Carl Zeiss sunglass lenses in our glasses, which guarantee the best visual quality and UV protection. They also incorporate anti-reflective coatings on the inner side to avoid internal reflections.
How do you segment your offering?
At the moment there are three concepts: Tectonic, Stereotomic and Deco.
What is special about these collections?
Tectonic is our most minimalist collection. With beautiful and timeless designs and colors, made for everyone. Deco is most sophisticated and art deco-inspired collection. Stereotomic represents our most avant-garde collection, where we want to show our passion for design and innovation.
With these values in mind, who is your typical customer?
Customers who are looking for a comfortable, quality product and who value design. As for our optical customers, mainly people who are looking for differentiation, without losing the premium service and safety offered by the Etnia Eyewear Culture Group.
Now that you’re part of the family, what’s the next step for lool?
The next step for lool is to evolve our Cromalyt® material in all collections.
Where do you see your main focus in the next few years?
Over the next few years, we are going to focus on the opticians. We want to work with them to develop better products for our new collections. The optician is at the center of our entire project!
Same here, David. Thanks for the interview.