Hailing from the idyllic town of Wernau in the South German countryside, REIZ has been an integral part of the independent eyewear scene in Europe – and beyond – for 20 years. In the process, the masters of hand-polished acetate frames have garnered a global reputation among opticians and consumers. The secret? An uncompromising blend between consistency and avantgarde styles, as explained by co-founder Franz Reutter in our Brand Update.
Hello Franz, it’s been a minute since our last interview in Paris at the Place des Vosges. Do you miss international events with all that’s going on right now?
Yes, of course we miss those international events a lot. Especially that exclusive flair at the Place des Vosges as well as the direct interface with our customers and their feedback.
Your showroom always attracted a really international crowd. What is the appeal of REIZ from a global perspective?
We don’t really make a distinction between national and international clients. They all have the same priority for us. But our partners especially value the quality standard we have worked to achieve over the past 20 years.
So quality has been a North Star for your brand?
Indeed. Manufacturing premium products is one of the fundamentals here at REIZ – and that’s never going to change. It’s very important to us that we constantly realign these benchmarks, but without losing touch with their roots.
When we spoke to an optician in one of our very first Retail Profiles, there was a lot of exuberant praise for the quality of REIZ acetate glasses. What sets them apart?
That’s always delightful to hear and a big motivator to continue on this path. Our quality commitment really starts with our choice of material. Every subsequent step in production, all the way to the hand-polished finish and final inspection, is closely monitored for all our frames before they leave the workshop.
Are you pretty much set on acetate?
I would not necessarily say ‘set’, but acetate is definitely our favorite material. It just opens up so many possibilities in terms of color variations and shapes. Especially our ECO material, which we’ve been implementing for several years now, is dear to our hearts. Sustainability has always been a cause that we’ve championed, so the ECO versions are a great fit for our company philosophy.
What are the special characteristics of ECO Acetate?
As opposed to traditional acetate, the manufacturing of our ECO material requires a higher share of wood and cotton fibers while eliminating chemical softeners from the process. At the same time, ECO Acetate maintains all the characteristics of traditional acetate, both aesthetically and in terms of performance.
What are the signature features of your collections? What distinguishes a REIZ frame?
The most recognizable feature is probably the rivet on the temples, which have been a staple for REIZ right from the beginning. What’s more, our colorways and shapes have also been consistent parts of our collections that can be called ‘typical REIZ’ at this point.
Your company headquarters always remained in the quaint countryside in the town of Wernau. In how far is your output defined by your surroundings?
We are defined by continuous evolution just as much as our loyalty towards friends, customers and partners. In short, REIZ represents a timeless image. which also reflects in our product offering. These are the values that are fundamental to our brand.
How exactly does that manifest on the product level?
The design of our eyeglasses really boils down to a reduction to essentials. Perfection in simplicity without superfluous gimmicks.
Does that make you somewhat less prone to experiment than others?
Sustainability is really important to us. That includes the choice of material, but also inspires our form language. That’s why we have kept reinterpreting proven classic frames and colorways for many years. It allows us to remain relevant in a fast-paced age full of fleeting trends. On that note, that’s another recognizable feature for REIZ and a reliable constant in our company.
But does that make you slower to respond to current trends?
Not at all. Our collections have proven over and over that it’s entirely possible to blend classics with current fashion trends. Timeless design is always on-trend.
Still, there’s a thin line between sticking to your guns and innovating. What makes you so sure that you won’t lose touch with what’s in style?
When you choose the right balance between these opposing factors over a long time, you arrive at a sustainable harmony. In most cases, it only takes a few small nuances to turn something ‘old’ into something new and innovative. But the role of intuition in this process is not to be underestimated.
With this long-term focus, are you aiming at a rather conservative target group?
Just the opposite. Our philosophy allows us to address a broad range of target groups. Who doesn’t love timeless products?
By contrast, your campaigns always tend to be rather loud and fresh, right?
Yes, the photographers we have worked with in recent years have really managed to capture our brand image quite well while displaying the depth and versatility of our frames. Understated, but still somewhat special.
How do you imagine the typical REIZ customer?
Let me offer our company motto as an answer: “For people with a feel for finesse.”
This article showcases some of your greatest hits. What are your personal favorites from the past 20 years?
Hard to say. Every series has its classic styles, like the ones presented here; »Fichte«, «Kiefer«, «Brekzie« and »Dolomit«. I find it much more exciting to see how vastly different these styles look on people and how they accent their faces.
That’s a great way to look at it. Thanks for the interview, Franz.
Brand Profile at SPECTR.
REIZ is also available on SPECTR, check the new models out now!
For more info on the brand, visit: https://www.reiz.net/