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
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
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
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
Let me offer our company motto as an answer: “For people with a feel
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/
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