Interviews | November 14, 2016

Q&A – Andy Wolf

A 10th anniversary and an evolving business. The designer and CEO Katharina Schlager shares with us the most exciting news running in 2016

words Antonella Reina

Something exciting is going on this year. What can you tell us?

First of all, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary in October. As a present for us, we bought a new manufactory in France, which is specialized in metal frames. Furthermore we will launch our first collection of rimless frames.

We do know that one of your new campaigns was shot in Italy. Where exactly? And why did you choose our country?

For our new White Heat campaign we were looking for a very clean and outstanding location. We found it in a marble stone pit in South Tirol. The stone from this town is well known for the cleanest and most expensive marble in the world. It ́s a bright labyrinth located in a surreal environment. Where industry meets nature. Raw material is turned into high-quality marble. It has a strong character and embodies clean elegance.

What about the concept of the new campaign?

The marble and its process inspired us. When a stonemason shapes an object from a block of marble, he puts all his emotions and feelings into his work and thus creates, through time-consuming precision work, a special piece of art. Shapes are made from raw materials and worked until the designs finally become a reality. Our White Heat metal frames are created with a similar approach. In production they turn into something extraordinary. We wanted to reconsider the combination of acetate and metal in this collection.

What kind of work is behind an eyewear campaign? And how important is it to choose the right images?

The images stand for the feelings we want to communicate. For White Heat it ́s the way we combine acetate and metal. In the different designs we play with the characteristic nose bridge made of acetate. So we are looking for very special models and places where nature meets industry.

Where do you get inspirations in order to create the concept of a new campaign?

This year it was easy. Our PR Manager visited the stone pit when he was a child. For our Love campaign we where looking for a very sexy and cosy location, so the photographer suggested the oldest American Bar in Vienna.

Let’s talk about your collection news. What are you going to present next?

We have two big news we are going to present for the first time during SILMO. We bought a manufactory in the French department of Jura. The new manufactory will enable us to add metal glasses to our collection. Furthermore we will have rimless frames for the first time. But they look very special and the design is totally new. We will have 6 optical and 4 sunglasses in various shapes like Cat-Eye or round oversized. Always matching custom nose bridge and temples of acetate in powdery colors and crystal with design highlights in polished rose gold and matt gold metal. With the futuristic design of the rimless sunglasses á la Andy Wolf, we lead the way for a new sunglasses era. The design is subtle, but pierced with bold color combinations of acetate and mirrored lenses.

Three words to describe your three different collections…

Love: eccentric, colourful, crazy. Soul: classic, timeless, tasteful. White Heat: pure, clean, subtle.

Andy Wolf has a very ‘social’ attitude. How much does it worth?

We aren’t a normal company, we ́re more like a big family. I know most of them for so long and we became very close friends. In addition we love to get to know new people from all over the world and it ́s not our attitude to be and look like the others.

What makes Andy Wolf frames so special?

50 people and over 90 working steps are necessary to produce one frame. The acetate frames are all made of 8 mm thick acetate and the metal frames are made from spring- tempered nickel silver, the bridge is made of stainless steel, and some metal rings and temples feature a chasing. Both manufactories have many years of experience and put care into the production. The metal manufactory in France and the acetate manufactory in Austria go through several quality tests, before we send them to our customers.

The next big step?

We are going to expand our head quartier in Hartberg. At the moment, it ́s bursting at the seams. I haven ́t had my own table for at least two years, so it’s time for more space where we can work in a relaxed atmosphere.

Would you love to share something else with us?

I got married in August and I changed my name to Katharina Schlager. I ́m very happy and we had a lovely wedding in the south of Austria.