Interviews | June 12, 2018

Snob Milano – Tommaso Bossetti

Tommaso Bossetti tells us about the evolution of the brand that aims to establish itself both in Italy and in other countries in the Mediterranean

words Enrico S. Benincasa

Over the course of roughly three years, Snob Milano has gone from being an idea on Tommaso Bossetti’s desk to a product that is carving out a space for itself in the eyewear market. This growth has been helped by managing to latch onto a trend, as well as the involvement of partners such as Sordelli and Zeiss, but an important part has also been played by communications, integrated into and consistent with the design. Together with Tommaso we retrace the history of these early years, paying particular attention to how Snob Milano will evolve in the near future.

For those who don’t know Snob Milano yet, can you give us a quick summary of the brand’s history?

It is a project that first came about around halfway through 2014. I was still partner of the Gubo Design. We joined up with Sordelli and debuted at Mido in 2015 with the first collection. The unusual nature of Dogui, our model with a mask resting on the frame, gave us good visibility right away since different brands were offering similar solutions at that time. We have been part of a trend from the beginning and although copies and interpretations have since arrived on the scene, people recognise that we were the first. We continued just with the range of sunglasses until Mido 2017, when we presented the first two prescription models. Last September we presented the complete prescription collection, in which a magnetic clip with Zeiss Sunlenses can be mounted on each model.

How did the collaboration with Zeiss come about?

We are geographically close to Zeiss Italia, plus the German company had previously collaborated with Sordelli. So naturally we turned to them. We are developed the design with the magnetic clip. Having this kind of a brand as a partner gave us external confirmation of the quality of our product, plus Zeiss itself agreed not to be involved in any similar projects.

How do you work with design and communication?

I take care of both aspects. Both in previous projects and with Snob Milano, I have tried to create coherence between the collection and communication. I don’t mean coherence as a lack of evolution, but rather the right question to ask is how to evolve the product and image in a sensible way.

Who buys your glasses?

Originally we wanted to address a very young target group, I would say 20-25 year-olds, the start the expert distribution with Sordelli and the entry into optician stores made us realise that we could be close to a target ranging from 30 to 45. I think Snob is halfway between mainstream and high-end brands. It is very well suited to customers who are looking for something that is not a mass market brand, but who are not yet ready to switch to exclusive eyewear tout court.

What is the profile of the kind of optician who chooses Snob Milano?

They are professionals who want to get involved in the independent world, but to do it gradually. The fact that the design is not extreme, that Sordelli offers excellent internal organisation and an efficient after-sales service is reassuring for them. Having territorial exclusives, as we do, can help them, but Snob is a brand that they have to recommend to their customers, as it is the kind of eyewear that currently sells “in the drawer”.

How present are you throughout the country?

We started with Italy and today we have glasses in about 1200 opticians, with a greater density in the central-southern area because our offer is still very much directed towards sunglasses. Snob Milano is an established brand in France and also in Greece. And then we are also in Spain, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany and we are starting distribution in England. The goal is to establish ourselves in the Mediterranean and in places similar to us, where we are already growing, such as Mexico and South Africa.

What are you presenting at Mido 2018?

We will present the new sunglasses collection, which we will make public on social media and through our channels starting from today. We have three or four new products not related to our eye-mask concept, that are made using metal. It is a material that has given me new inspiration.