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Interviews | February 5, 2019

Q&A – Variation Design

“Creativity is our greatest power today.” So says Dominique Varlet, Artistic Director of Variation Design, who reaffirms the importance of design as accessible to everyone

words Marilena Roncarà

Let’s start with Silmo and the brand’s excellent feedback at the fair…

We were hoping to achieve this success at the last Silmo. We were able to identify the new needs of opticians and the turn of acetate with the new trend in the demand for metal. We are historically makers of colourful frames, we have made the choice not to rush into the “all acetate” and this has been fruitful. Naturally, opticians contact us for the high quality of our products; finesse; attention to details; technical knowledge and colours: all the ingredients are combined to be attractive. Today we are among the designers who best show their expertise in this type of product.

Which directions is Variation Design taking?

We are already distributed in around ten countries worldwide and are often solicited for new partnerships. We are now working to expand teams already on the spot, for example in Germany. We are also developing the market in the US, Canada, and South America, in anticipation of a collaboration in early 2019.

Going back to the beginning, how was the brand initiated?

Before I decided to start in creation, I was already passionate about drawing, design and eyewear. I followed my studies and ended up working as an optician. I started in 2003 by creating my own collection, designed and imagined by me, then a designer joined me. Today there are more than thirty of us in the department of Variation Design, all proud to wear our collections at the highest level and I am the Artistic Director.

Now there is a young team drawing the collections.

The young team of designers who accompany me is composed of Margaux, Elise, Aurore and Marc-Antoine. Elise and Margaux joined the company after design internships, Aurore and Marc-Antoine arrived recently. They all have a strong affinity for eyewear and a strong desire to create it. We operate as a big family where a good mood is always present.

How important is creativity?

Creativity is our greatest power today, we are able to present new frames all year long and in all of our collections. Each frame is unique. We focus on details, colours and materials. We constantly try to find new materials like carbon and wood or stone; especially for men who pay more attention to this.

What is your target?

Today, with our four different collections, we are able to offer a variety of models, sizes and styles to appeal to and correspond to the most diverse group of people. Women, men, teenagers and children: all find their happiness in these styles. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I started.

What is the brand’s added value?

I would say a lot of creativity, diversity of products, great perpetual update of the products, reasonable prices, great listening to the needs of opticians and a dynamic team on the spot.

Some goals for the future?

We are very present in the French market and we are currently growing strongly in export markets. We travel a lot to make people aware of us through trade fairs. More and more success, with a family approach that has existed for 15 years.