Interviews | February 20, 2020

Ulli Mahler – Luxury by hand

We spoke to Ulli Mahler, the founder of his eponymous brand about his business plans for the near future and the importance of good quality products as the best marketing plan

words Cayce Pollard

What makes your eyewear special?

Our performance brand Ulli Mahler is mainly centred around the use of luxury acetate sheets. Most of our customers like the fact that we offer materials they do not see at other brands. For our Mahler brand we currently focus on using stainless steel mixed with titanium or pure titanium. For both collections we proudly use OBE hinges from Germany for each frame: their quality is outstanding.

What is your current direction?

Next to our wonderful acetate frames, we also have a strong focus on stainless steel and titanium frames. From my point of view, eyewear fashion has arrived at the point fashion already got to some years ago; there is variety in eyewear now, not just one style or design to fit all kinds of customers. Customers are now more individual and although mainstream is unfortunately still alive, consumers are learning more and more not to pay for marketing but for a good product. In my eyes a good product is still the best marketing.

Can you tell us about the manufacturing of your collections?

As your magazine is from Italy it is wonderful that I can tell you about our Italian manufacturer. They are a family company and they manufacture frames by hand with the utmost passion. They bake the Mazzucchelli acetate they use for our frames for 7 hours before the cutting starts. Afterwards, all processes are done with the same focus on the best quality they can provide and the hand polishing add-on gives the frames exactly what we want: Luxury but understated.

What outside influences can we see in your collection?

The collection is always inspired by travels with my wife. We were especially inspired by our travels through Israel and Italy in the last two years and, as my wife particularly loves butterflies, we created a frame called Papillon (the French translation for butterfly). All colours of the Papillon are named after beautiful kinds of butterflies and we are looking forward to showing the frames to customers.

Tell us about your biggest market and the ones you’re aiming to expand into in the near future.

Our domestic market is still our biggest and most important market, but we sell our brand in other European countries as well. We are also searching for a partner to start our business in North America.

Future plans?

When it comes to business strategy, we will continue in the same way we have done over the last years: by trying to improve every single day. If you’re asking me personally: I will try to do my best to use less plastic, use more public transportation (or our company Vespa) instead of a car and eat less meat. I think that each one of us can do something for the environment; starting with changing personal habits.