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Profiles | December 4, 2020

Colibris – The beauty in the small

A need became the key to Colibris’ success: providing the slightest faces with the opportunity to wear fashionable and design frames

words Mark Renton

The story of Colibris started in Lübeck, a little gem of a town in the North of Germany, facing the Baltic Sea and famous for its artistic heritage. Somebody said that beauty can be created easily if everything around is beautiful. It’s the inspiration. This is probably one of the reasons for the success of Colibris, the brand created from the brilliant mind of a Lübeck optician. “The idea for our own eyewear brand came about in 1998,” says Wolfgang Reckzeh, “the impetus for this was my wife, who couldn’t find the right glasses for her own face.” Susanne Reckzeh had to learn that the usual frames were too wide, too large and too rough for her face and always slipped off her narrow nose. In the natural world the colibris (hummingbirds) are the smallest bird species in the world. Since 2000, the same is true for the world of glasses, with Colibris. Today the brand stands for the largest selection of small glasses for delicate and dainty faces. The headquarters are now based in Stockelsdorf, just outside the gates of the Hanseatic city. The glasses have been well received both nationally and internationally. The models are handmade in Germany and Italy in high-quality materials and small quantities.

“Acetate is a fascinating material for making glasses. I can mill it, polish it and create great colour combinations,” says Liana Gräber, an optician and designer, part of the brand’s creative team. While the models made of stainless steel are produced according to in-house designs in special production facilities in Italy, the acetate ones come from the workshop in Rudolf-Dieselstrasse. The design is timeless, the style modern. “Our customers appreciate the elegant, striking simplicity, the Nordic design of Colibris and its accuracy of fit,” says Liana. It takes half a year to complete the development of a prototype as tools and machines, hinges and screws have to be matched to each new model. Colibri employees and customers with different face shapes are also involved in the process. They will test the finished article and give their opinion on it. Only when the sample has passed all the tests does the prototype go into series production. Since the first presentation at Opti Munich at the end of the 1990s, the team has been working intensely on new design solutions. Today, the small glasses from Stockelsdorf inspire opticians and customers alike. In the meantime, Colibris has been successfully presented at all the main international trade fairs worldwide– Milan, Paris, New York and of course Munich. “These big trade fairs offer the best opportunity to meet, learn, exchange ideas and work together,” says Wolfgang Reckzeh. “Here we can present Colibris as a brand and show that people with narrow faces do not have to do without fashionable glasses.” Nowadays everything is improved through technological innovations and an accurate process of customization: some models from the collection can be perfectly adapted to the proportions of the face. The optician determines the bridge width, the lens width, the temple length and the finish of the glasses. The data is entered online into a configurator during the consultation. An individual engraving on one of the temples makes the Colibris custom-made eyewear truly unique. The spectacles are then handmade in the Stockelsdorf factory. In a word: tailored to your face.