A forward tradition
Words Mark Renton
Vision and commitment: for over 140 years, four generations of the Morel family have been building a tradition that is ready to face the challenges of the future
It’s impossible to understand and explain the soul of Morel without knowing the link this family company has with the territory of Jura, an alpine land spread between France and Switzerland that hosts also a rich and accurate museum of the history of eyewear in this region. As in all the mountain traditions, the identity of this French company has also been proudly grown and preserved decade after decade for over 140 years by four generations of the Morel family. today the uniqueness of Morel is accurately described with five key words: authenticity, passion, boldness, independence and engagement.
More than words, these are values that became polar stars to follow in the daily efforts of management by Jerome, Francis and Amelie, the fourth generation. When a young Jules Morel in 1880, after many hours spent crafting frames, invented the ‘pince-nez’ (translated as ‘nose clip’), nobody could guess that it was the beginning of a long and glorious story that in the following years would reach all the continents and gain a solid worldwide reputation.
After its foundation, the company developed thanks to the passionate vision of Marius (the second generation), who pushed for industrialization and production on large scale, the commercial mind of Jacques (the third generation), who transformed Morel into a global firm while at the same time creating the logo of the cat, the animal known for its excellent vision. Finally, the innovative strategies of the current designer generation have consolidated the company and its brand awareness. the family never stopped cultivating its freedom through creative and ingenious designs.
Faithful to its values, Morel controls all aspects of strategy without bending to market pressures, and today the brand is present at private retailers on five continents, pushing its international strategy further by actively seeking to create subsidiaries in order to preserve its own independence. Pride for this unique history is visible in all the products: each Morel frame is marked with a signature five lines on its temple tip. This signature symbolizes the five generations of the family since the creation of the house in 1880. The fourth line is coloured
to represent the current generation running the company, whilst the fifth line represents the future.
Anyway, this tradition couldn’t be successfully cultivated without the strong engagement and the expertise of all the people working in the company as part of a big family. today, 300 people work for the firm: the team is built from over 10 different areas, from design to production, commercial, logistics and administration. Among them we find Vale?rie prillard, the first woman to be awarded with best craftsman of France. Morel has a complete and complementary team, producing a turnkey offer: from the first draft to the final customer. “In recent years, our common effort has been to create the conditions to bring full production back home. this is a huge effort in terms of organization and investment, but is also the best way to guarantee the best standard of quality to our clients worldwide,” a proud Amelie tells us. “The creativity of Morel is seen in the smallest
detail. new collections are created in our design center, where artistic directors, designers, and specialists
in colour, graphics and prototyping, work together as a team of experts who believe that no challenge is above them. that’s why we use atypical and innovative materials and know-how: carbon, wood, and more recently, leather and 3D printing.”
Another aspect that makes Morel a unique and forward-looking company is definitely its connection with the environment and its commitment to face the related issues with responsible and consistent behaviour in every aspect of production, looking for the greatest sustainability. the company has a long history in the fight against the obsolescence of its products: today 80% of the stainless steel used is recyclable and recycled and all the frames are 100% reparable. The company’s environmental commitment is also visible in the light and minimal packaging and in the elimination of plastic bags. the presence of 19 hives in front of the entrance of the headquarters is the best signal to promote the engagement of Morel towards biodiversity. The honey is harvested and bottled on site and offered to clients and visitors.
The first pince-nez made byMorel in 1880
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