Christian and Eric, 30 years have passed since you came onto the eyewear scene with the revolutionary project “Optical Affairs”. What were your feelings back then and how has the sector changed over the past 30 years?
Eyewear is similar to any other creative industry it’s truly a reflection of culture, mood and taste of the times. Since it’s a reflection of culture our industry is truly a reflection of our customers. The most impactful change over the last 30 years is, of course, technology; technology and the fact that culture and subculture is more a commodity now than ever before. It makes it harder to know what is authentic and what is not. But, for us, authenticity is at the heart of what we do. Just like any form of art or expression we still consider eyewear, and design in general, a form of communication. For us, it’s about how communication has changed – as a global culture we communicate more emotionally now than ever before. We send each other media and images rather than words or conversation, it’s a more impressionistic time, we think our design should reflect that spirit. And we can truly say today that Eyewear is Fashion.
You created glamorous style in eyewear, women from all over the world adore you and many have copied you shamelessly. A message to your fans and to those who prefer to copy rather than create.
Our fans, the true eyewear aficionados, will always recognize our original designs and concepts, and we are very grateful for this. For the ones who prefer to get “inspired” than create, they keep our creative minds sharp and challenged. They push us to think new. And to quote Charles Caleb Colton “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.
This season sees the beginning of your adventure with DITA. We know that you have never stopped creating eyewear but there is, nonetheless, great anticipation. Tell us about your meeting with DITA and why you chose each other.
This new chapter for the CHRISTIAN ROTH brand signals a significant evolution in our brand values, we devised the new collection as a design review that surveys our extensive body of work. The review served a dual purpose: to allow an opportunity to take apart and deconstruct our own distinctive design language – quite literally, to emphasize the “de-” in design – and to place the resultant concepts in dialogue with broader cultural concerns.
For many years we looked at DITA’s evolution and we are very impressed by Jeff Solorio’s and John Juniper’s design work, vision, high standards of quality, and their marketing approach. Through a common friend, we met Micky Dhillon two years ago. We did not know them personally or met them before, which was interesting for us and also a base to start on neutral grounds. We took time to get to know each other and at one point we felt DITA will be the best home for the Christian Roth brand.
See the LYF hard copy for the full interview.