River of Change
Interview with Flair MD Sven Reiß - An extract from the article in Optic + Vision
SVEN REISS, THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT COMPANIES ALWAYS RAISES THE QUESTION: WHAT IS GOING TO CHANGE?
I have reassuring news for our optician partners. Everything they have appreciated about Flair for over 70 years will remain as it is. Our ‘comprehensive, worry-free package’ will continue to guarantee opticians the trustworthy partnerships, reliability and continuity they know us for – above all, service and quality they can rely on. And of course we would like to surprise them again with our Westphalian pioneering spirit. But change is a part of life. If you don’t change, you will also lose what you want to keep. The only way to grow is to move forward.
WILL EYEWEAR DESIGN ‘MADE IN GERMANY’ STILL BE THE FOCUS?
That is our DNA. Perfection down to the last detail is one of the building blocks. This applies to the product as well as other to processes and will continue to influence all the collections. What’s more, ‘made in Germany’ will stand not just for product quality but also for our services, the way we react quickly and efficiently to market and customer needs. After all, they are changing, and we change along with them.
Most of all, we want to show our true pioneering spirit again, which Flair has always been known for. In terms of design, this means reasserting ourselves as trailblazers with beautiful rimless glasses, floating beams, patented technologies, and innova¬tions like the worldwide patented Pure and Pure 2. With the combina¬tion of the finest acetate and whisper-thin metal temples, we were already ahead of our time in 2011. We intend to reinforce this positioning and the value of our brand among opticians. We certainly have to emphasise clearly that our design is much more fashionable than some assume. We have big surprises in this an area in the coming year, I can promise you that.
FLAIR WAS CHOSEN MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR IN 2017. DOES THIS MEAN YOU WILL STAY TRUE TO ITS PHILOSOPHY?
Manufacturing and ‘handmade in Germany’ are our core themes. These are our commitments, and we always won special prizes for products and innovations. This was more than just symbolic for our optician partners; it had a real value. A product that takes hundreds of work phases, made in Germany by hand with the greatest love and passion – it just feels different. And once customers have worn our glasses, they are thrilled by the lightweight comfort, the texture and the feeling.
IN WHICH DIRECTION WILL YOU TAKE THE PORTFOLIO?
The focus will clearly be on our own brands Flair and bx. eyewear inspirations. We have to renew our innovation and design standards constantly every day. Working with young designers help us with these challenges, and we already have several on board.
HOW DO YOU ADAPT TO CHANGING MARKET CONDITIONS?
In times of change, people seek stability and guidance, a solid rock that the waves cannot break but instead polishes into something beautiful. That’s what Flair was and always will be! We are keeping watch over our values. People want security and dependability in a world that keeps getting faster, more complex and less transparent. This also goes for the optical industry. Flair gives clear answers, offers solutions, and is a true partner to opticians. This sets us apart from the competition and helps our partners do the same.
SVEN REISS, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING WITH US.
This interview was conducted by Angela Mrositzki