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HomemifashionJos. Eschenbach Homage to the Founder

Jos. Eschenbach Homage to the Founder

Jos. Eschenbach spectacles by Eschenbach Optik are typically German. Clean of line, subtle in colour and precise in the manufacture, these frames represent design that is both elegant and timeless.
New to the market (Jos. Eschenbach launched in January 2015), there are no surprises for guessing that this new brand is named in honour of the company’s founder, Joseph Eschenbach.mivision spoke to Harald Heinrich, the designer who conceptualised the first collection of Jos. Eschenbach eyewear, to find out about the influences of and intentions for this striking new player on the market.

It’s easy to trace the sophisticated yet industrial styling of Jos. Eschenbach frames. Lead designer, Harald Heinrich hails from the automotive industry although these days his experience designing motorbikes, luxury cars and motorhomes has been tempered by almost 30 years working in optics.

“I studied industrial design at the University of Applied Science in Munich in 1979 before undertaking my first practical training with BMW and then my second at Target Design, a design studio that specialised in design for the automotive industry – cars, motorbikes and accessories,” Harald told mivision.

“I graduated in 1984 as a Degreed Designer at the University of Applied Science with my final project an ‘innovative bicycle with fashion appeal, produced in cutting-edge thermoplastic technology’.

Harald went on to work with Target Design, guiding several projects that included motorbikes and motorbike helmets, interiors for Audi and for a motor-home company. However in 1985 he got his first taste for designing eyewear…
and he never looked back.

In late 1999 Harald joined Eschenbach Optik GmbH with responsibility for the design of TITANflex, oio, crush and fineline optical frame collections. Additionally he designed sunglasses collections for the TITANflex, crush and Ocean Blue brands and undertook special projects for Bogner and Freigeist.

Heritage of Eschenbach

Most recently, Harald turned his talent to designing Eschenbach’s latest collection, Jos. Eschenbach; a collection that exudes the heritage of its parent company, Eschenbach Optik.

The models designed for the Jos. Eschenbach collection are classical in shape and beautifully crafted, in essence he says, designed to last a lifetime – or at least many years. In a world of ever-changing trends and disposable consumer goods, Harald says this classical approach is highly sought after, as are traditional core values such as sustainability, reliability, service and quality.

“Jos. Eschenbach is not a fashion brand – it is classical in design and traditional in values. The inspiration behind our designs is quite simply the history and heritage of the Eschenbach company, combined with the artisan history of Nuremberg, where Eschenbach Optik was founded and still resides today,” said Harald.

In essence, he said, the brand represents 100 years of traditional craftsmanship improved and refined with modern manufacturing techniques and state of the art materials.

Manufactured for Longevity

Quality and wearer comfort are clearly at the heart of the manufacturing process with approximately 90 per cent of the collection crafted from titanium for light-weight comfort, while the remaining models feature high quality acetate or combinations of materials. Temples are cut with a bevel to prevent colour peeling and the collection uses OBE hinges and quality screws to give the frames stability.

When it comes to colour, Harald says it’s all about choosing from a palette of restrained, natural tones and in some cases bringing frames to life with a bolder highlight. Going forward, he said, frames will feature “reduced design detail a Nordic colour palette combined with stylish colour accents”.

A Sophisticated Market

As you’d expect, Jos. Eschenbach spectacles have been designed for a sophisticated market; or as Harald says, “the so-called ‘harmoniser plus’ demographic – people who are in the prime of their life, and appreciate high quality and service (not to mention classic design)”.

“Jos. Eschenbach recalls a time when purchasing glasses was an event that required the expertise of a master optician. The Jos. Eschenbach collection is aimed at the customer who appreciates the whole experience of receiving the attention of a skilled optician fitting them with a high quality pair of spectacles,” he explained.

And although there’s been no time yet for awards to be showered on this new brand, you can bet they’re on the way. Harald and his design team won the iF material design award and the reddot design award in 2012, for frame models from the Titanflex collection.

Eschenbach Optik frames, including the Jos. Eschenbach collection, are distributed in Australia by European Eyewear. Contact (AUS) 1800 818 221