Round or rectangular, characteristic or elegant, natural-toned or featuring bold colors and patterns, but what’s even more important: lightweight, comfortable, finely crafted and fully customizable eyewear. We interviewed the team of Kecskemét-based brand Thinwood. Interview!
The brand was founded by Arnold Kis, who once found a piece of sunglasses that he liked very much, and it turned out it was for women, and there were no larger sizes available – this is how the story of Thinwood started, a brand that has grown into a family business since then. What is the philosophy of your brand, and who are the members?
Thinwood’s basic philosophy is that we would like to make wearing glasses “lighter” by creating comfortable frames, for which we use a composite that is yet unknown for the optics industry. Instead of the already known materials, we wanted to experiment with a new and innovative one, which then allowed us to create frames that are special not only in terms of looks but materials, too.
In addition to the founder of the brand, Arnold’s mother, Ilona is responsible for production, and Arnold’s wide, Zsófia is in charge of sales. Another integral member of the team is Bence, who is mainly responsible for polishing the lenses.
What are the most important elements determining Thinwood’s identity? What are you frames made of and how?
The identity of our pieces is mainly determined by customizability and the high-tech material: the frames can be tailored to our customers’ needs to the fullest extent both in terms of color and size.
The Thinwood frames are made of a composite material: we found a new method of use of a tried-and-tested material. Essentially we use materials already tested in space technology, and which were also experimented in the course of designing Formula 1 cars and the in the course of constructing the equipment of alternative energy sources.
An additional peculiarity of the frames is that they are all hand-crafted, thus enhancing premium quality even more.
We consider it important for our products to reflect preciseness, perfectness and our love for making glasses, which can only be attained and passed to the wearer through hand-crafting.
Manufacturing a piece of eyewear consists of more than fifty small processes, the majority of which is related to hand-crafting. We strive to develop our manufacturing processes on a regular basis – the best indicator of this is the time needed for production. Owing to the continuous optimization of technology and manufacturing, making a pair of glasses takes between three and six days approximately today, while four years ago it took two-three weeks.
How is the Thinwood eyewear collection built up: do you have permanent pieces or is your selection expanded with new models from time to time? How many shapes and colors can we choose from currently?
We refresh our basic collection two times a year. On the one hand, we expand the shapes, and on the other hand (even though this is not too spectacular) we modify technical details, for example currently we are right in the middle of a process of changing spectacle arms manufacturers.
Currently you can choose from 28 models in the basic collection, which we can manufacture in 26 colors. Six shapes were left out during the refresh last year that could not make it into the basic models, but we loved them very much, and so we created a limited collection and gave them a unique deep black tone – this is our 27th color.
What types of frames, shapes and colors are the most popular today in your opinion? Are there any bestsellers or hits in your repertoire?
Fashionable shapes include round frames, also showing on the sales figures of our model Rufus. Our Exact series come with a thicker front, this is mainly chosen by people preferring bolder looks, while or thin-fronted Lite series offers an elegant look to its wearer. The larger, squared shapes are also quite in right now, including our models Tristan, Alex or Marvin. Our customers also love our unisex frames, such as the models Summer and Edmond. The girly, cat-eye shapes never get old: in our collection, these are the models called Minnie and Mo.
As to colors, we can say that Hungarian Thinwood-wearers are quite open to diversity. Most people still opt for natural colors, this is why we offer golden brown or olive green frames, representing a more moderate line, yet not at all “boring”. More and more people choose red, pink or purple frames, but blue is still the jolly joker. The yellow shades or more vibrant green colors are preferred by our foreign customers.
A pair of glasses stays with us for long years, and it is quite difficult to find the shape and color matching our face perfectly without professional help. You recently launched your new service, Custom Shop. What is this service exactly and what should we know about it?
The essence of the initiative is to “let your frames be your trademark” – that is, to wear glasses that no one else wears. With our service, we aim to address our customers preferring designer products, who are more open to extreme patterns and unique colors.
We actually imagined the Custom Shop service in the form of a series of events: at an event like this, first we help visitors choose the best frame shape, and if necessary, we tailor it to the face of the customer. As a second step, which is the most exciting part of the process, we choose from the colors and patterns the ones that match the personality of the given customer the best. This is not an easy task, as you can choose from more than 500 different colors and patterns, which takes a little bit longer compared to the regular frames selection process: this is why we felt that we should dedicate separate events to it.
Finally the frame also needs a lens: we offer non-prescription sunglasses lenses, but if someone wants to combine their Thinwood frame with an optical lens, we will connect them with one of our partners.
What are the next steps, and what novelties can we expect from you in the future?
The big news of the fall will be the debut of a new collection. We also plan to involve a new material and to continue our Custom Shop and open week event series. We hope exhibition season can launch again next year, and we get to present our novelties on the international market, too.
If you’d like to give Custom Shop a try, the next event will be held in the last week of August. For further information, keep an eye on Thinwood’s Facebook page!