OWL OPTICS is a small and sexy Berlin glasses brand which is now spreading its wings to reach an increasingly international audience. Known for their stylish frames that come in an unusual palette of cool matte colours, their new website means snapping up their affordable wares is easier than ever. We spoke to David Kamp, founder and CEO, about running the company and why it’s always a good idea to make passes at girls who wear glasses.
Read the full interview here below.
1. What do OWL OPTICS stand for as a brand?
All marketing jabber aside: When we decided to make glasses, we wanted to create beautiful everyday objects that we, as well as their future owners, would be happy with. The key for us was sensibility – objects that are well thought through have something incredibly satisfying.
2. When did you discover your passion for glasses?
I got my first pair of glasses when I was twenty, which was pretty late. They were made from nearly invisible metal, and were really hideous – the type of glasses people wear who wish they didn’t have to wear glasses. With time, I started to see glasses no longer as a necessary evil, but as an accessory.
3. How, when, where, why did you establish OWL? Give us the backstory (in a nutshell.)
In 2009, still working as a strategist in advertising, I started searching the internet for a new pair of glasses. The experience was atrocious. So I figured there was a need for a nice place on the web to buy cool glasses. I did some research and quit my job the following year. OWL went live 12 months thereafter.
4. How would you describe your core customer?
We make stuff that we like. Hence we’re there for people like us: talented, smart, insanely good-looking and very modest.
5. What are your main style/visual influences for OWL? Is it fair to say Scandie-fashion has been important to you?
OWL was developed in Berlin, and continues to be shaped by the city. We try to keep an open eye everywhere we go though. The Internet? Not so much. We use it for emails, selling glasses, and watching cute animal videos.
6. Where do you get the ideas for things like the signature matte-finish, the unusual colour shades and the shapes?
We’ve become quite good at listening to what we want, and we were really fed up with shiny, multi-colored surfaces, big logos, fat ergonomically shaped temples, etc. – so we did the opposite and made stuff that has a fairer chance of standing the test of time.
7. How long does it take for you to approve each model you put out? How long is the process?
A long time. We started working on OWL over two years ago and we’ve just recently released our fourth and fifth models. So…yes…we are the slowest company on the internet.
10. Who are your personal male + female glasses-wearing icons/legends?
Kim Yong-Il pulled off women’s sunglasses like nobody’s business.
11. Why the name? OWLS seem to be everywhere at the moment! (even Justin Bieber now has an owl tattoo on his arm, #truestory)
So many reasons – I don’t even know which one is true anymore. OWL OPTICS = O-O go figure…
12. How closely do you follow the fashion industry and the different seasons, colours and trends?
Not very closely. We don’t believe in seasons when it comes to glasses. Seasons are an invention of the fashion industry and the guys who invented God. We are building a portfolio instead of cranking out entirely new collections every 6 months.
13. What do you try and achieve with each new pair of OWL glasses that you bring out?
It has to work on its own and as part of the OWL family if you will. A bit like a child, but less expensive.
14. Tell us about the most recent models of glasses you brought out.
The VIER are the most compact OWLS to date, and a direct nod to fine taste (and fast cars). The FÜNF is a very good reason to wear a round pair of glasses.
15. You have just relaunched your website, tell us about that. What is new?
More bare skin! And as a marginal note: the site and shop have become easier to use and nicer to look at.
17. Do you think glasses mostly make people look a) smarter b) sexier c) richer.
d) dorkier (If you pick the wrong ones)
18. Are you hitting on girls with glasses?
All the time. I want my children to be as blind as a bat.
19. If you had to choose just one pair of OWL glasses to live with the rest of your life, which pair would u choose and why?
The ZWEI in Palisander. It makes me look smarter, sexier, richer and, if need be, dorkier!
20. What would you say to the little kids who get picked on at school because they have to wear glasses?
Aim for the nuts.
Product shots and David Kamp portrait by Jonas Lindström
Lookbook shots by Kira Bunse