BETH SCHLAU: What is the design philosophy of Götti Switzerland?
SVEN GOTTI: Our focus is on high standards and simplicity. This is not only relevant to the materials, colors, and manufacturing process but to the design as well. My team and I develop around 40 new models each year. We produce frames in Germany and Japan and are continually looking to increase the functionality of the frame as well.
BETH: How does having a background as an optician assist in designing frames?
SVEN: Our frames are meant to be worn every day. This means that they have to be more than just nice to look at. We want them to support the wearer’s personality and to feel as lightweight and comfortable as possible. Having a background as an optician gives me deeper knowledge about a frame’s fit and fashion and helps me to consider all issues that might be important for Götti eyewear consumers.
BETH: Given the success of the SPIN&STOW Technology, do you foresee any other innovations in your collections?
SVEN: We are always working on new ideas. This fall, for example, we came up with a new nosepad technology for our titanium frames. Not only does it make the frames more comfortable but the technology ups the cool factor! It underlines the models’ minimalistic and high-tech look.
BETH: The acetate frames are handcrafted and hand polished. What is the reason behind doing this labor-intensive work?
SVEN: It is essential that every single model reach the high standard of a Götti frame. We have been partnering with the same materials manufacturers ever since we started and they know the details of a Götti frame. This ensures that we get the quality we want. Hand polishing is the last step in the production of our acetate frames. The people who perform the hand polishing have been doing it for many years. They use trained movements to ensure the unmistakable shine on our acetate eyeglasses. Their hands move with precision so that the nuances of each pair of a Götti frame can be lovingly brought to life.
BETH: Titanium has always been a material of choice for Götti. Do you expect to continue using it? If so, why?
SVEN: Titanium is a very important part of our collection and an interesting material to work with because it is lightweight and hypoallergenic. The idea is to bring together handcrafting and high-tech. We use exclusively pure titanium and therefore the material is extraordinarily soft and can only be hardened with individually manufactured pressing tools with up to 300 tons of weight. We recently went to Japan to visit the manufacturer that we have been working with for over 20 years. While there, our film team shot a short film, The Official Götti Titanium Story, which shows what goes on behind the scenes. It’s available at gotti.ch/blog.
BETH: What role does sunwear play in your product mix?
SVEN: Frames have always been more than just a way to have better sight. For me it is also a fashion accessory. Sunwear completes the collection and is an important part of it. We recently launched new ophthalmic models that are available as sunglasses as well.
BETH: How do you decide where Götti is sold? How does the U.S. market compare to your other markets?
SVEN: Götti is sold in shops which, as is the brand, are oriented toward exclusive, high-quality eyewear. It is only logical, therefore, that the opticians who choose Götti for their product range are among the best in their respective cities.
The U.S. market is very important for us. The shops that showcase our frames and their customers like the quality and style of our collection and understand the way we look at eyewear. This has motivated us to invest further in the U.S. market.
BETH: Does your sales team work closely with eyecare professionals to ensure that the Götti ‘message’ is promoted to their patients?
SVEN: We tell the story about our brand, including information about the materials we use, publish interviews with staff members, and showcase behind-the-scene stories in our Journal, which we update every six months. We send it to our customers and have it available at optical trade shows. It also is on our website.
In addition, we are in constant contact with our salespeople around the world and we meet with them twice a year at the international optical shows. At these meetings, the sales team gets a great deal of information about the brand and the people behind it, which is then disseminated to our customers. Finally, the third channel we use to get our message across is social media.