The Danish Royal Family, politicians, business tycoons, and high-profile celebrities are all wearers of spectacle frames from LINDBERG, the Danish spectacle frames designer. A special highlight is this year's sunglasses collection, which once again demonstrates the elegant, minimalistic, Danish design tradition for which LINDBERG is so well-known and loved. Since an emphasis on high quality is something both LINDBERG and ZEISS have in common, all frames come with ZEISS spectacle lenses. BETTER VISION asked what is so special about this collection and why ZEISS sunglass lenses are such a good match.
LINDBERG's success story began in Denmark in the eighties, when Mr Poul-Jorn Lindberg teamed with architect Hans Dissing to design the AIR Titanium frame, the first hinge-less and screw-less design eyewear. Since then, LINDBERG eyewear, made from lightweight rimless titanium, stands for aesthetics, technical innovation and impeccable craftsmanship. LINDBERG frames are unique, with a rigorous focus on the essentials, and eliminating all unnecessary screws, rivets and welds. The result is incredibly strong and flexible eyewear, which is nevertheless among the lightest and most comfortable in the world.
In 2009 LINDBERG also began producing sunglasses. From the beginning LINDBERG decided to complement its sunglasses collections with sunglass lenses from ZEISS.
BETTER VISION: LINDBERG and ZEISS have been working together for quite some time now. Why were the first sunglass frames fitted with ZEISS spectacle lenses back in 2009?
LINDBERG: We opted to use ZEISS because we were looking for a partner to provide our sunglasses with exceptional visual performance, optimum UV protection and attractive colours. They were the perfect match for our products.
BETTER VISION: That was in 2009. Let's focus on the 2013 sunglass collection. Where do the ideas for the shapes, the style and the colours of the frames and lenses come from?
LINDBERG: It’s difficult to point exactly where our ideas come from. At LINDBERG we don’t believe that inspiration can be found only in yesterday's fashion. On the contrary, we like to find our inspiration in the present and in the things that surround us, and even everyday things such as music and food can be a major source of inspiration. To us design is a way of thinking – about shapes, colours and materials combined with technology, craftsmanship and comfort. And although we get our inspiration from many different things, we always keep our core value, namely design without fringes, in mind. We want to ensure that our sunglasses always meet our standards – they have to be attractive and comfortable to wear.
BETTER VISION: LINDBERG sunglasses are equipped with ZEISS sunglass lenses. How and when does the lens choice influence the design process?
LINDBERG: The lenses are a very significant part of our sunglasses. With each change in the colour and size of the lenses, our classic sunglasses take on a completely new look. Take for instance our 8570 model - just by changing the colour of the lenses, the model goes from being very discrete to flamboyant to crude. So you could say that with ZEISS sunglass lenses, we give our sunglasses a certain individuality.
BETTER VISION: Which is the most iconic model of the collection?
LINDBERG: Our most iconic model would probably be the 8556. This model has been a part of our sunglass collection since the beginning. It has become a modern classic and will always be in fashion. The model is actually a real chameleon – depending on the different colours and lenses used, the model appeals to many different kinds of people, both men and women of all ages. And we can keep on renewing the model; for instance we are launching the model in a sparkling new way, with lenses from ZEISS, combined with a new LINDBERG colour at this year's Silmo tradefair in Paris in October.
BETTER VISION: One of the distinctive features of LINDBERG eyewear is the use of precious materials, like titanium, gold, platinum, diamonds and buffalo horn. Such materials stand for timeless elegance, exceptional strength and visual impact. What is the relationship between material selection and frame design?
LINDBERG: There is a really close relationship between material selection and frame design – you could even say that the two things are interdependent. For instance to make a soft and delicate frame, acetate is an obvious choice. The material by its nature has a softness and depth that titanium doesn’t have. With titanium you can create a light and at the same time strong look, which can be used in sporty, classic and fashionable ways.
When working with gold, it’s important that our design appears light and aesthetic – in Coco Chanel’s words: ‘Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not luxury’.
In addition we mix the materials together such as by putting titanium inlays in our acetate sunglasses, as the titanium strengthens the acetate, making the sunglasses really flexible and adjustable. This means that our frames are incredibly strong and flexible – yet are among the lightest and most comfortable on the market. And this is exactly one of our top priorities when we are designing glasses - comfort and flexibility and the ability to adjust every single frame to the person who is going to wear it. And this goes for our sunglasses as well.
BETTER VISION: One final question. Seeing famous people, in particular members of the Danish Royal Family, wearing LINDBERG eyewear is without a doubt very satisfying for you. Can you recall a significant moment that you experienced?
LINDBERG: Well, we think it goes without saying that the Danish Royal Family should wear a Danish design. However, we are of course very pleased and honoured that they have chosen to wear our sunglasses.
One significant moment which actually came as a big surprise for us, was when the movie poster for ‘James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies’ came out. It showed the villain, the media baron Elliot Carver with a pair of LINDBERG Rim glasses. And as it turned out, they actually bought the glasses on their own initiative, so it wasn’t even a matter of product placement. We were thrilled!
One of the most prominent LINDBERG customers is the Danish Royal Family. HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Henrik wear LINDBERG Titanium frames; while HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary wear LINDBERG Sun frames. The company was granted an exclusive "Royal Warrant Appointment by the Danish Court", an honour granted to leading companies that furnish goods to the Royal Family.
With more than 60 design awards, including the Red Dot award, this high-end eyewear company is undoubtedly a brilliant example of eyewear design at its best.
Images: LINDBERG / Cover Modell 8571