Award-winning Danish luxury eyewear brand Lindberg has been pioneering their innovative titanium frames for more than 35 years. In these unprecedented times, we talk to collector, designer, and CEO Henrik Lindberg on upholding the brand’s philosophy, maintaining ‘timeless design with an innovative attention to detail’, and how not to react in a global pandemic.
What motivates you?
As an architect my mindset is to problem solve, turning things upside down, and coming up with unique solutions continuously. I am motivated by the modern movement of functionalism where you are guided by the purpose of the item being designed. This curiosity and quest for perfection is a state of mind and my inner flame.
What do you love most about the brand?
I love our design and our DNA – it always comes first. We believe that timeless design lies within craftsmanship, high- quality materials and durability – and integrating these elements requires a push for technical innovation. Another cornerstone is the importance of tailor-made eyewear. For decades, the family has been optometrists by trade and together we saw the need for a building system allowing the wearer to have the ultimate fit and a one-of-a-kind look.
…and what makes it unique?
We were the first manufacturer to use titanium in eyewear and we used the material itself without resorting to welding. Right from the start, we realized that no one was able to manufacture our titanium frames. We had to do it ourselves. This supreme building system had never been seen before – and it still has not – in the world of mass market.
Lindberg has a 35-year legacy already, how do you intend to build on that?
We stay faithful to our DNA and this pure desire to continuously push the limits of the technology and high-quality materials has proven that our brand is original when we create unique designs. I believe the answer is also to keep motivating my employees. We are eager to present to the world our latest development with technical solutions that have never been done in the history of the eyewear industry.
How is the brand adapting to the market challenges that we are experiencing right now?
Whenever challenges arise, we still do everything the best we can while respecting the situation. In times like these, we have actually always done the opposite of many others; we have invested in the innovation of our products instead of cutbacks in production costs.
You apply a 360° ‘made by, designed by’ approach to your creative processes. Why is that so important to you?
I believe that by doing every aspect in-house, we are extraordinary agile and more importantly – we have a risk-taking approach and are not afraid to change decisions and direction at high speed. We must do it exceptionally well, and the only way to guarantee the best results is by doing it ourselves.
You have a self-confessed obsessive work ethic. How are you adapting in these times of change when our regular routines are not available to us?
My quest for originality derives from my passionate feelings and my imagination. To recapture a clear vision, I attract myself to my other satisfactions in life. My interests in fashion, art, design, travel, automotive, and sailing help spark creativity. A saying that does not exist at Lindberg is to ‘do as usual’. I like the feeling of ‘having to do things differently’ – whether it is forced by nature or by ourselves. I do not find it difficult to adapt to change. In fact, I thrive on challenges and question regular routines.
The eyewear market has become increasingly saturated in recent years. How do you ensure you’re heard amidst all the noise?
We see an influx of mass-produced or poor-quality eyewear and they are not necessarily the right fit for the consumer. I think it is a shame to see so many people wearing glasses that do not fit them well; they are such an essential accessory. The eyes are the first feature you are drawn to when you meet a person. We do believe that we stand out, not only due to our customization concept or our use of high-quality materials but more especially because of our respect for craftsmanship. We also need to be a step ahead of the mass-market. To do this, we must invest a lot in the education of our partners.
Customization is your forte and popular here in the Arab market. Where do you see the bespoke thread leading in eyewear design?
We have been in the Arab market for more than three decades especially due to your demand for lightweight titanium design and the possibility of customization. Our precious collection stays true to our design ideals of lightweight and Danish minimalist design. The frames are made of 18-carat solid yellow, pink or white gold, 950 platinum, buffalo horn, fine woods – in some cases embellished with a design featuring the best quality diamonds. Our precious Limited collection with only 10 frames is, particularly in demand.
What are your biggest career lessons?
Improve at least 1% each day – we need to improve ourselves. We do not succeed by staying within the comfort zone. You need to push the boundaries by training the brain to think in other directions.
Give us three pieces of advice for leading in challenging times
1. See the potential in not saying “we used to do…” Challenge each day and pay attention to adding value.
2. Seek opportunities. Be optimistic, but nevertheless be realistic.
3. Be present and do not hide within your company. And if you are placed in a position to be able to make significant changes, you have to do it properly – do not be afraid of discussion even if it is dreadful, it just needs to be done thoughtfully.