Katharina Schlager, Head of Design and CEO @ ANDY WOLF EYEWEAR
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the optical industry?
My passion for glasses played a big role in it. During my time as a sales representative I started to draft frames. My career as a designer started when my boss recognized my potential for sketching frames.
What are your favorite frames throughout all of your collections?
I admire all of our frames, simply because each one is special on it ́s own. As the creative impulse behind all of our designs, it ́s hard to say which one I have as a favorite. I have a secret passion for cat-eye glasses with unusual shapes and strong colors though.
What’s your creative process behind designing your glasses?
The acetate glasses which are made by hand are all produced in our manufactory in Hartberg – as well as our creative studio. In 2016 we acquired another factory in France, which is specialized for the production of fine metal glasses. In addition, we have a creative office in New York and Berlin as well. The unique differences between all those cities are inspiration for the collections which makes every frame diverse – the same as we are.
What challenges do you see facing the optical industry in the coming years?
Opticians and customers will increasingly focus on sustainability - in terms of quality, production and fair working conditions.
How will these challenges impact you as an independent Eyewear Designer?
Sustainability, production and fair working conditions have already been core-values to us. An entire inhouse value chain and the production is all based in Europe. We are looking constantly for new methods to improve us as a company.
How has 100% Optical helped you to over come these challenges?
Since our booth was in the area where many brands work on the same credo, we had amazing in-depth conversations and this lead to a great input about the topic as a whole.
Describe 100% Optical in less than 25words?
100% Optical is the UK's most important trade show and we are so proud to be a part of it.
What career advice would you give your 18 year-old-self?
Believe in yourself and live life exactly the same, even if there are times when you want to give up. Simply, stay true to yourself, have patience and believe in your visions.
Who is your eyewear inspiration?
My approaches to eyewear are intermingled. It can be a painting in a gallery, a vintage discovery at a flea market or simply a person walking on the street.
What can we expect to see from you this year?
It's still a secret, but we’re going to make a strong fashion statement with our new upcoming collection.