LITHE Eyewear is a relatively young German brand with a clear focus on lightness and understated, subtle designs. Unsurprisingly, they rely heavily on beta-Titanium for their work. However, going further, LITHE is developing technical features that further contribute to the lightness they aspire to in their designs. We spoke to founder Ralf Kmoch to find out more.
Hi Ralf, let’s go over the origin story of LITHE. When and why did you create LITHE?
Over three years ago, we realized that while we had been offering a wide range of titanium models in our collection, we hadn’t really come close to their true potential in terms of lightness and flexibility. So, I sat down with Viktor Kammerer and Volker Beck, both of whom are very experienced designers, and I really engaged with the beta titanium issue intensely and with great enthusiasm.
Did you get the feeling that other brands aren’t getting involved enough with the topic?
We are not alone in this niche, of course. We saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves and develop a New design language for ourselves due to our innovative mounting options.
What is LITHE’s philosophy?
The motto “Visibly invisible“is an important core stateMent for us. For us, it means putting the user first and making urban, tasteful and pragmatic designs that suit our contemporary needs. And all of that done fairly, durably and for constant use.
How do you achieve that lightness that is so important for your models?
Japanese beta titanium can be made very thin without losing its strength, giving the material a lot of flexibility and making it comfortable to wear. Of course, that also requires unique manufacturing conditions to keep everything accurate and free from defects. That is something we work hard on.
In addition to beta titanium, he also uses bio-based acetates for some styles. What possibilities does this New material offer?
It gives us New and sustainable options for colorful and structured lightweight designs. Viktor and Volker used it to open up a whole New world of possibilities for LITHE, while opening the door to greater sustainability for our brand.
In addition to materials, it has a range of technical applications in its repertoire that have also contributed to the lightness of the LITHE models.What are those?
For acetate models too?
Absolutely. The combination of thin acetate designs with the patent “the ring” allows for a range of new interpretations and techniques. Bioacetate and beta titanium are future-oriented solutions.
You also get by without using any screws.I eat?
An interpretation of the full rim version makes possible a solution without a rim lock or bolts due to the tension in the wire along the bottom of the rim. It is a characterVery exciting static and allows us to keep the weight down.
Is the weight on the temples also being reduced?
The temples can be shortened individually and we guarantee a high level of comfort despite the delicate underwire with our rubber temple tips.
How important would you say Sunglasses are in your new collections?
LITHE’s focus is primarily on Optical frames. That is where we see our future.
How would you describe the design of LITHE DANN? Are there design aspects and color combinations that are recurring or typical of your models?
We want to consciously and resolutely embrace the Zeitgeist of this very minimalist, urban and cosmopolitan niche and work in line with it. Designs are flattering rather than PROvocative – we look for pragmatic and attractive designs that are visibly invisible.
Your models are very delicate, but despite this you Mention their impressive robustness.How did you achieve that?
Making sure that these delicate designs are durable and long-lasting is just an inherent prerequisite for this type of design. For us, beta titanium and its structure, including our hinges, are the solution to that requirement. The ultimate test is for a pair of glasses to survive my use for a long time, and mine has passed with flying colors.
You sent us four new models for our shoot. What do you like most about them?
The Women’s full-rimmed version is flattering on even the smallest wearers, with colorful accents on the slightly wider temples that make them a wearable work of art.
The Women’s Combo-Bio-Acetate is impressive in all four color variants, each flattering the wearer in a different way.
The sheet version for men offers a sporty look with a slight curve to underline the masculine character of the wearer.
The full rim version uses its aforementioned invisibility to PROvide an eloquent and elegant appearance. Pure euphemism.
You will be launching a new advertising campaign along with the new PROducts. How does the campaign reflect your brand identity?
The filming location, a limestone quarry, creates an exciting contrast to our technical and aesthetic products. Nature meets technology, eternity meets Zeitgeist, and the photographer and models find their limits in wind, dust, and dazzling sunlight. The result is incredibly aesthetic and came out just as we imagined. The models were also quite impressed by the archaic-looking 80-tonne mining Equipment.
photos RAPHAEL SCHMITZ
PostingLITHE GOES BETA-TITANIUM // VISIBLY INVISIBLEfirst appeared inSpectrum.