French Eyewear by Pascal Guidice and Christophe Morcamp
Plein Les Mirettes glasses are produced near Evreux, Normandy. Pascal Guidice and Christophe Morcamp shared their eyewear story since creating their women’s eyewear label in January 2013.
Have you both been in eyewear for a while or did you begin your careers in different sectors?
Christophe Morcamp: My first job was managing visual impairments and strabismus as an orthoptist. Then, over the years after further training in optics, I took a position as an assistant ophthalmologist. At the same time I created two optical shops in Normandy. This was a new experience and allowed me to learn about French eyewear very quickly. I fell in love when shopping for my stores with the creative collections. Making a collection of my very own soon started to appeal to me.
Pascal has a background in R&D, purchase management and finance – in other areas of business. It is the union of our complementary skills that has enabled Plein Les Mirettes to establish itself as a specialist in women’s eyewear in just five years.
Has it been difficult to grow your small label and what has been the main challenge? What has been the best thing for both of you?
We are lucky; the collection quickly finds an audience. The graphic quality and the traditional French production of our glasses enabled us to quickly find our place in a market which is already saturated.
In the first year, we opened more than 200 customer accounts in France, started exporting to Italy with Mattis our distributor there, and also to the Netherlands and Belgium. We were able to develop sufficiently for Pascal to leave his job to join me in this beautiful adventure in eyewear!
You are only designing women’s frames but their appeal is huge! What is your focus? Why do women love your frame styles?
Plein Les Mirettes is addressed specifically to women. I wanted to have fun drawing, but also to address a lot of women through these designs. I think women appreciate the glasses because they have been made especially for them!
You have a sensitive colour palette – that is broad and quite complex in terms of the graduated effects and transparency. Is this a natural gift or has it taken a lot of work to arrive at this in acetate?
I have a natural sensitivity to colour that comes from my childhood. I was lucky to be surrounded by women with strong characters and assertive tastes. I learnt a lot about what they liked.
In recent years, what have been your favourite trips abroad? Tell us a bit about this experience.
We are both a bit wild and we occasionally enjoy partying with a few special friends. During the many trips that we are now making to the various eyewear fairs around the world, we go out very little and dedicate ourselves exclusively to work. However we sometimes take a few extra days away from the madness of Vegas or NYC; we enjoy walking around the streets of Copenhagen or making personal visits to see our distributor in Canada or Tel Aviv.
We are fascinated by your factory in Normandy and its traditional production. Feel free to talk about this as it must be a huge benefit for you to have an intimate relationship with your producers and to live so close to them?
Our production is just near our house and this is a major asset for our success. The workshop and the team working there are close to us and understand our tastes. Being “on the spot” allows me to have access to some of their acetate stock and I think it makes me more responsive to the demands of women and opticians. I can also have an eye on every step of the production and have some things changed in real time if need be. But just as much as this proximity, another important thing is our producer’s know-how and recognised expertise.
Finally, what do you both love doing outside eyewear? What inspires you and what makes you feel happy or creatively inspired?
Pascal and I love to spend our life at work. We have the chance to work together, and we have our offices within the floors of our house in Normandy.
We are very different in our interests. I love cooking, gardening, and spending time modifying the decor of the rooms in the house, drawing objects, clothes, accessories. Pascal loves reading and visiting museums; and he absolutely loves ‘shoes’. www.plein-les-mirettes.fr CN