Emerging label We Are Annu represent the new-generation of innovators in 3D printed eyewear from Germany. Having created their brand amongst friends four years ago, they are now evolving their output and creative direction through shared values, commitment to quality and a genuine desire to innovate. The brand currently specializes in durable, lightweight 3D-printed frames and uses a screwless titanium “Clip” hinge which lends a flexible and robust structure to the design. They also offer a choice of temple size and nose pad, giving an adaptable fit for all face shapes and sizes.
We are Annu is a start-up with a particular design and philosophy. Can you explain how you set up and who the team is? We started in summer 2016, and over the past three years, the team has grown from a single person alone in a workshop, to a group of eighteen of us. Most of whom are also shareholders. We developed it this way because we wanted to create a team of young people who could make something happen together and at the same time, for themselves. Our sense of ownership and responsibility to one another is what makes our brand unique. And this approach has proved a success for us – over and over again.
As a young, creative company, what are your aspirations? Our focus is simple, we aspire to make the best possible product. That is why we spend considerable time on the details, working and reworking solutions. Our approach is that of continued refinement through an iterative design process because we want to continue to make it better. The end goal for us is design-simplicity, executed with intelligence and mastery – which isn’t easy to achieve. If we succeed, that will be another story. But for now, we keep hold of the idea as a belief and a working process to keep chasing – we push ourselves forward.
What has your experience been so far as a start-up in this business? It is a very competitive market, so we have to choose carefully where to put our energy. And for us, it’s the product, the customers and the opticians every time. These are the most important things to us. Good people and good products. We are now looking forward to establishing long-lasting relationships and forging new ones as we grow our business, and so far, it has been amazing.
It is incredible to think that we only launched in opti in 2019, so we are not even a year old officially. And we have found ourselves on this super exciting journey with so many great people.
From where do you draw inspiration? We are very passionate about creativity and culture and draw inspiration from many places. Art, design, music, the whole creative spectrum really. At the root of this, are the folks behind the work, this is what we are inspired by, people.
We are currently developing an exciting platform called Friends of Annu, and this is where we present the stories of interesting people we know and like. It is still in its infancy, but we hope to build it into something comprehensive. Eventually, it will become an editorial archive of real people and their stories. It is partly a labour of love, but we think a good one.
Are you working together in one office or are you in different places? Both really, we are a German company based in Nuremberg, and we have an office and workshop here, but we also have members of our team who work remotely out of Amsterdam, Tel-Aviv and Berlin.
We try to meet at least three times a year for full team workshops and to communicate daily through different communication and productivity platforms. It is incredible how connected we are by technology, it has revolutionized how we work and what we can achieve.
What are your plans for 2020? We are looking forward to each and every step along the way. Like I said earlier, we are dedicated to the details and are in a constant process of development – in all areas of our business. It could be design innovation, R&D, brand design, sales, manufacture, the team, everything. It’s all happening.
We have a new collection to present at the Munich trade fair in January. We will be showing what we believe to be the lightest eyewear on the market, and the frames are absolutely beautiful. Find out more: https://weareannu.com Clodagh Norton interviewed Iddo Zimmermann, Co-Founder, We Are Annu.
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