July 05, 2019
Daniel Liktor, Global Brand Director
Fashion focused. Innovative. With a sustainable agenda. The young Austrian label neubau has much ambition when it comes to eyewear.
20/20 Europe interviewed Daniel Liktor, Global Brand Director.
Q: Please tell us how neubau has evolved since the launch in June 2016. Has it been an exciting journey so far and what have been the main events in your view?
A: It has been, and still is, a very exciting journey! neubau has clearly sharpened its brand profile within the short period since its launch. But the main development took place on the product side. With the launch of our sustainable material called naturalPX and the linked addition of the sustainability to our brand core at the beginning of 2017, we were able to clearly differentiate ourselves from our main competitors in the market. Another important milestone was the launch of our high-end segment in April 2018 with our very first and unique special edition sun frame Sigmund & Carl and our interpretation of the inclusion of 3D-printed applications to a frame. On the business side, we were proud to have entered our 30th market in 2018 and we have sold over 200.000 pieces of neubau frames to our retailers since 2016.
Q: What have become the key traits of the brand in your view, and will this carry through in 2019?
A: Clearly, our modern and unique positioning as an urban and sustainable brand with a strong heritage in Austria. Being sustainable is key to our success, as everyone is able to connect with us, even if not part of our core target group. This will never end; we are even trying to increase the sustainable part within our brand, as regards the products and other fields like POS materials.
Q: neubau eyewear is strongly linked to Silhouette Eyewear, particularly for design and production expertise. Explain how the relationship has nurtured the brand and provided manufacturing expertise and particular opportunities for innovation.
A: The very beneficial functional component, that is, having a great fit and very comfortable to wear products is due to our heritage and the know-how of our “mother-company” – Silhouette International. It is fundamental to our clear goal - to offer great quality products with a unique design, made in the heart of Europe!
\\ Model Giovanni by neubau
Q: The ecological trend in eyewear is growing. How does neubau develop this thread of its DNA?
A: We had it in our brand DNA from day 1 and we strive for added value without any compromise in terms of quality. As we are not 100% sustainable we do see lots of topics we want to adjust in our future, on the product side as well as on the brand side. We have one big new project to come in 2019; we are already very excited about it.
Q: Recent collections have typically included special edition launches such as, for 2019 the Walter & Wassily sunglasses and also recently a collab with artist Peter Olschinsky. How are these editions received and what do they represent?
A: These special editions or capsule collections are a very crucial part to us. They are supportive in positioning and sharpening the brand as well as our technology and innovation light- towers. In communication, it’s very important to tell a story that has something very unique to differentiate us from the strong competition. By creating our own signature pieces like Sigmund & Carl or our newest addition, the Walter & Wassily, we do not strictly follow the biggest trends, but create something very special in terms of design, technical innovation and most importantly, a story behind the company.
The biggest surprise to all of us was the great success of our very first special piece, the Sigmund & Carl – this was our bestselling sun frame globally in 2018!
The first sales projections for Walter & Wassily are also promising...we’ll see.
\\ Walter & Wassily
Q: Explain neubau’s collections for 2019. What is the key focus in colour, materials and design?
A: In 2019 we will adhere closely to our 2018 set product strategy, where we implemented the additional high-end segment to our already existing classic and lifestyle collections. We are going to add some great frames to all the product segments. The highlights are definitely our two super cool optical launches Sonia & Giovanni and the Bauhaus-design inspired Walter & Wassily.
We will add more 3D printed products. Focus is still on our naturalPX and stainless steel range. The Walter & Wassily is our very first titanium product, and one of the core competences of our mother company Silhouette International, here in combination with 3D printed lens rings.
In our colour direction, we try to find a well-balanced way between trends and existing commercial colorways. A new tortoise, launched in January, is introduced on our new releases Dominik and Nora, and this is one of my favourites.
\\ Models Max and Dominik by neubau
Q: Is endorsement an important area for neubau and how is this a benefit?
A: It definitely is one key pillar of our communication strategy. Our goal is to create a certain mood around the brand and we do obviously benefit from the word-of-mouth generated by working with those personalities who share our lifestyle and mindset.
\\ Tinted love: model Hannes