January 25, 2021
Miriam Exposito, Creative Director at WOODYS
The Barcelona-based company Woodys Eyewear has had quite the year. In the last quarter of 2021 alone, it has showcased a brand new image, the launch of its AW21 campaign and revealed its first pure titanium range for men. In the midst of this, creative director Miriam Exposito reflects on the firm’s design journey, the evolution of its colour universe and its long-term ambition to tap into new markets.
Q: After eight years in the eyewear industry, what sparked the decision to undertake a brand restyling in 2021? What is your aim with this new identity?
A: It was the natural evolution of the brand. When Woodys was born in 2013 our eyewear was 100% made of wood. We had a very young, rebellious and even badass image. We already did a little rebranding in 2017, when we changed the logo and left wood behind to introduce acetate and other materials, which was quite a risky change on our part. We have slowly been evolving over the years, until it exploded in a bigger way with our new rebranding. Our designs are becoming more qualitative and more representative of our brand identity, so we needed a new image that aligned better with our collections and reflected our maturity, experience and unique rebellious character. We are still combining colours, structures and shapes in a way that catches people’s attention, but perhaps in a more elegant and sophisticated way.
Q: We are normal, we are Woodys is the brand’s new slogan. How is this message transmitted through the designs of the AW21 collection? What was the starting point and source of inspiration for the new line?
A: For us, the new slogan represents our belief that normality might not mean the same thing for everyone. As the world turns towards diversity, we continue to embrace things that culturally, people might not conceive as normal — we like peculiar, authentic and unique people. When it comes to the product, we have continued to play with new colours and shapes that look super good in the face and fit our ‘normality’. Overall, the message of the collection is sophistication and is very inspired by design, particularly interior design, but also furniture, art, product design and campaigns by other brands. Our starting point is always the colours, however. We love playing with colour structures, such as a pink with a structure of points, stripes, shapes or even tortoiseshell. These colour combos are what makes us create a collection that is visually attractive and different from the rest.
Q: Woodys is known for its unique approach to colour. How would you define the colour universe of the brand and how has it evolved since its inception?
A: Colour is everything for us, it is our essence. Without our signature colour combinations we would not be the same. Throughout our design journey, we have learned how to play with colours in a way that is more harmonious, natural and attractive. In the past sometimes we would go a bit too far, we used colour almost as if it was a mandatory requirement. Our colour combinations were very impactful and crazy in our early days, but also quite untidy. Over the years we have evolved towards a more sophisticated, elegant and thought out approach. We still use colours that attract attention, but in a way that is easier to sell. We like to play with transparencies that add a pop of colour but don't make you feel like you have something ultra impressive on your face. We might mix a transparent pink with a touch of solid white, for example. These types of combinations allow us to use striking colours but in a much wearable way. In fact, our best-selling frames are actually those with the most daring colours.
Q: As the firm has matured and product lines have expanded over the years, how has your customer base changed? Who wears Woodys today?
A: I would say that the typical Woodys wearer varies widely nowadays, especially when it comes to their ages and genders. But generally they tend to be people with a very young spirit, very dynamic, very cosmopolitan. Someone who likes to follow trends, but does not abuse them either. Someone who is very selective with the brands they wear and likes to be different from the rest, but without being extravagant. As we continue to widen our men's range, our male customer base has grown a lot too. Our 2018 collection had three or four models for men and now we have 20. Men are a bit more different from women in the colour sense, but in our latest men’s collection, we have included small dashes of color, mixed acetates and used softer structures, because it is true that men don’t tend to wear very bright colors, but they for sure want that differential touch. We have also dared a little bit more with trendier shapes.
Q: As men's frames continue to take an increasingly prominent role within the collection, Woodys has just presented the new KANSO 1.6 titanium line for men. Tell us about it.
A: Kanso is a spectacular collection of 11 models that are purely made of titanium and with colours that are very wearable for men, which can sometimes be complicated. The line is inspired by the aesthetics of Japanese design. In fact, Kanso pertains to the concept of simplicity, used to describe design aesthetics. The frames are super light and minimalistic, but with Woodys’ signature, which of course is the colour. This is our first line purely made with titanium. The frames are very strong, lightweight and extremely durable. This range has a slightly darker colour palette, but we are still using yellows, lilacs, greens… We are not going pure black or doing very gray colors, but the colours are a little more contrasted.
Q: How are you planning to meet your sustainability goals for 2022 and 2023 and what are the steps that need to be taken in order to reach them?
A: We are very focused on trying to minimise our footprint as much as possible. So far, we have reduced all the single-use plastic from our shipping and our cases are made of 100% biodegradable materials. When it comes to the frames, we are now including many bio acetates, which have a higher percentage of wood, cotton and have a much lower percentage of toxic resins. We have also incorporated recycled acetate, which means that we can recover the acetate from our own frames and create new designs and colours. This is fantastic because you give them a new use, a new life. The new collection only uses these two types of materials. It is still difficult to be able to do it in the entire collection because the bio materials
Q: What can we expect from the brand in future collections? What would you say is your vision in terms of design and branding for the next five years?
A: As far as the product is concerned, we are working on new product lines that will expand our collection and that will make us reach different markets. We just released a new titanium line, so depending on how it goes, we might expand to a women's titanium range as well. Or we may also develop new lines focused on smaller faces, for example. In terms of branding, we want to consolidate our new image and hopefully become a fashion benchmark in the world of independent eyewear brands. We are also building our new headquarters, which will be incredible as it will also allow us to bring the production of our glasses closer to us and even generate our prototypes in-house.