A new collection, born from experience

Author: Clodagh Norton

Interview of the Month
April 20, 2021

Markus Temming, founder

EDITION 21 is part of a new offering at MARKUS T, the German label dedicated to a purist, minimal eyewear style based on innovation and a distinctive, technically precise manufacturing style. With carefully honed details, the models also benefit from fresh colour accents, and a ‘positive flash of orange’ to represent hope for 2021.

Q: The new line EDITION 21 was created in an extraordinary time of pandemic. Explain your thinking when you were developing the line and what you wanted to achieve?

A: This special time has given us the opportunity to focus on what is essential and what really counts. Not only in our private lives, but also from the perspective of an eyewear brand. At the same time, we realise we couldn't stand still. In these challenging times, when many are waiting to see what will happen, we have continued to develop ourselves and our products. This is how EDITION 21 came into being – representing the essence of two of our strongest collections, the DOT and the rimless EASE collection. Two new models, each with fresh colour accents, make up EDITION 21, rounded off by an appealing POS package.

Q: MARKUS T has traditionally not worked around seasonal trends. Why is this and what has your focus been instead?

A: MARKUS T stands for German quality and reliable durability. Instead of short-term fashion trends, we focus on longevity. With our different collections, we represent a very large portfolio - including all model and colour variations, we offer a selection of over 60 thousand possible frame variations.  We manufacture on individual request for the optician or end customer - 100% at our German location in Gütersloh, Isselhorst. This means that we are very close to every production step and can react flexibly and maintain high quality. By maintaining these standards, we set our own trends.

Q: EDITION 21 stands out for some specific details as well as a timeless approach: you summarise this with the words consistency, concentration, cooperation and clarity. Can you explain?

A: At the moment, the world feels like it's moving a little slower. During this time, we have become aware of four special values that often seem so self-evident. Consistency, Concentration, Cooperation and Clarity. For us as an eyewear brand, these values stand for consistent reliability, a concentrated focus on the essentials, cooperative cohesion and a clarified view of the future. With this compass of values in mind, EDITION 21 was created, representing the essence of two of our strongest and most innovative collections.

\\ EDITION 21 by Markus T

Q: Two of the frames feature the DOT MONO hinge technology. Explain this element of the design, and give a little history about the technical innovation.

A: The hinge of the DOT Mono collection combines technology and design in the smallest space. The intelligent, technical part is something that has always distinguished MARKUS T - that is why we deliberately do not hide the technology, but always try to integrate it harmoniously. This characteristic is summed up by the hinge of the DOT Mono. Filigree lasered titanium creates a light and flexible frame that is nevertheless robust.

Q: You describe the collection as offering harmony in “material and colour”. Describe the materials and colour concepts that characterise the models.

A: Our collections are made exclusively from the materials titanium and TMi, a specially developed synthetic material. Due to the dyeing processes, which also take place in-house, we are able to reproduce a wide range of colours in titanium and plastic. For EDITION 21, we chose the colour anthracite for the titanium frame. This is because it is my favorite colour, and also because the dark grey harmonizes well with the accent colours of the TMi-flex contours, which accentuate the edge of the lens. Each EDITION 21 frame comes with two pairs of TMi flex contours that can be changed by the optician. So you can choose between a beautiful earthy olive brown and a positive and fresh orange. TMi – which stands for strength and lightness - is our specially developed plastic that has been used in various MARKUS T collections since 2003. We wanted to process a synthetic material that had the properties of titanium: unbreakable yet flexible, light, anti-allergenic and dyeable. Since such a plastic was not available on the market, we developed it ourselves - researching and experimenting until we were convinced by the result.  In Edition 21, the flexible accent rings, which are placed around the rim of the glass, are made of TMi.

Q: In 2016 the factory moved 2km to a new location – can you tell us more?

A: I founded the label MARKUS T in 1999. With steady growth, I had the opportunity to acquire the site of an old, disused distillery in Gütersloh, Isselhorst in 2016. A project of the heart - but also a mammoth task. After 5 years of reconstruction and renovation, a location for the MARKUS T brand has been created that is unique in our region. The glass factory offers our customers the opportunity to see every single production step. We are planning tours and visitor events for customers - so we very much hope that this will be possible again very soon! The production site also hosts a diverse mix of tenants, including service providers, a hairdresser, a restaurant, a coffee roaster, and private residences. A specially operated serviceless hotel has also been created - the design hotel PÖLTER (local dialect for "pyjamas") which is operated by us. The hotel accommodates our international clients, but is also there to offer business guests from the region an attractive place to stay.

\\ EDITION 21 by Markus T

Q: What are your aspirations 1/ for this collection and 2/ for 2021?

A: We hope that EDITION 21 will set a positive starting signal for 2021. For this collection, we have focused on two new models to complement our strong EASE and DOT collections. The colour scheme features orange, which stands out as part of the character of the product – as well as featuring in the marketing communication for EDITION 21; this tone underlines our optimism and positive attitude which is what we think is needed: an optimistic view of the future with a focus on what's essential. This is also our guiding principle for 2021. With or without trade shows, contact with customers is important, as is cooperation and mutual support in these challenging times. At the end of the day, we all want to see happy faces - preferably, of course, with a MARKUS T frame on their nose.

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