THE STORY OF AD LIB
THIS YEAR, WE CELEBRATE THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR POPULAR EYEWEAR BRAND AD LIB.
We are taking this happy event as an opportunity to delve into the genesis of this young, fresh titanium frame collection with you. Product developer Hajime Hori and eyewear designer Nicolas Berne, Ad Lib developers since the offset, share the inspiring story with us with twinkling eyes.
Ad Lib was born from the idea of creating a collection that would differ starkly from our other titanium eyewear collections of that time. The collection would veer away from subdued grey, brown and silver shades. Instead, lively colour accents would set the tone and show that they also work well on titanium glasses.
Hajime Hori, was 30 years young at the time. He remembers:
“Before the development of Ad Lib, the main focus of our house brand portfolio was on titanium glasses for the older generation. In this customer group, more classic designs and subtle colours were required.
Being entrusted with the product development of a younger and more modern line of glasses was very special for me because I realised that this would enable me to contribute to the creation of a collection that I would also wear myself.”
A new colour scheme was one thing, but the design itself should also exude liveliness. In addition to the focus on strong colours, the core concept of Ad Lib was based on dynamic accents inspired by fashion, pop culture, sports and technology trends. And just as trends change constantly, so too does the Ad Lib design.
Designer Nicolas Berne describes the particular challenge of creating Ad Lib frames as follows:
“When designing this type of eyewear collection, it’s important to keep an eye on even the slightest changes in trends. Just like all lifestyle and fashion-conscious people out there, the Ad Lib team also has to be on the edge of change and constantly rethink and reinvent eyewear design. It's great fun because you never stand still.”
The development team was also responsible for naming the new brand. Hajime, who has always had a great passion for music, brought the term “Ad Lib” into play, which quickly became everybody’s favourite.
"Ad Lib" is derived from the Latin term "ad libitum", meaning "to be free". It describes when a piece of music is played freely without a score.
The name was perfect for the new product, because in the eyes of the Ad Lib team, it expressed exactly the message that Ad Lib should essentially convey: enjoy wearing glasses. For people who have to wear glasses, thanks to Ad Lib frames, it would no longer be a must; it would be a joyful experience.
The logo was also inspired by the world of music – but in this case, more from the technical side. Hajime explains:
“The overall picture of the Ad Lib logo, with its many individual elements, is based on the look of an audio equalizer. By taking this image, we closed the circle between the music-inspired brand name and the logo.”
And what about the orange colour? Well, orange stands for activity, performance and creativity. But there’s also another reason for this colour choice: Hajime loves orange and at the time, he even drove an orange Peugeot 207.
When considering how best to describe the Ad Lib brand in a short slogan, we looked at all the essential brand attributes and derived a special formula.
The one word that unites all brand attributes is the word MOVING:
- Dynamics are equal to movement.
- Freedom means movement.
- Ad Lib designs are on the move.
- Colours bring us joy - they move us.
- We apply forward-moving titanium technologies for Ad Lid development.
And so the slogan was born: MOVING COLOURS
In September 2010, the time had finally come: the first Ad Lib collection for men was presented at Silmo in Paris. The official product launch then followed in January 2011.
After the collection was so well received by men, it was decided to introduce an additional Ad Lib line for women in 2014.
The joy and passion of the Ad Lib development team continues to flow into the collection and is also reflected in the sales figures. Ad Lib sales have grown substantially since launching a decade ago. And rightly so we think, because we at CHARMANT are big Ad Lib fans. And that’s evident from the high number of employees who personally choose to wear Ad Lib frames.
In general, Ad Lib is aimed at anyone who feels young and lives actively. It’s the frame collection for everyone who wants to wear glasses that express this positive attitude towards life.
This brand, born and designed in Paris, has taken the best of Japanese technology and French design to reveal a collection of sophisticated and trendy eyewear that constantly seeks to reinvent the pairing of titanium and colour. Ad Lib wearers can enjoy their glasses for a long time, because this contemporary label promotes superior quality frames, enabling a high level of everyday comfort thanks to the lightness, flexibility and hypoallergenic qualities of the materials featured.
BRIA, the Ad Lib anniversary model that was specially designed by the Ad Lib team on the occasion of the 10th anniversary, is iridescent and retro-futuristic in appearance. With the help of a special ion plating process, the "moving colours" attribute of the brand was completely redefined: the colour gradient ranges from yellow to pink to green and blue - depending on the angle from which you look at the glasses. No two models are alike, as the ion coating is marginally different on each model. Thus every BRIA frame is an exclusive one-off!