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On-trend styles with urban character

Ad Lib designer Nicolas Berne tells us what drives the designs.

The name Ad Lib means “as you like”, which instils the collection with a feeling of freedom. To what extent can you use this freedom?

Nicolas: It’s an interesting question because that’s precisely where the difference lies between art and design. As with every industrial design project, what matters most is to strike a happy medium between creative freedom, eyewear manufacturing standards and the commercial limitations related to consumer demand.

Ad Lib is an urban collection. What characteristics does such a collection absolutely need?

Nicolas: Trendy styles that are easy to wear. When designing this type of eyewear collection, I need to be aware of the slightest changes in fashion trends that modern megacities can generate. Like all lifestyle-conscious urban people, Ad Lib needs to constantly reinvent itself.

How do you transfer fashion trends into eyewear design?

Due to my industrial design background and training, Ad Lib relies on trends from the furnishing or automotive industry where creativity and design are essential to appeal to the final user. I can be inspired by a detail, a design concept, a pattern or some colour finish that I find interesting.
Then, the hard part is to translate these ideas into eyewear. At that stage, everything gets much smaller and the challenge is to find the right balance between style and functionality.

 

How does it work integrating technological elements?

The technical aspect of the frame is usually dealt with during the drawing stage. I use Japanese eyewear-oriented CAD software. This allows me to be extremely accurate and gives me full control over every aspect of the final product—thickness, measurements and so on—and thus guarantees its functionality.

How do you set sporty accents?

Dynamic accents are integrated from the very beginning of the creative process. Every design made for this eyewear collection has to refer to the sporty spirit which, along with a strong colour finish, is the core concept of Ad Lib.


Ad Lib should appeal to trendy people on the fashion “scene”. Who do you want to address exactly and which designs do you need for these people?

My parents both wear Ad Lib frames and I’m not sure they are part of the fashion scene! (laugh) Let’s say that Ad Lib offers a wide range of choices to anyone looking for a modern titanium frame with spicy colour accents. The typical Ad Lib wearer could be described as someone curious and young at heart who wants to stand out from the crowd.
Even when some designs are quite bold, I make sure that every frame remains easy to wear.

What materials are important for you and how do you combine them?

Basically, titanium and beta titanium. I am lucky to work for Charmant, a group that, historically, has extensive know-how in using that type of metal alloy.
Titanium is used for structural elements whereas beta titanium is helpful for flexible parts such as hinges and temples. Those two materials work well together to provide lightweight and comfortable eyewear.

Are there any colours or colour combinations, which are typical for Ad Lib?

Electric cyan blue for sure!


When you choose the colours of your collections, do you refer to great trends, like Pantone, or do you create your own trends?

Regarding colour schemes, I usually don’t strictly follow seasonal colour trends for the simple reason that the lifespan of optical eyewear is much longer than other fashion accessories. So I try to anticipate and detect colour trends to ensure that the final user can enjoy his or her frame until it is replaced.
New colour shades are usually inspired by various fields such as sportswear, sports shoes, cars, or anything I feel interested in.

How much comfort and quality does your target group expect of glasses and how durable should glasses be?

Beyond the attractive appearance of the frames, our consumer expects quality and comfort, which is the DNA of Charmant Group.
Ad Lib is made to exacting standards in our own factory where quality control is implemented at every production step, from the raw material to the final finish. It guarantees a high-quality frame that could last for years.
Thanks to an in-depth material selection and combination, every style is lightweight and equipped with flexible temples or components.

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