EyeCare Professional�s Paul DiGiovanni, LDO, speaking with
President, ic! berlin.
Please provide our readers with the
background and history of
The ic! berlin company was founded at the very end of the
last century by three guys without any idea about business
and eyewear, which strangely turned out to be the best
conditions to start an eyewear company in Berlin. On the
other hand, we learned fast and won the "Golden Silmo" award
in Paris in 1998, the key for entering the world of
We started out in our living rooms, and now we employ around
150 people all over the world. The heart of our product is
still the patented unique screwless hinge system, which
makes the glasses extremely strong and durable. On the other
hand, the frames are still very lightweight. Last but not
least, they are beautiful. We make glasses for businessmen,
doctors, famous actors, and sometimes even for eccentric
What is the company�s mission statement?
ic! berlin is a culture company. We did not start the story
to become billionaires. ic! berlin produces glasses as well
as creating a new culture of business. We produce everything
by hand in our own manufacturing facility in the heart of
Berlin, rather than in big factories in China. We start the
week each Monday with a choir; the singing provides a fresh
and positive start for the week. Our office, situated in an
old industrial bakery, is a mixture of open space, art,
lounge and German engineering style machinery. We invite all
our customers to come and experience it with their own eyes.
We offer specific tours for tourists through our company.
Visitors can mount their own glasses, see how we work, enjoy
the beautiful view from our rooftop terrace and check out
our art collection as well!
What are ic! berlin�s key markets?
Of course we focus on Europe, America, and Asia, but my
hometown in Oldenburg, Germany is still very important as
In the next 1-3 years, what growth potential do you see for
ECPs in the U.S.?
I see a growth potential of 93% within eleven months. And
perhaps a little bit more from the end of 2013 onwards. For
2014-2015, I predict less extreme, but still strong growth
of approximately 53.46%.
Describe the unique technology used in manufacturing ic!
berlin�s frame line.
We use an extremely strong and flexible stainless steel for
our glasses, so that the metal can be relatively thin, which
makes the frame very lightweight. The glasses are just
banded; we do not use glue or screws. It is all about
simplicity. Customers can understand our product in a way
that is not too complex. This makes our glasses very
futuristic, because that's what products are going be about
in the future. At the end the glasses are very sustainable
because of this.
As I mentioned before, it is not our goal to become
billionaires from producing cheap, readymade products. That
is why we constantly in-source, rather than out-source. If
there is a production step that could make us more
efficient, we invest our profits into new manpower and
machinery, to ensure that the quality is always high.
Please provide an overview of your ophthalmic and sunglass
Since we�re not about chasing any trends that are out there,
our collection is based on shapes that just fit, rather than
styles that are �en vogue� at the moment and forgotten three
months later. We have a great mixture of sheet-metal
prescriptions and sunglasses as well as acetate models.
Style wise it would be the best to check out our web page at
What are your target markets?
Our target markets are: India, Brazil, Congo, Iceland,
Please describe the POP available to ECPs.
ECPs are our primary customer, that is why we offer them a
variety of banners displays and gadgets to turn the point of
sale into an ic! berlin shop. Currently, we are working on
an airline trolley as a display and glasses storage. If
there is any crazy idea though, for a trunk show maybe,
we�re always open for suggestions, as long as it�s unique.
Do the frames come with a warranty?
Yes, if the metal breaks, I change the glasses for free.
Everything else is covered by warranty for one year in the
What differentiates your frame line from your competitors?
Please explain why you feel a frame buyer should choose your
line over another line in this highly competitive market.
If you buy an ic! berlin frame, you get a very lightweight,
comfortable, strong and beautiful piece of art. You feel the
remarkable quality day by day. If you have a question, you
can directly call me on my mobile phone. You can find my
number lasered inside each frame: questions? call ralph +49
(0)177 240 9 150.
I guess there is no other company where you can get this
service. In addition to that, a pair of glasses is always an
invitation to come visit our factory in Berlin! You should
really check that out! Our company was born in Berlin, our
frames are handcrafted in Berlin and even our whole company
culture is deeply rooted in the city.