Jasmine and I have just returned from a frame buying trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.  Looked after by Orgreen, our latest independent supplier we had a fabulous time at their offices learning about the production of their beautifully, coloured titanium frames, how they 3D print others and use striking colours to make their acetate frames stand out from the crowd.   

Each style is designed with simple lines and unusual colour combinations right there in the centre of Copenhagen.  Their main range “Sheet Titanium” is manufactured in Japan, of the highest-grade titanium. Their acetate range is made from the finest grade acetate made by Mazzuchelli in Italy.  Frames from both ranges are then shipped to Denmark, where every frame passes through the hands of their small team to be checked for imperfections and assembled.

Patrik is checking for any faults in the frame and gently heating this one to make sure it has the right sort of contours for a human head. Pia is checking every single 3D printed frame for rough edges and assembling the separate parts.

It was really interesting to hear from the design team, headed up by Frederic LaSalle explaining how they start with simple sketches and line drawings, how their very own colourist looks for her inspiration in the world about her and then how these ideas are pulled together and go through the detailed process of design finalisation, prototyping and final production. 

Sahra Lysell explains her thoughts on colour being used as a language and how it provokes emotions in us.  I found this particularly gratifying as I’m often to be heard saying things like “Oh, I love that colour it reminds me of ‘Mallards’ or ‘Auntie Marion’ or…”.  I sometimes feel a bit silly but maybe I’m not so daft? Maybe?!

To speak to Hesh, their head of production and stock, and get an insight into the complexities of his job was quite mind-blowing. Ensuring the right product is supplied, that the product meets it specifications, using materials and parts form different places in the world, making sure that their head office in Copenhagen has all the right stock to supply all the different markets in the world.  Not only does he manage all this, but he must do it looking into the future, looking at sales trends and to a certain extent predicting the future, predicting what you the “end consumer” is going to want to buy next summer!  People often ask me how I manage to buy the frames for the practice?  How do I know what to choose? Well! Imagine doing it on this scale!

Our trip was completed with a fabulous harbour boat trip and plenty of opportunity to see the sights of beautiful Copenhagen. Wandering around looking at the colourful buildings and charming canal scenes, bicycles everywhere and bars strung with festival lights it’s not hard to see where the Orgreen team get their inspiration from.

Catriona, Creative Director and Dispensing Optician. September 2022.