At EINSTOFFEN, we do not like being put in a box. We create what we feel like, when we feel like. Since we founded the brand in 2008, we have had two driving forces: freedom and independence. Instead of jumping into the hamster wheel for a predictable career, we preferred the activity of «EINSTOFFEN»: equipping people with our own stuff or cloth…
Currently, we create eyewear and fashion for independent people with minds of their own - kindred spirits, so to speak. Our customers are environmentally conscious, sure, but they’re also the type to enjoy what life has to offer, and laugh at it all a bit too. We exclusively design our products in Switzerland and we like to use unusual materials or incorporate extravagant details. But that could change tomorrow. As said before: we do not like being boxed in...
Unchained since 2008
Structure, geometric shapes, colorful blocks and satisfyingly clean lines – these are the key elements of Cubism, which has unknowingly crept into the wardrobes of many of us. Cubism represented the woman’s freedoms, abolishing unrealistic body images and was essentially able to bravely dethrone the Western style of the Belle Epoque. For those who were brave enough to step into the future and break away from the Belle Epoque, waited an immersive and colorful revolution of the Cubist aesthetic. Our new collection pays homage to the heroes of this art form, and is inspired by artists such as Pablo Picasso or Paul Klee. Constructivism, surrealism and futurism create a contemporary coolness that is reflected in every pair of glasses and featured in our "Close your eyes and sing" collection. Bridging the gap between high-end and high-street, the collection appeals to those of us who are looking for eyewear that is contemporary and high in quality. Do you dare to step into the future?
Close your eyes and sing
At the beginning of 2022, we released another major collection update with «Stranded, Never Lost» - featuring over one hundred new products! This motto - «Stranded, Never Lost» - grew from the beekeeper story that really touched us this year (see below). It emphasizes our optimistic gaze towards the future. And this optimistic keynote is very important to us, especially in uncertain times. The new models radiate unbridled confidence. The colors are cheerful and intense, and the shapes have become more adventurous and experimental-- featuring thick acetate, bevelled edges, and daring titanium constructions.
Stranded Never Lost
In the broadest sense, we've almost always named our eyewear models after professions. In one recent photo shoot, we took a closer look at one of these professions: the beekeeper. And we have to say, it was an eye-opener! In fact, this inspired our partnership with FREE THE BEES, an NGO that supports the sustainable reintroduction of free-living honey bees in Swiss forests. Now, we're beyond proud of our Christmas Campaign, which sees 10% of the profits from each sale of the frames Beekeeper and Honey Thief go to FTB.At the end of 2021, our longtime Executive Board member Philippe Rieder leaves us to work for his favorite football club. We wish him the best of luck!
Free The Bees
Shorter days mean longer nights! After a long absence, our fall collection 2021 finally brings the return of hoodies and sweatshirts. Limited to a maximum of one hundred pieces, each one is made of 100% organic cotton and designed with custom graphics by Studio Studer. Dancing in the Dark also introduces the all-new «E-temple», an innovation in frames that provides increased stability by adding metal to the wooden temple.
Dancing in the Dark
With Hinterland , we launch the biggest collection so far and are rewarded by winning the prestigious German Brand Award Not bad for a Swiss label! The German Design Council, which awards the prize yearly, is particularly impressed by the clear orientation of the brand: «Fashion for cosmopolitan individualists. The brand is very specifically developed and implemented. Refreshing in every sense.» The individual style and our joy to experiment seem to inspire, too: "Courage, creativity, attention to detail, independence, design and visual language are convincing," writes the German Design Council.
German Brand Award
Back to the roots in forward gear! The frames, shirts, and t-shirts of the Mountains & Valleys Collection are strongly inspired by mountaineering and the Alps. The video with British star Ricki Hall and music by Warcub is shot at Seealpsee in Appenzell. EINSTOFFEN is also taking further steps in the area of sustainability: Starting with the fall collection 2020, all textiles will be produced in Turkey according to the international environmental and social standards BSCI, SEDEX/SMETA, Oekotex, and OHSAS. For T-shirts, we use 100% organic cotton.
Mountains & Valleys
It’s the hangover after the party. The Covid19-crisis has hit the whole industry hard. To support our retail partners, we decided to credit 50% of the revenue from online sales of sunglasses to our local partners.
In autumn 2019 we simultaneously launched two important collections: «Like Wild Beasts» with its nature-themed shirts and glasses, and our new watch collection, «Explorers». The latter is particularly exciting, and a bit prestige. It holds two limited automatic models that feature Japanese Miyota movements.
Like Wild Beasts
Independent opticians have supported us from the very beginning and eyewear is currently EINSTOFFEN's core business. In 2019, with the launch of the «UNCHAINED» collection at opti, we decided that we wanted to work even more closely and exclusively with independent retailers in the future. No large chain stores, no online marketplaces. Here’s to the continuation of a beautiful friendship!
Unchained - Independent Retailers Only
Our local roots have always meant a lot to us. In the end, we’re still boys from St. Gall. So in Winter 2019-2019, we wanted to take the opportunity to support the revitalisation of the city centre of our hometown. To launch our «Never Look Back» collection, we opened a small pop-up store there. We put in a lot of extra hours that season, but the experience was worth it!
Never ones to laze about, we had no choice but to keep pushing forward. So in early summer 2018, we introduced our first 100% titanium shades. The original «Born From Iron» collection featured three minimalist models. All three featured characteristic side visors, and came in an exclusive silver-grey collector’s box.
Born from Iron: Titanium Eyewear
In the 2018 call for entries, our frames secured three of the coveted German Design Awards! The filigree «La Princesse» and the wooden «Aeronaut» aviator shape won winner's trophies, while the extravagant «Polarforscher» received a Special Award. In 2019, we were able to repeat this success two years running when the wood-aluminium hybrid «Bierbrauer» also received a Winner's award.
2018 & 2019 German Design Awards
The Kickstarter project was a massive success. We reached our financing target within only 48 hours.
Wooden frames: yep. Swiss watches: done. If only there was a way to combine the two…
...Wait, of course there was! In summer 2017 we launched a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter for the launch of a collection of wooden watches produced in Switzerland. The collection even included a world premiere: the first Swiss made automatic wooden watch!
In 2017, we discovered our love for micro engravings. They opened up almost unlimited possibilities to enable our passion for details! At the same time, we shifted the emphasis of our collection from pure wooden frames to acetate-wood combinations. And, as you know by now, we always try to sneak in a movie reference. So we called them «Halfbaked». Get it?
Halfbaked and Micro-Engravings
At opti 2017, the boom in wooden glasses reached its peak and it became our most successful trade fair to date.
Height of the Wood Hype
Despite the success of our wooden frames, our fingers were already itching again. We just couldn’t shake the old impulse to keep on trying something completely new, again. But what would it be? Swiss watches! In November 2016, we launched our first designs in solid 316L steel.
First Swiss Made Watch Collection
As happy as we were with the chance to establish ourselves in the optics market, it presented some logistical challenges too. For one, Switzerland was not the easiest location from which to get our European customers the fastest shipping and most comprehensive service. Solution? Ramon simply moved to Berlin. At the end of summer, we opened our subsidiary EINSTOFFEN Europe in Kreuzberg.
EINSTOFFEN Goes to Berlin
Our first real home story. In a real optics magazine! It’s clear Raphi, Phil and Ramon were enjoying themselves at the shoot. Thank you @Eyecom!
Welcome to the World of Eyewear
At this point, we were attracting a lot of buzz - and some unlikely new fans too. All of a sudden, opticians were becoming interested in EINSTOFFEN! From sunglasses to correction - could we pull this off? After a few experiments, we succeeded in applying the laminated veneer construction of the skateboard frames to other types of wood. Then we added natural acetate to the temples to render them adjustable. This turned out to be our ticket of entry to the entire wide world of independent eyewear. In January 2015 we dared to try our luck at opti, the largest optics trade show in the German-speaking world. And lo and behold: it worked!
The First «opti»
Things were going great. Our bamboo glasses were rad. But we did notice that, being made from one piece of wood, they tended to break way too often. We needed a more robust construction. What to do? Hmm. What about skateboards?
Made of wood: check. Withstanding tricks and slides: check. Coolness factor: double check. So for the 2014 collection, we bought Canadian maple for skateboard production and shaped it into eyewear, bestowing on our shades a more colorful, adventurous look and a lot of stability.
Skateboards for your Face
Our sunglasses were a hit but we did not just stop creating fashion. Our next big project was our super-comfy hoodie line. Each hoodie featured two separate contractible hoods- guaranteed to keep your precious ears warm in all kinds of weather.
With the budget of the «Glorify» competition, we were now in place to host a party that would have the city talking for a long time. We rented the Lokremise St. Gall and completely decked it out. We invited some of the best artists we know, from Dj Phonique and Gigolo Romantico to the light artists Licht an/Licht aus. That night we partied till dawn. It was nothing short of epic.
Five Years of EINSTOFFEN
Time flies. It still felt like we were brand new, but somehow EINSTOFFEN was already five years old! This called for a glamourous party. Unfortunately, our budget disagreed. A solution was going to take some out of the box thinking. So we registered as a competitor in the Desperados Beer «Glorify your Tribe» competition. One of the tasks was to organize a glorious party, budget included. Score! Thanks to some campy short videos and ton of hard work from our entire creative environment, we were actually able to win!
Desperados Glorify Your Tribe
Up until this point, EINSTOFFEN remained, for the most part, sort of a hobby. A very intensive, time-consuming one, yes, but a hobby. This changed abruptly in spring 2012. Inspired by wooden décor we encountered at a trade fair, we hit upon the idea of creating sunglasses... from wood. In the summer of 2012 we launched the first models, made from bamboo. The rest, as they say, is history.
The First Wooden Sunglasses
In 2011 we even created Polo shirts and helplessly tried to convey the impression that we knew literally anything about golf. Still: we loved those polo shirts!
We almost forgot about this one ourselves: from 2011 to 2015 we ran our own party series, the SUPERNIGHTS. At the first big event in 2011 we could even convince our friend ALLE FARBEN, who would later become a superstar, to perform in our improvised location. Yes, that got a bit out of hand. Eventually, we were able to find a permanent location for the parties at the Backstage Club in St. Gall. From then on, we stopped being on a first name basis with the police!
A year later, we were ready to start designing ourselves. So we created and launched our first casual shirts. The Hemden für Helden («Shirts for Heroes») are inspired by iconic movie characters. Since 2010, we have launched two new collections every year. Since this collection in 2010, we have launched two new collections every year. In terms of movie characters, our references are getting pretty obscure. Big points to you if you get the ones in our latest collection!
Shirts for Heroes
We released our first women's collection and shot it for the first time in the same year. It was a lot of fun - and just like with the guys, we had to bring in our prettiest lady friends to help out. This time, they even got to wear pants!
First Ladies' Collection
In 2009 we did our first shoot. There was no budget for models or photographers. Not even for pants. Christian just called the two best looking dudes he knew. We took them to a car cemetery and took photos of them just wearing boxer shorts and our t-shirts.
In 2008, three friends from eastern Switzerland - Ramon, Raphael, and Christian, longed for adventure and starting something on their own. So they pooled their money together and decided to import T-shirts from a designer in Bangkok, selling them from their apartment. Shortly afterwards, a buddy of the original three called Philippe joined the company. And the team was complete.