Siu - An Interview with The STEPPER EYEWEAR Design Team

As a wearer, what I like about the STEPPER and the STEPPERS range is the lightness of every single frame. As an optical wearer from a young age, with a fairly high prescription, I am all about comfort. I feel the brand gives me that ‘plus’ more, and now my everyday go-to lounge around frame is a pair of STEPPERS because they are so comfy to wear. They are not just comfortable but stylish too, I am never short of compliments when I wear them.

So, what did I find out from the design team? First of all, I spoke to Saskia Stepper and I think her surname is probably a bit of a giveaway as to who she may be. She is Hans’ daughter the founder of STEPPER EYEWEAR and who is better than Saskia to talk about STEPPERS design. Optics have been in her family for many years, so it is in her blood and she was probably born with the talent of designing great eyewear. Here’s what she had to say;

  • What is the inspiration behind every collection?

First, we consider the tribe; their needs, values lifestyle etc., then we consider do we want to create something on-trend or classical.

  • What unique design makes STEPPERS stand out from the thousands and thousands of eyewear brands currently on the market?

That is the difference, we have no unique designs, we have unique design features. Fit, comfort and lightness and good value for money using best materials as TX5, Titanium and Stainless Steel.

  • If STEPPERS could design a frame for anyone famous, past or present, who would it be and why?

I do not want to design a frame for a famous person. I want to design frames for everybody (there might be some famous persons included).

  • In your design opinion, what makes a frame great, is it the technical side, the creativity, the colour or something else?

The harmony of the frame with the face of the wearer. The compliment should be: “You look amazing” and not “you wear nice glasses”.

  • How did you become involved in eyewear design? What qualifications do you have and what do you recommend for someone who wishes to become an eyewear designer?

Born into a family of opticians and brought up in a frame producing company I breathe optics for more than 50 years now. Spectacle frames run through my blood.

  • What is your favourite part of bringing a pair of glasses to life? The drawing? Technical details? Picking components such as hinges or finishing, such as finding the perfect colour?

Putting them on my nose.

Quick-Fire Questions

Metal or Plastic?                                           Both

Full rim or Semi rim?                                   Full rim

Round or Rectangular?                               Whatever suits me     

Plain or Pattern?                                           Plain

Design or Technology?                               Comfort

Make a statement or tone it down?            Depends on my mood

Colourful or Neutral?                                   Depends on my outfit

Practical or Pretty?                                      Depends on my style

Nose-pads or No nose-pads?                     Both

Matt or Polished?                                        Both

 

After Saskia, I went on to speak with 3 other members of the design team; Daniel, Yoko and Mona.

They were all asked the same questions as Saskia. If you have a passion for eyewear design, love glasses like me or want to know more about the STEPPER EYEWEAR team then read on.

It was interesting to chat with them all.  They have some common ground when it comes to designing frames. I guess that's why they work well together and why I get to wear some very comfortable frames.

 

First up we have Daniel;

  • What is the inspiration behind every collection?

Beside customer feedback, I'll research different things. From a simple something I bought from department store to very complex machine parts. Anything I could turn into the frame's design element.

  • What unique design makes STEPPERS stand out from the thousands and thousands of eyewear brands currently on the market?

The human touch I would say. We think of the end users with everyday use practicality as priority. We then combine three important elements: ergonomics, art and engineering.

  • If STEPPERS could design a frame for anyone famous, past or present, who would it be and why?

STEPPERS is for everyone.

  • In your design opinion, what makes a frame great, is it the technical side, the creativity, the colour or something else?

All in combination with a perfect fitting.

  • How did you become an eyewear designer? What qualifications do you have and what do you recommend for someone who wishes to become an eyewear designer?

I graduated as an industrial designer, but I also do a lot of homework in business and marketing. It is important to know the market that you are working in as well as design something that could generate profit to the company. I often say "we are commercial designers. Not artists!" it is also important to understand manufacturing. So that you understand the cost control as well as making sure your design is manufacturable.

  • What is your favourite part of bringing a pair of glasses to life? The drawing? Technical details? Picking components such as hinges or finishing, such as finding the perfect colour?

I would say the first prototype being made from the original drawing.

Quick-Fire Questions

Metal or Plastic?                                           Plastic

Full rim or Semi rim?                                   Full rim

Round or Rectangular?                               Round

Plain or Pattern?                                           Plain

Design or Technology?                               Technology

Make a statement or tone it down?            Both

Colourful or Neutral?                                   Natural

Practical or Pretty?                                      Practical

Nose-pads or No nose--pads?                    No nose-pad

Matt or Polished?                                         Polished

 

Then we have Yoko;

  • What is the inspiration behind every collection?

My inspiration comes from everywhere, elegant things and colour inspire me the most. When I see any nice jewellery, pattern or even a ruffle on a dress, I will think of how I can combine this idea with eyewear design.

  • What unique design makes STEPPERS stand out from the thousands and thousands of eyewear brands currently on the market?

Wearable fashion design, comfortable good quality with stunning price

  • If STEPPERS could design a frame for anyone famous, past or present, who would it be and why?

Karl Lagerfeld, he is a legend

  • In your design opinion, what makes a frame great, is it the technical side, the creativity, the colour or something else?

All of the above

  • How did you become an eyewear designer? What qualifications do you have and what do you recommend for someone who wishes to become an eyewear designer?

I have been wearing glasses since I was six years old, I was happy when people called me "Four Eyes Girl", it made me feel something different...  every time I pick new glasses for myself, I feel excited as there are so many choices, I enjoy putting different eyewear on my face, it's fun for a little girl. I don't have the patience to read but I can spend a whole day drawing something I like, so I took a design course after secondary school. After graduation, I joined Athe company as a designer. My advice to people who want to be a designer is we cannot just focus on what we like, we also must consider what the end user likes and what can make them look better.

  • What is your favourite part of bringing a pair of glasses to life? The drawing? Technical details? Picking components such as hinges or finishing, such as finding the perfect colour?

I would say matching the perfect colour because a nice colour can make a frame

Quick-Fire Questions

Metal or Plastic?                                           Plastic

Full rim or Semi rim?                                   Full rim

Round or Rectangular?                               Round

Plain or Pattern?                                           Pattern

Design or Technology?                               Design

Make a statement or tone it down?            Make a statement

Colourful or Neutral?                                   Both

Practical or Pretty?                                      Pretty

Nose-pads or No nose-pads?                     No nose-pad

Matt or Polished?                                         Polished

 

Finally, we have Mona

  • What is the inspiration behind every collection?

Wide variety of things, fashion trends, accessories, jewellery, stationery, household appliances, etc.

  • What unique design makes STEPPERS stand out from the thousands and thousands of eyewear brands currently on the market?

Good fitting and un-overdone design

  • If STEPPERS could design a frame for anyone famous, past or present, who would it be and why?

Steve Jobs, because he has passion on what he worked for, just like the founder of Stepper, Hans Stepper.

  • In your design opinion, what makes a frame great, is it the technical side, the creativity, the colour or something else?

A proper front shape of an eyewear. This could reflect a person's personality.

  • How did you become an eyewear designer? What qualifications do you have and what do you recommend for someone who wishes to become an eyewear designer?

Studied product design in school life. Being thoughtful and having a sense is key to becoming an eyewear designer.

  • What is your favourite part of bringing a pair of glasses to life? The drawing? Technical details? Picking components such as hinges or finishing, such as finding the perfect colour?

Brainstorming at the earliest stage, because ideas could be as crazy as possible.

Quick-Fire Questions

Metal or Plastic?                                           Metal

Full rim or Semi rim?                                   Full rim

Round or Rectangular?                               Round

Plain or Pattern?                                           Plain

Design or Technology?                               Design

Make a statement or tone it down?            Make a statement

Colourful or Neutral?                                   Neutral

Practical or Pretty?                                      Practical

Nose-pads or No nose-pads?                     Nose-pads

Matt or Polished?                                         Polished