A talk with Cold & Heggem

Every now and then, i will have a sit down with one of the remarkable designers within the optical arena. Who are the people behind the brand, what drives them and what sets them apart from other brands.

Last Friday I met with Rasmus Cold and Irene Heggem. Bespoke eyewear makers of Cold & Heggem. Here are some insights on both of them and what we can expect from the label in the near future.

In short, how would you describe the philosophy behind Cold & Heggem?

Our Philosophy is to make individually bespoke spectacles to people – by framing the individuals from inside. We use our collection of 30 – 40 frames to find the right shape of where the design process should start or we make a totally new design. Every frame is unique and handmade by us to the personal measurement at our work table at BRILLESKRÆDDERIET in Pistolstræde 6. The waiting time for our bespoke spectacles is 5 to 6 weeks but for very special designs the waiting time can be even longer. Sometimes the customer brings their own material with personal affection values e.g. a piece of a mammoth tooth, or amber, raw horn, and wood. One of our customers would like us to make a frame out of a Greenland snow frame of whale bards, which used to be a which she got from her grandmother. Another customer had a piece of bog oak that had been lying in a swamp for about 3000 years. We have hunters that bring their own horn or antlers. In this way we have the possibility to make the frame even more personalized.

I heard Cold & Heggem is a partnership between Irene Heggem and Rasmus Cold. Are you just business partners or also a couple in real life?

We are partner in life (a little family of 3, together with our 5-year-old daughter Kornelia) as well as business partners .

So its really a family business! Which of you 2 is most involved in the design aspect of your frames.

Rasmus is the owner and Chief Designer, Irene is CEO and co owner.

Can you give us a short background on both of you?

Rasmus Cold is graduated as a designer from the Copenhagen school of fine arts & design and has since then worked on spectacles sideways making film and theatre as a stage & production designer. When Rasmus graduated design school he did not have the ability to use the studio to work on molding furniture in wood. Therefore he started to do molding on wooden frames home at his kitchen table. Rasmus got many positive responses regarding his wooden frames. His affection grew towards horn and today we primary make bespoke horn spectacles. In 2010 it became more serious – we founded Cold & Heggem, and in 2012 we opened our studio BRILLESKRÆDDERIET on Pistolstræde 6 in the heart of Copenhagen. Irene has a master in managing and craftsmanship experience from the restaurant business, and from the scene of health and food politics. 

 What attracted you to eyewear and how has your creative process evolved over the years?

The possibility to work on individual humans and the ability to make individually frames for each customer on the principle of nature, which gives lots of inspiration to work with, being material, colour or shape.

You work with natural materials as horn & wood. Do you have other materials in mind to work within the future? Maybe stone or paper?

We are always playing with other natural material, the latest being vulcanized raw rubber and leather.

You create bespoke frames directly for consumers. What are some of the personal characteristics you look at when designing a bespoke frame?

Personality, the proportion of face and colours – we listen to what purpose the customer has with the frame. Do they want to stand out from the crowd or blend in, will they use them around their workplace or wear them in their free time or only at home.

Can you describe the kind of people who wear your frames?

Al kind of peoples – young, middle age and mature people – our customer is prioritizing nature as material, sustainability and individual design and to bee seen as who the really are – their personality .

Which designer or label has made the biggest impact on you?

Non specific – we work on what looks good for the specific face not so much the fashion trend. We get a lot of inspiration from nature – including the humans themselves.

What was the biggest challenge while establishing your own company?

The very normal parameters we all have when establishing a company – time and economical resources.

Which current eyewear trends would you like to see more of?

More honesty & individuality !!!

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