Founder, developer and salesman Joey Diekman talks about his brand HELDEN (heroes) and his own heroes.
You have called your brand “Helden”, which is Dutch for heroes. What gave you that idea?
“In 2017 I started my own brand ‘Helden’. I believe that certain basic forms always remain, due to their proven portability and fine appearance. That’s why I wanted to name the brand to these timeless ‘icons’ or ‘heroes’. My wife, however, came with one suggestion that they thought fit better with my sober look: ‘heroes’. And that fits exactly what I want to radiate: the classics are the heroes of the optics, without being pompous. Just beautiful but modest frames of great quality. “
Are there any heroes in your own life that have driven your passion to create this collection?
“My own heroes are my father and mother with their own optics store, who have shown me how it is to build something yourself and dare to take risks. My wife who supports me and always says ‘ajoh, it will be fine’. And my son, too, is my hero, simply because I love him and enjoy him – that’s why he was allowed to place the first order payment of my collection by literally pressing enter. ” And of course I can not forget my hero Eelke, who I enjoy so much and with whom I can spar about our work as well as our private life”.”.
Helden Optical – Model 6
What drives you really? Is it the creative part, the people you meet?
“Ultimately, it’s about having fun in what you do. If customers are happy with the frames I make, the opticians are happy and I am happy too. And that way I can continue to do what I like to do: create something that I would like to have and this from A to Z in the market. I’m already busy with the plans for the end of 2019 – something I can laugh at because, sometime ago, I did not even look forward one single day. I am very proud of where I am already and I would like to share this with the opticians who come to visit the Bold Optical Fair this September. The brand is ‘only’ a year but is already making huge leaps with four color lines that are both timeless, pure and no-nonsense”.
Do you have a background in optics?
“Before I ended up in the optical world, I already had some experience with setting up a cool franchise concept in Hengelo. But I found out that I enjoy a physical product more than non-viable ads. Through the network of my parents – who at that time had their own opticians’ business – I ended up at a Scandinavian brand where I could sell the real experience as an agent. I learned a lot about thinking about possibilities and was inspired to create something myself. “
Helden Optical – Model 4
Can you describe your collection for us?
“My frames are ‘powerful through simplicity’. The basis of the most beautiful glasses is in the lens shapes. By using these proven forms as standard and using a nice ‘simple’ acetate with a specific treament, I created several powerful frames that fit every face”.
Helden Optical – Model 5 Sandblasted
What would you say is the core value of the HELDEN collection?
“Quality is a concept that has almost no meaning anymore because it is used so often. Yet it is very important to me. If you pay attention to the materials and how they were designed using the lens shapes, their own identity and feeling is created. I am therefore always looking for unique and yet pure materials, which makes me work with a very clean Japanese acetate with different operations”.
Just like Joey got his inspiration close to home, by example of his friends and family, his frames also are made close to home, by a European family manufacturing company that empowers his vision “Powerful by simplicity”. We wish Joey and his heroes the best of luck!
Eyewear: Helden Optical
Text: Bianca Oppelaar for Bold Optical Fair
Models: Maarten Weidema, TEF Magazine & Sander de Mooij
Photographer: Jeroen Zorgdrager Fotografie