When we think of the word “colorful”, the name theo quickly emerges. To go deeper into color, we had a nice little chat with theo’s youngest brother, the bringer of color and zeal, keeper of the faith, drive, and creativity, Mister Toon Somers himself.
Toon makes some color confessions on how color effects the brand, the wearer and himself.
Hi Toon! As a theo cub, you grew up with color. What does that word mean for a brand like theo?
Color is everything to theo, so we pay a lot of attention to it. Some color on your face changes everything. That is why we are always looking for new warm soft colors, as well as super fun color combinations.
So I assume that color is also very important to the designers?
Our designers are less concerned with color. They are more focused on the shape of the design. That is more important to them. From the moment the shape is finalized, only then do we start looking at colors.
Of course, color is always a a big part of our brainstorm sessions. For example, we are now working on a project called “pop art” and color comes up strongly here. But it is up to us to find and match the perfect colors. It’s an awesome job….
I can imagine, and getting a bit jealous here to be honoust.
Ok, so the color is matched to the design, but I guess there are specific theo colors, right?
I think this is more of a personal question. For me, theo is more linked to fluo. I love fluorescent orange, and wear it all the time! When I look at all the glasses I have worn in recent years, 95% are fluorescent orange. But I think theo is mainly known for its fun design and the fun color combos.
Our “electric blue” has been a top color for a long time. Now we also sell these well in combination with black or a soft dark blue. So to say there is one specific color… I’d rather say multiple specific colors…
Naturally! theo is known for color, so it couldn’t have been just one, but multiple specific ones. Are these the colors that also sell the best?
We notice that depending on the model, some colors sell better than others. If we take female models, we see that lipstick red, warm burgundy, champagne rosé, gold, tackroom white sell better than black.
But in general the soft matte colors sell very well in combination with a bright color. This as accent on the inside or as a small finishing touch.
How can we see your use of color in the theo stores or theo shop-in-shops?
Every year in silmo we launch our new theme. This year it is “upstream”. I was in Paris 1.5 years ago and then the theme of 2019 was already determined. At that time, it was yellow “theo opens eyes”. But that store was in the elecktric blue matt, which is an amazing color.
Our color 7601 is a very good color at theo and we have been selling it very well for years. So I said to my brother and our graphic designer, “Look, this is what I want. That blue but then in all floors around the world”.
We combined this blue with a “fish” drawn by a Belgian artist. Then we had these fish made in real balloons. It worked out incredibly well and the end result with the fish balloons against that blue cloth, this is what we wanted.
The theme “upstream” is who we are and what our opticians can also join. We do what we want with theo. If everyone is going to the sea, we shall go to the mountains. When the market says small glasses, we start to think about big glasses. This does not mean that we are against the market. It means that we follow our own path, without looking at others…
What effect does the use of color in the shop have on consumers?
That is massive! Customers also expect this from us… we color their lives….
I think glasses brighten a face. We have always believed that customers should buy deeper in colour. That is why we always start with at least 8 colours in each model. if you are in a store and they have the model you are crazy about in 3-4 even 5 different colours.
Then you just try on a super nice pair of glasses but by fitting them in different colours it gives a completely different effect on your face . And customers love that and that is why it is easier for them to find the perfect colour for their face and their person.
What does color do for the person wearing the glasses
Very much. It’s like makeup. You put those glasses on your nose and you are “yourself” now.
Imagine someone with a pale skin color buying fluorescent glasses. Usually this clashes a bit on the face. This type of skin color should rather go with warm colors. So it is always up to the optician to really find the right glasses AND color for the customer. And you can only figure this out by asking the customer a lot of questions and really feel what they want but especially who they are.
Do you see a change in that person?
I believe that the right glasses enhance the personality of the right person. And that it is the job of every optician to go through the story of theo with each sale and draw their customer into the emotion of glasses and colors and shapes.
It’s a storytelling and this takes a lot of time with each sale, but if you then arrive at the perfect pair of frames, through those many questions, then you are also very happy as an optician. Because the opticians are the showcase of the optical. It’s not about theo, but about the optical business. Customers who wear theo buy 95% of this at “their” store. It is about the relationship “optician – customer” that makes it all come together.
What does color mean to Toon Somers and which color does he prefer.
Color is everything to me. But I think you can feel that. My favorite color is fluorescent orange 305. But in the summer I also quickly dare to wear another fluorescent color, such as pink or yellow. Great colour idea if you come back from a southern country!