Ernst Silbermayr, Head of International Retail Sales at Silhouette International Schmied AG presents an outline of his company and explains why they joined APTRA. Family owned Silhouette International has been manufacturing lightweight titanium eyewear at its base in Linz, Austria for 55 years.
Founded in 1964 by Anneliese and Arnold Schmied, the company’s mission was to turn a vision aid into an accessory to improve not only vision but also the wearer’s appearance. This mission originally came to life with just five employees and one designer, Dora Demmel. Today, with 1,600 employees, Silhouette distributes eyewear to more than 100 countries with a strong focus on Europe, Japan, Korea, China and the United States.
The company is no stranger to travel retail, having built up a distribution network in airports, airlines, border, downtown, ferry and cruise outlets all over the world over the last 25 years. Today they consider their products to be the benchmark in premium eyewear. “Our products are handcrafted in Austria,” explained Ernst Silbermayr, Head of International Retail Sales. “You need around 360 steps to finish a pair of Silhouette sunglasses.”
Targeting the global consumer aged between about 30 and 55 years, Silhouette prides itself on the lightweight construction of the sunglasses which is their unique selling point. “Our highlight is definitely the lightness and high durability yet comfort of our titanium sunglasses,” enthused Silbermayr.
When asked why Sihouette decided to join APTRA, Silbermayr explained: “We want to get closer and connected to the decision-makers of the travel retail industry. We also want to benefit from the various market research studies that are produced and shared by APTRA. “Asia Pacific is such an important market for us, we should be part of an association that serves this market and shares relevant information. APTRA is also the only association that pulls brands, retailers and landlords together, which benefits a brand such as Silhouette.”
Among the current issues affecting the travel retail industry, Silhouette is most concerned about the display limitations imposed on brands in travel retail outlets. Looking at the broader picture, Silbermayr concluded: “We want to support the sunglass category itself to get higher importance within the travel retail industry.”