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Designer urges others to beat rivals in downturn.

DANISH EYEWEAR company Orgreen has urged other design-led brands to use the recession as an opportunity to beat the competition.

The company reported a 22% increase in sales last year worldwide and founder and creative director Henrik Orgreen (pictured) said it is continuing to strengthen its hand despite the downturn.

"The recession is an opportunity to get rid of small companies that are out to make a quick buck. Our brand is still growing, we are proud of what we do and we listen to our customers," he said.

Speaking at the showcase of its latest collection at the Eye Company in Soho, London, Mr Orgreen added that eyewear in general is becoming bigger and more colourful but that Orgreen is going for a 'softer' look.

"We've always been known for square frames but our new models are a lot softer and rounder. We like to lead the market, not follow it," he said.

Within the new Echo collection is a two-in-one optical model--the most expensive in the range at rrp 350 [pounds sterling]--featuring a beta titanium frame encased by a full acetate frame on top.

"This is sophisticated with a hint of retro using old techniques to make a modern design," said Mr Orgreen.

Another eye-catching titanium sunglass, Copenhagen, takes six months to make due to a complicated laser milling process and features the Copenhagen skyline along the sides.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The humble diving mask inspired another "big and unique" sunglass designed to create balance on the face. Mr Orgreen said the company strives to "create fashion not follow it".

All designs are set-off by effective colouring achieved by a four-stage electro colour technique taken from the electronics world and inspired by 1980s and 1940s fashion.

"Our frames are conservative on the outside and trendy on the inside," said company colourist Sahra Lysell. "You don't have to walk down the high street looking like Elton John."

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Title Annotation:NEWS; Henrik Orgreen
Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 23, 2009
Words:318
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