Anne&Valentin: True Love for Your Face
"Anne&Valentin’s sole existence is due to... Anne and Valentin. When these two forces of nature were struck by lightning during a chance encounter, Fate offered them a future, which they shared professionally and personally for thirty years, their hearts beating as one. The deeply united couple spent their lives nurturing and expanding their brand over time. In Toulouse, where the company was founded and where its headquarters still harbor the core of the team, the Anne&Valentin lively spirit has been an inspiration to many. The adventure truly begins in September 1980 when Valentin the neo-hippie obtains his optician’s degree. The two lovebirds are eager to start an optical store with a different approach than what is available at the time, with a unique selection of original, nondescript frames and a radically different sales philosophy. From day one, rather than trying to adapt the customer to a frame, Anne and Valentin opt for a deeper comprehension of who their customers are - how they move, live and think - in order to find, for each, the perfect frame, dedicated to the customer’s unique personality and particularities. In those days, such an approach is nothing short of a small revolution. Valentin manages the optical side of things, Anne decorates the boutique and the windows, both of them handle customers, and their smiling faces are game changers. The shop thrives. But their approach quickly encounters limitations, due to a scarce offer. There aren’t enough models available, and little choice. Boredom hovers... Anne starts drawing their first designs; they send them to be prototyped in a small workshop. In 1984, they launch their first collection, soberly named Anne et Valentin. And while their creations are original, colorful and lively, they are, above all, objects that combine ergonomics, technical requirements, and respect for those who wear them."