NEW YORK—Modo’s M Factory in Brooklyn is part of the growing “maker” and creative community within the legendary borough in a center known as Industry City. The company cites its origins in New York City in 1990, its new factory initiative was several years in the planning and concept stages before beginning its production. M Factory focuses on classic shapes and constructions.
Explained Rebecca Giefer, CEO, Modo Americas, “Our factory has grown from about 20 people when we opened our doors to about 50 people today. Most of the learnings have been about refining craftsmanship by leveraging technology. Without being part of an eyewear manufacturing community overseas, we’ve leaned on our pool of resources in the maker community of Industry City. The culture of creativity that we are part of in Industry City is critical to us.”
Giefer added, “We launched Modo Brooklyn Made under the Modo brand because it shares the brand ethos and design DNA, not only in aesthetic because our Modo Brooklyn Made collection offers classic and retro looks that have always been part of the Modo brand, but also due to the minimalist design approach where less is more.”
Giefer noted that the products are priced slightly higher than most Modo branded goods because they cost more to make. The response has been positive from many accounts and the FW19 collection includes three new shapes that will expand the depth of the offering.
Overall, Geifer pointed out, the perspective of “Made in USA” among consumers has changed with time. “In the past, it was patriotic, but now it’s different. Consumers are buying because they are interested in the maker’s story. ‘Locally made’ is a common phrase across all industries (food and fashion especially) so the story is relevant to the buyer, origin stories ‘are’ becoming more common among consumers’ discussions. Today we talk about knowledge is power and information as the true currency. However, regardless of the narrative that gets customers’ attention, only the quality and feel of the goods will get the products up on their frame boards. The maker’s story or origin story, alone, won’t do it.”
Giefer acknowledged that the dialog about trade and imports is more prevalent now. “But knowing that there’s a value in locally-made ideas, and Brooklyn on its own, creates a new feel to the discussion. And where we are, Industry City, is about restoring industries, converting spaces and our whole team and company is excited to be a part of that.”