Back in 2021, we presented a new eyewear brand to the global eyeglasses’ community at Silmo optical fair in Paris. We called this premium collection Minamoto – a fitting name for a line of superior eyeglasses, developed and made in Japan.

Minamoto made an instant splash: reaction to the glasses by customers and business partners was overwhelmingly positive. Minamoto’s popularity exceeded everyone’s expectations and the first collection sold out in no time. Now, the success of this precious Japanese brand has been officially warranted: Minamoto has just won the prestigious iF Design Award 2022 in the category “Product”.

Real Japanese eyeglasses

Minamoto is more than just an eyewear collection. The entire brand concept and every single component – from the logo to the glasses to the case – tells the story of centuries-old Japanese craftsmanship, uniting the present and the past of Japanese eyewear tradition. Minamoto eyeglasses deliver superior wearer comfort thanks to their high-quality design and material. Together with their classically beautiful aesthetic, Minamoto glasses generate long-lasting satisfaction for discerning glasses wearers.

Japanese heritage and design are essential for authentic Japanese eyewear

CHARMANT’s heritage is Japanese. Established in the 1950s in the eyewear heartland of Japan, today CHARMANT is a global company whose roots are still firmly embedded there. Minamoto eyeglasses are also thoroughly Japanese. Unlike products that capitalise on “Japan” for marketing purposes, Minamoto glasses were conceived to provide eyeglasses wearers with a truly authentic Japanese eyewear experience from a truly authentic Japanese eyewear maker. Nicolas Berne, Minamoto designer explains the initial design phase, “Before creating sketches, I had to go deep into our company history and philosophy to fully understand what Japanese eyewear all is about.”


What makes the iF Design Award so special?

Won over by the beauty of the eyeglasses and the enthusiasm of the market, the team at CHARMANT decided to submit Minamoto for an iF Design Award. Established in Germany in 1954, iF Design is one of the world’s most prominent design awards. The iF seal is a global symbol for consumers and the design community of outstanding creativity and design excellence in the areas of product, packaging,

communication, service, architecture and interior architecture as well as professional concept, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). In winning an iF Design Award, CHARMANT Group and Minamoto would be in excellent company, sharing this honour with the world’s most famous labels. 

Minamoto eyeglasses triumphed despite tough competition

This year, competition for an iF Award was intense: almost 11,000 entries were submitted from 57 countries. During the first jury round, this was whittled down to 5,426 submissions by 2,687 participants from 49 nations. Frontrunning designs were then presented to an ultimate iF jury of 75 design experts where they were assessed, discussed and mulled over for three days. Finally, the news came: Minamoto had won over the 2022 iF Award jury in the category “Product”.

The iF Design Award is a big win for the entire CHARMANT team

The team at CHARMANT is thrilled with Minamoto’s win. Industrial designer Nicolas Berne expressed his delight, “My aim for Minamoto was to deliver the best collection possible to our customers. When I heard that we won the award, I experienced a mix of extreme joy and a true sense of pride. Getting such prestigious recognition from the design community is truly meaningful.” 

For Hajime Hori, who is responsible for Minamoto product development, the iF Award acknowledges the efforts of the CHARMANT team to successfully establish the Minamoto universe, as well as the

innovation of the European team who came up with the brand concept, “To work on the creation of Minamoto was a highlight, but then to win an iF Award is truly the icing on the cake. I appreciate the efforts of the entire CHARMANT team in creating this premium eyewear brand.”