Henri Richter-Werner: The Innovation Interview

Henri Richter-Werner is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Connor. Connor is the World’s Finest Engraver and Stationer and is available exclusively on ConnorNYC.com and at Barneys New York.

Prior to co-founding Connor with Justin Felber, Henri conceptualized and developed advertising campaigns for such distinguished brands as Loro Piana, Paul Stuart, Brooks Brothers and Mrs. John L. Strong while serving as Creative Director.

How do you define innovation and what does it mean to you?

Innovation to me means delivering a product 100 times quicker and 100 times better and inventing new products while doing it.

What industry needs to embrace innovation and take more risks?

Fuel, Transportation and Recycling. We are 500 years behind in comparison with other inventions.

What is the best piece of advice you have given and received?

Don’t listen to other people. Go with your instincts.

What is your greatest achievement and why?

Escaping from a communist country as a 21 year old with $20 without the ability to speak English and making a great life for myself in America. In addition to starting Connor, a true luxury brand, from scratch on a piece of paper and making the brand known with certain demographics all over the world.

Newspapers and Books: Digital or Physical?

Today, in 2012 I still have to say both.

How are communications going to change in 5, 10 and 20 years?

I think gradually they will become another voice and vision. We will have the ability to communicate and see everything without carrying anything. Google Glass is the Edison’s light bulb of it – already.

Brulte & Company is advising Connor on their Luxury Communications App for the iPad. The app will change the way consumers communicate with one another. Do you care to share details?

Connor will primarily enable people to add aesthetics and visual communications based on proper etiquette and creativity to interact. The infant will eventually grow up into something as broad as Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest all combined because of its core complexity.

What new technologies are you currently experimenting with at the moment? Will you ever abandon your Blackberry for an iPhone?

Unless Blackberry comes out with something contemporary soon, yes I will definitely migrate to a 21st century device.

Today nothing is quite as special and memorable as a receiving a handwritten note in the mail. What is your inspiration when you are designing a new Connor card?

I was born as an individual who always happened to stand out. I apply that formula to everything daily. A hand written note is the most individual, personal tool to touch someone and get noticed and always will be. It also helps to burn calories if you can write at all.

Tell us about the history of Connor and why hand engraved stationery is a lost art.

It’s in the business plan.