MYKITA Eyewear, Berlinese Style

This past summer I walked by our local eyewear shop and decided to kill some time. The shop owner brought over these very angular metal eye glasses and proclaimed they were right up my aesthetic alley. She was right. Mykita, MYKITA- “sounds Japanese” I said, but the unique springless design and sharp silhouettes were clues to its real origins – only Germans could create something so fantastically warm and modern. Within days I had samples in my hand and spoke to the Berlinese boys about their company. Hit the jump for our quick chat.

Tell me about your eyewear.

Mykita has two different main collections,

Collection No.1 – Stainless Steel

The first range of metal frames was unveiled at the Silmo international eyewear fair in the fall of 2004. A highly innovative functional design comprising simple plug connections made complex soldered joints and screw connections redundant, while the frames themselves were cut out of stainless sheet steel before being folded into form. As well as being incredibly light, the frame can be easily adjusted to the wearer’s features thanks to a wide variety of configuration options. The corrective spectacles and sunglasses in the collection range from the classically elegant to avant-garde designs in a wide range of frame colours.

Collection No. 2 – Acetate

This collection was first unveiled in 2006. In a marked departure from previous frames, MYKITA Collection No.2 is made from full-bodied acetate – a material that enjoys a huge tradition in the eyewear industry. What set the new spectacles apart is the hinge – a connecting element that hugs the front and temples in the style of a sheath. The designs are crisp, clear and distinctive and are each related to frames from the metal collection. A carefully selected range colours gives Collection No.2 a varied but nonetheless homogenous collective look.

Who designs your frames?

Mykita has a in-house design department. Harald Gottschling & Philipp Haffmans are both head of design as well as being two of the four founders. The creative process however is a team effort.

MYKITA was founded by Harald Gottschling, Daniel Haffmans, Philipp Haffmans and Moritz Krueger. What to some may sound like an Asian-style name was in fact inspired by the firm’s first premises – a former day-care centre for children (in East Germany abbreviated to “Kita”).

Is everything made in-house?

All glasses are handmade in our own production shop – which is located inside the so called MYKITA HAUS in the heart of Berlin. All production steps, a part from the cutting of the stainless stell in the acid bath and the coating of the metal material (both industrial processes) are perfomed at the MYKITA Haus!

Do you plan on more collaborations?

The Design Team of MYKITA really enjoys collaborations with fashion designers, as it gets the creative juices flowing and brings a different view on things.

For Spring/Summer 2010 MYKITA launched a collection with London based Designer Marios Schwab. The outcome of this collaboration is industrial style sunglasses, whose circular frames are cut complete from thin sheets of stainless steel, before being folded into shape. Two models were created, Hamilton & Jane.

Avant-garde fashion designer Romain Kremer and MYKITA worked together on two models: the Romain (SS2010), and Yuri, a pair of futuristic glasses (AW 2010), which was recently worn by Lady Gaga.

After a successful collaboration with Bernhard Wilhelm last year on the AW 2009 collection, new “MYKITA & Bernhard Wilhelm” collections for men (models Franz, Alois, Sepp) and for women (model Janis & Lucidus) (AW 2010) have been presented at TRANOI in Paris.

Perhaps the most endearing part of their story is everything is still designed and hand made in Berlin despite their international acclaim. They have an amazing range with the price hovering around $400 USD which is comparable to other designer eyewear. I’m betting bigger things will happening for the MYKITA Haus next year. We here at Yanko Design are officially fans and can’t wait to see more. In fact, I may have to hop a plane to Berlin soon and pay them a visit. How about it boys?

Designer: MYKITA