MYKITA, an independent German creative handcrafted eyewear maker, has built an impressive portfolio since its conception in 2003 - scoring innovative collaborations with fashion brands Bernhard Willhelm, Maison Margiela, and most recently, Martine Rose.
The brand’s ultramodern design and lightweight construction has earned it awards from Red Dot Design Award to German Design Award. We spoke with the creative mind behind the brand, Moritz Krueger, about brand philosophy and the idea behind “Echo” - a collaboration with Maison Margiela.
What does MYKITA mean?
MYKITA is the German abbreviation for kindergarten, which is where we founded MYKITA, an old kindergarten. Back then, we didn’t know how to run a business or make a product, so we thought maybe ‘kindergarten’ is a nice reference - to go back to this culture of learning and going back to basics. Later, we went to Tokyo for our presentation and the people there told us MYKITA means the people who came from the north. The other founders and I all come from a very small town in the north of Germany so we thought that made sense.
You said MYKITA is also an expensive, and more than just a brand. Can you elaborate on that?
I think we are a very personal brand. We have a fully integrated business philosophy. In Berlin at the MYKITA house - a physical building in which everything happens, from the original product idea to the whole manufacturing process - every product is not only designed and produced by us. People are getting something straight out of our hands.
In our retail stores, a lot of elements you find are from the original elements that we used to build our previous furniture. People are our biggest value. There are people who are being inspired working for our brand every day.
How important is social media to the brand?
It is and it is not important. We use social media a lot but we are really curating the channel. We leave a little bit of view behind the scenes but there is a strong border. For example, we had Kim K and two or three other celebrities wearing MYKITA glasses last week, but we are not posting them on social media channels. For all our brand explorers, people expect more integrity. Authenticity is important to me, and we take our customers seriously. I don’t want to forge a different reality on social media.
How do you decide which brand to collaborate with?
We have refused quite big things - when we have a feeling somebody just wants us to make some sunglasses for them. It’s very easy to find our balance when it comes to creative challenges because of the way we make our products. We start with the materials, with the construction, from our technology. Then it makes it easy to reinterpret things.
What is the idea between your collaboration with Margiela - ‘Echo’?
It’s to define a new kind of glamour. We thought, who have been the most glamorous icons of eyewear? They were Jackie Onassis, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. They represent a kind of old glamour. The new glamour, for us, is to make reference to this aesthetic but transform and translate it into a contemporary context by using modern materials or modern construction. We also want to maintain MYKITA’s aesthetic traditions. We decided to call it Echo because it’s an echo from the past - you hear the past a little but what you see is something very new.
Can you pick three personal favourites from the brand?
First, AIMI from the LESSRIM collection. Then, LUAVA from the LITE collection - a modern interpretation of a retro silhouette. And lastly, MMECHO001 from Echo - our collaboration with Margiela.