Mykita Founder Moritz Krueger Is Reinventing Eyewear
If you thought Mykita was a Japanese brand, you’re not alone. The brand actually hails from Berlin, Germany, and its name was inspired by a former daycare centre called Kita. Today, the name Mykita continues to represent the culture of curiosity and learning that continues to define the eyewear company.
The minimalist brand has become known over the years for its lightweight frames, use of innovative materials and fashion-forward designs that redefine luxury eyewear. We sat down with co-founder Mortiz Krueger in Hong Kong to chat about origami, collaborating with Maison Margiela and the brand's expansion into Asia.
What was the eyewear industry like when you first started?
Back in the '90s, fashion was very noisy and showy. Particularly with eyewear, there were hardly any brands where the product was the focus and the context was quiet.
We started to play around with materials and landed on the idea of using stainless steel and the principles of origami to create the frame, and to leave the rest of the aesthetic simple. When we started, we went to an exhibition in Paris where there were 40 other brands. Now, there are almost 700 at the event. In the last 15 years, the market has grown exponentially.
Mykita has been known to take inspiration from other industries—what are those industries and how do they influence your designs?
Besides the lenses, the whole production of the frame has nothing to do with companies in the eyewear business. Sometimes I think we’re more in line with industrial or product design than fashion design. We go to medical exhibitions to find medical silicon or material tech and automotive industries to collect our materials. Most brands start with the look that they want to achieve then build the materials around it. We take the opposite route, with materials as our starting point.
What were some of challenges you faced while creating this brand?
What we wanted to do was so new, there weren’t any production facilities that could accommodate us, so we had to learn to make it on our own. That's become one of the greatest blessings, allowing us to create everything on our own and having full control from the beginning.
Can you tell us about your collaborations with John Galliano of Maison Margiela, Bernhard Willhelm and Damir Doma?
Working with Margiela was the biggest dream come true because conceptually, they’re one of the three most important fashion houses of the last 30 years. Galliano wanted to do a collection on “New Glamour” and for us, the most glamorous era for eyewear was that of Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe.
There were a few iconic shapes, so we took inspiration from those and transformed it using our materials to create something more futuristic. That’s why we called it “Echo” because it’s an echo from the past.
We've worked with Bernhard since 2009 and his creativity knows no limits--he doesn’t think about trends, which is how he came to the idea of recreating the mirrored sports glasses from the '70s that were only found on Oakleys. Then, Patricia Field, the stylist for Sex and the City, used them for the second movie and the rest was history.
Damir is more of a friend than a business partner. He was known for his nomad-chic aesthetic—with him, it’s about the construction of the garments. You can see all the seams on the inside of his jackets, so we decided to take that idea to our collaboration which manifested into the layers of exposed, contrasting materials.
What do you feel the Asian market looks for in eyewear?
We don’t create different collections for each market, but we always try to understand the physiognomy and make sure it will fit European faces as well as Americans or Asians. There’s a different demand for luxury now, and I think it has to do with a generation shift. People are travelling more and being educated abroad, and they’re expecting more integrity in a product. It’s less about obvious luxury. We opened our APEC headquarters in Hong Kong in January. Things change so quickly here and we feel that if we can survive and thrive here, we can do well in all other markets.
Click through the gallery below to see more styles from Mykita's SS18 collection:
Find out more on mykita.com