MYKITA: fresh directions
The Berlin-based eyewear brand has explored new territory for its latest releases, which include a collaboration with 032c and new design ingredients across its entire portfolio. 20/20 EUROPE spoke with CEO and Creative Director Moritz, Krüger as the company prepared its previews for the Paris optical fair, SILMO.
Q: MYKITA and 032c released a first collaboration piece in June 2023 in Paris. Tell us about this new collaboration with the Berlin company, and comment on how you align.
A: 032c is a media and fashion company that was founded in Berlin in the early 2000s just like MYKITA. We are both known for carving our own creative paths and reaching global attention in the process. MARFA was created using our proprietary MYLON – this laser-sintered material innovation allows for maximum volume with minimal weight but also great freedom in the design process. This is how we were able to create this voluminous wraparound design that has a cool, biomechanical look and feel.
Q: What is the timetable for the roll out of the product “Marfa”?
A: We will be showcasing MARFA at SILMO 2023, and the product will be arriving in stores beginning of February. There will also be a selection of complementary accessories including a silk scarf, a leather key ring and a tray.
Q: What other news do you have coming for SILMO this year as regards the main line?
A: We have been exploring new territory across our entire portfolio, while at the same time looking to maintain a sense of consistency. We see it as an organic evolution of each collection that still stays true to the original DNA. A new design ingredient, such as our split temple design, appearing in both NO1 and DECADES, is really a development of our structural aesthetic. Or the sculptural acetate rims we have added to the steel frames in DECADES build on our acetate rings concept but achieves a rich, new look. For MYKITA MYLON we have brought out new bold, bulky styles, which have become a go-to accessory for more edgy, masculine tastes. Overall, there is more detail and a richer look that feels like a fresh direction for us.
We are also expanding our MYKITA ACETATE collection. We can proudly say that we produce the collection 100% in-house and we are ready to scale. We have the complete package, which is especially interesting in a time when high-end acetate manufacturing is becoming a more and more limited resource. We own our production, we own our technology and are amped to take it from here and push it further.
Q: MYKITA is also releasing a new embellished temple in the LITE collection for the Autumn. This is a new departure, what can you tell us about this design concept.
A: Our popular LITE collection is handcrafted from stainless steel and is known for its fine three-millimetre temples. For this latest design series, we have engraved the temples with a subtle pattern and finished with a clear acetate temple end in slender, flowing shape. The polished acetate emphasises the underlying structure and creates a uniquely high-tech yet precious aesthetic that feels characteristic of MYKITA.
Q: It is well-known that MYKITA has committed to sustainable materials and that you see the transition to more sustainable design practices as essential for all industry players. What else have you been working on this year to pivot the company further in this direction?
A: In addition to switching our acetate supply to the sustainable Eastman Acetate Renew in 2022, we can now state that 90% of our frame materials consist of recycled content. Our signature metal frames have always been made from stainless steel consisting of 90% recycled content and 10% raw material – in 2023, we closed the loop with our supplier and now return our leftover stainless steel to achieve full circularity.
But what is more important for us is taking a holistic view more than just the materials used. Our definition of a ‘sustainable direction’ is creating products with true longevity – design that lasts a long time quality-wise but is also timeless with lasting comfort and function. Our independently owned-and-operated production allows us to have full autonomy and transparency of our design and production process and so we will continue to take steps to reduce the environmental impact of our product and entire operation.
Q: MYKITA has a highly respected manufactory in Berlin where all products are hand assembled. Does everything in terms of design and production continue to evolve at MYKITA HAUS in much the same way? If not, what is new and exciting in the company agenda in Berlin HQ?
A: We are in a very exciting place right now. For 17 years, we enjoyed organic, super successful growth. Until about 2018, we were just pushing through with our offense and trying to win every game with product innovation, brand, collaboration – that was our recipe for success. The last two to three years we have focused on a bit of business therapy that all companies must go through at some point. We have been building a new platform with SAP to improve our processes and services. It was important for us to take some time to get our boat into ship shape and set the sails a little differently. This doesn’t mean that we are not focusing on innovation – we will do that more than ever. But we are more resourceful with our ideas to fully explore the commercial potential and most importantly to be a much better and more reliable partner for all our opticians and our beautiful global network. We can confirm our service levels are up internally and this is also reflected through the positive feedback from our partners. Our deliveries are better than they have ever been – we had a direct order book conversion rate of 50% in the first month. We are ready for a strong take off.