MYKITA was founded in 2003 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”). The four were at the creative and managerial core of the successful ic! berlin eyewear brand, which they left in September 2003 in order to embark on their own creative venture: MYKITA.
Just a year later, the world was introduced to MYKITA *Collection No.1* – an evolutionary step up in terms of both design and exclusivity. The all-new range of metal frames was unveiled at the Silmo international eyewear fair in the fall of 2004.
Exactly two years later, a new collection was unveiled at the 2006 Silmo. In a marked departure from previous frames, MYKITA *Collection No.2* were made from full-bodied acetate. In April 2007 MYKITA’s first dedicated shop opened in Berlin. The entire concept behind the store was designed by the four founders of MYKITA to reflect the look and philosophy of the MYKITA world.
All frames are hand-assembled at MYKITA’s own production site in Berlin and are available at over 1,400 high-end opticians and selected department stores across the globe. MYKITA frameshave won the red dot and the IF product design award in 2007.
The unique form vocabulary of Philipp Haffmans and Harald Gottschling has made the designer duo a hot name in the luxury eyewear sector. Haffmans’ trademark style draws heavily on natural sources of inspiration, while Gottschling takes his contouring cues from the latest developments in industrial design, in particular from aerodynamic and automotive styling.
What distinguishes this pioneering team’s approach to design is their belief in the compatibility of technical innovation and classic elegance.
Both designers boast exceptional technical expertise fuelled by a visionary approach. Their vast experience in the world of design enables them to create the kinds of new concepts and designs that have made MYKITA a worldwide success on the luxury eyewear market.
These glasses are made with top-quality stainless steel, just 0.5 mm thick, ensuring an ultra-light feel. The actual production of MYKITA eyewear sees every part of the frame cut out of sheet metal and folded into a lightweight but full-bodied format. Linking these is a remarkably elegant and intelligent screw-less hinge design that ensures total flexibility and allows complete, custom-fit adaptability of inclination and frame according to the wearers’ facial proportions. The technical wizardry is coupled with aesthetic clarity and optimum vision to provide a recognisable trademark for MYKITA.
To apply most of the colours featured in the collection, MYKITA chose a PVD finish – a state-of-the-art vacuum-heat coating technique that guarantees a non-oxidizing and highly wear-resistant surface. The prescription frames in *Collection No.1* are available in a choice of ten colours, the sunglasses in eight colours. Each frame is handmade at the MYKITA workshop in Berlin.
The MYKITA design team had for some time been planning to make a collection incorporating a fuller-bodied material, and eventually decided on cellulose acetate. Basically composed of cotton, wood pulp, acetate and pigments, it is a natural material that has a long tradition in the eyewear industry. After 10 years of experience with sheet-metal concepts that ultimately have limitations when it comes to working with fuller-bodied forms, the designers developed an acetate-based concept that opens up a new horizon: working in three dimensions, like a sculptor.
Philipp Haffmans and Harald Gottschling would again follow their own revolutionary design philosophy, and *Collection No.2* indeed shares a variety of features with the original concept. It features a “snap-hinge” made of 0.8 mm flat sheet metal familiar from the construction principals applied in the first collection. A major new innovation was the use of photomechanical etching technology. The connection point between the hinge and the acetate frame likewise represented a unique challenge for the designers. Looking at classic hinge solutions on acetate frames, they never liked the fact that a large gap was left between the temples and frame when the former are folded in. *Collection No.2* offers an answer to this aesthetic problem.
The six prescription styles and six sunglasses are available in a range of opaque colours, with no lamination. The colours are: black, brown, warm grey, cool grey, dark blue, olive, bordeaux, red and white.
Both collections boast sophisticated design, an impeccable standard of workmanship and a cutting-edge technical concept.