Is it possible to define oneself as both avant-garde and classic? If you’re MYKITA Eyewear, then the answer is most definitely yes. Founded in 2003 by Harald Gottschling, Daniel Haffmans, Philipp Haffmans, and Moritz Krueger in Berlin, MYKITA stunned the eyewear world when it introduced its premier Collection No.1 at the Silmo international eyewear fait the following year.
Why MYKITA? Though the name evokes the minimalism and simplicity of the Far East, many of the brand’s enthusiasts are surprised to learn that the name is actually a clever portmanteau. MYKITA’s first headquarters were located in a former daycare center, known as a kita, in Berlin.
In their opening collection, designers Haffmans and Gottschling managed to capture harmony between man and mechanism with the ingenious use of surgical-grade stainless steel and a revolutionary hinge apparatus that made screws and soldering obsolete. These innovations resulted in modernized traditional eyeglasses and sunglasses that were lightweight, yet incredibly durable and unbelievably comfortable. The collection remains a hallmark of elegance and aesthetic clarity that can be as colorful or as subdued as the wearer prefers.
Two years later, again at Silmo, MYKITA unveiled their Collection No. 2, which was in many ways a departure from the brand’s previously established design sensibilities (though elements of the paradigm-changing hinge remained). Instead of its signature sleek slim-line metal frames, this collection featured full-bodied, three dimensional acetate frames that, while still a variation on long-established eyewear styles, were most definitely more playful and sculptural than their predecessors. To make a fuller frame required yet another leap in innovation: a snap-hinge that does away with the unappealing gap that’s left between the hinge and the frame on traditional acetate glasses and sunglasses.
Both collections have contributed to MYKITA’s celebrated reputation in the design world. The brand’s sophisticated look, cutting-edge hardware, and impeccable workmanship led to MYKITA winning awards at several high-profile international design competitions for eyeglass design and overall product design, including the 2007 Silmo d’Or Award, the 2007 Red Dot Design Award, and the iF Product Design Award in both 2007 and 2010.
From there, MYKITA revealed a passion for taking lightweight eyewear to new heights with their LITE collection, which is comprised of ultra light metal frames consisting of no more than three individual pieces. Then came from LUXE line, with a high-end retro look marked by details like buffalo horn tips and precious metal coatings, and the LIMITED collection, in which MYKITA partnered with various designers to create the MYKITA sunglasses which are unlike any on the market today.
In April of 2007, the brand opened its first exclusive shop in Berlin, with the entire store concept designed to reflect the forward-thinking philosophy and unique look of MYKITA. All MYKITA frames continue to be hand-assembled at MYKITA’s own production site in Berlin and are available at over 1,400 select high-end opticians across the globe, including at Vizio Optic in Boston, MA.