Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text DAGMAR SCHRAMM

More and more people prefer customized and hand-made goods over mass-marketed products. 4SEE visited this german eyewear manufacturer that is committed to handcraft, high quality, individuality and modern design. Mykita from Berlin combines technical perfection with a solid sense for aesthetics.

Mykita produces in Berlin – so everything is close by. “Which is why we can access our resources swiftly and directly and reflect the zeitgeist in our products“, says CEO and Creative Director Moritz Krueger. And the Berliners do so perfectly: Whether it is Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt or Wolfgang Joop – everyone who deems themselves fashion-savvy wears Mykita. All this works without a logo, because Mykita uses a patented flexible joint unique to their glasses.

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The atmosphere inside the Mykita House in Berlin-Kreuzberg is as creative as in an artist’s studio. The combined competence of employees from 28 different nations is put to good use for design and production, all under one roof. “We produce up to 3000 prototypes each year“, Moritz Krueger explains. “During development we always take the past, the future and new technologies into account. When tried and tested methods meet modern techniques, traditional production meets modern materials, innovation evolves from it.“ Mykita’s secret to its modern manufactory is the combination of handicraft and high-tech: “Our designs are always based on technical solutions, which have to be highly aesthetic at the same time.“

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Mykita’s famous first collection, Collection No. 1, consists of delicate stainless steel. Fronts and temples are etched into just 0.5mm thick flat metal during a photochemical procedure. All components are developed in plane and are put into shape by bending and folding, similar to Japanese origami. The Berliners’ newest idea is Mylon – glasses made by laser-sintering polyamide powder, an additive technique akin to 3D-printing. Layer by layer lightweight and break-proof glasses are formed, fit even for sports or skiing.

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But Mykita looks to expand its horizon. “The Mykita House doesn’t end in Berlin, it invites partners from all industries“, says Krueger. “We develop modern, contemporary products in an interdisciplinary dialogue.“ Mykita looks for collaborations with outside partners for the colouring of their frames and lenses, too. Designer Bernhard Wilhelm inspired the famous gold-mirrored aviator frame; Damir Doma used glasses as a canvas for a mesmerizing play of colours such as blue, violet and brown. For summer, the label came up with matte surfaces and uses mainly Black, Navy, Chocolate Brown and Gold for optical glasses. Sunglasses are more playful: Colour gradients, mirrored lenses and bold colours characterize the collection.
Mykita stands out from the crowd through their unique shapes and colours, and more and more customers are convinced by their quality and designs. “In 2015 we want to open more Mykita stores and in March we will launch our first children collection, Mykita First“, the CEO reveals.

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Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text DAGMAR SCHRAMM

More and more people prefer customized and hand-made goods over mass-marketed products. 4SEE visited a manufacturer with commitment to handcraft, high quality, individuality and modern design. Danish label Ørgreen not only produces first-class titanium frames, but also creates the colours for every collection themselves.

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Sahra Lysell’s job is a unique one. The 37 year old is Colour Advisor for the Danish eyewear label Ørgreen. She has developed colours for the brand’s exclusive designs for 14 years now. “At Ørgreen colour is just as important as shape“, she explains. “This way a third dimension develops – colour transports emotion and mood onto a frame.“ Which is why Ørgreen offers 40 to 50 new colours each season, considerably more than any other manufacturer. Sahra Lysell gets most of her inspiration from when she is out and about. “I observe people very closely“, she says. “My gut tells me which colours are the right ones for the right time. It is my goal to create colours that people didn’t know they wanted before.“

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The manufacturing process is elaborate at Ørgreen: Sahra Lysell sends her samples for manufacturing to Japan, where the frames are made and coloured by hand. A sample can be a page from an old schoolbook or a piece of paper – anything to ease the difficulty of translating colour for Ørgreen’s titanium frames. “A colour can contain up to a hundred different substances“, Sahra Lysell explains. “And each and every one has to be skin tolerant, posing a great challenge.“ The teams of both countries work closely together, despite the long distance. Patterns are exchanged back and forth between Japan and Copenhagen until everyone is pleased with the newly created colour. Colours must flatter the face, so Ørgreen tests them on people with different skin tones and nationalities. „You wear your glasses every single day, you express yourself with them. This shows why the right shade is so very important“, the expert explains. “We want our glasses to be absolute favourites. This is why we put so much work, heart and soul into our creations.“ Sahra Lysells describes Ørgreen as an emotional company: “We have supreme quality standards. Time and handcraft are vital parts for the production of our glasses.“ No wonder that Ørgreen prefers to take design and colour into their own hands instead of letting trend scouts take charge.

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For summer Ørgreen recommends colours for gentlemen and gentlewomen: Navy, Mahogany, Ivory and Cognac with a matte, industrial finish. These are combined with shades from the 80s and 90s, for example green and violet. The contrasting colours create complexity. „Only through the combination of two worlds something new, something creative can grow“, says Sahra Lysell. Ørgreen’s success is excellent proof for the colour expert’s work. The brand is sold in more than 40 countries and adored by many fans around the globe.

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