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The Berlin-based eyewear company Mykita creates hand-crafted shades that are both innovative and classic. This month, they launched a collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela: two collections entitled Dual and Essentials. We met with co-founder Moritz Krueger at the New York store to talk about designing with the fashion house.
WHITEWALL: How did the collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela come about?
MORITZ KRUEGER: We always wanted to collaborate with them. They are really free thinkers in the world of fashion, with a very independent mindset. Maison Martin Margiela goes their own way and I think with our business, we have a similar image and market position. They liked what we were doing with collaborations and our working process and they approached us.
WW: Can you tell me about the process of designing these two collections together?
MK: We started to work on the collaboration and process and so on in middle of 2012. We started to meet between Paris and Berlin and tried to link all the different departments together, but of course the beginning was about finding an expression in the product, something where you can really see both sides connected without being too obvious with the creative codes. Margiela is such a strong conceptual brand. There are a lot of traps in the creative process where you find yourself in the end just applying the usual codes. I would say we started to really look at the working process of both sides and we learned a lot about Margiela and they learned a lot about us. It was a very natural and analytical process.
We identified two ideas that we really liked. One was an execution in acetate and the other one was working with our metal construction. The idea behind the central collection is construction meets deconstruction from Margiela. The glasses are made of stainless steel and folded and bended into a three dimensional object. Then the idea was that we wanted to reduce the construction to just the essence of the product. There shouldn’t be any additive parts. It is very lightweight with no additive parts. This concept has a lot of potential to develop it into the future. It’s important to us to create something that lasts longer.
WW: With each collaboration do you want to try and find a point of innovation you can then bring to the regular collection?
MK: Exactly. Getting a strong product DNA that can then be used again. We are just using the energy from Margiela of different ingredients that we can use in the kitchen for cooking.
WW: And tell me about the dual collection, the second part of the partnership with Margiela.
MK: The lens shapes are historical and futuristic. We like to take inspiration from Margiela with classical and from the past this is all based on classical eyewear. Then with the construction and concept we translate it into a modern eyeglass. For us, it’s always important that we’re trading modern product that exists in our time but of course we like historical inspiration. It’s always this translation that is important. So it is six different shapes and four colors. It’s warm, but cool. The idea was we took one shape and then we deconstructed it and divided it into two, which is where we get the name “dual.” This process gives birth to two new identities, in a way. It’s one taken apart from each other. They belong together then get divorced.
The momentum of this Jewel collection is deconstruction from the same shape. It’s amazing how strong it works. It’s a quite simple idea in a way but it has a strong effect.
WW: Do you have a favorite from the dual collection?
MK: From the color scheme, this is solid grey and black, it’s my favorite color collection. The concept can be developed in a very nice way in the future as well.