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March 2014

Mykita Takes Manhattan

The German-engineered architectural energy is apparent. The bright white walls, dispensing trays, LED lighting and display shelves clarify intent before any salesperson speaks a word. Just off the ribbon of Soho's frenetic Broadway retail beltway, Mykita is an oasis off the beaten path offering deliciously sterile air in a gulf of high ceilings and quietly stark surroundings. The retail gem hidden within the folds of micro Soho backstreets is the very first Mykita store in the U.S., opened in July, joining Berlin, Paris, Zurich, Vienna, Tokyo, Monterrey and Cartagena. Moritz Krueger, CEO and creative director of Mykita, discusses why the Berlin-based eyewear company felt ready to address their U.S. supporters and offer them the same service their enthusiasts receive overseas.

—Breanna Benz


20/20: What was Mykita's main reason for opening a store in the United States?

Moritz Krueger: Since the U.S. accounts for around 20 percent of our international sales, it was always our aim to be present with our own store here. Even more important is that we wanted to be able to offer our American customers the full Mykita brand experience, from the high-end product to the best optical solutions.


How do you help your customers have a more personal experience while shopping at your store?
To offer a holistic world, which unites our design principles with optical precision made in Germany, is one of the main principals of our shop concept. That's why we have a shop-integrated laboratory, which is equipped with state-of-the-art precision instruments from the world-renowned optical specialist Zeiss. Every customer can consult the Mykita in-house optometrist, who generates customized optical profiles and performs an exact adaptation of frame and lens to the wearer's face.


What was your approach when designing the layout for the store?
Every component of the store's makeup was built in Germany and shipped to the U.S. Recycled flight attendant trolleys are used for display tables with built-in storage. A fluorescent light installation is aligned with the metal pipes from the Art Deco factory building's original sprinkler system in a nod to the structure's beginnings. The frames are illuminated by a strategic glowing aura from custom-installed white LED lights, left static during the day and programmed to produce a spectacular if eerie light show when the sun slips behind the low Soho skyline.


What has been the response to the New York store?

We fully conceived the store concept in-house, thus it's very personal. We tried to create our own world, and we are very happy with the result, which has exceeded all expectations.


How does Mykita feel about the NYC store team?
I can only answer this with a German word, we tend to use in the MYKITA HAUS when we are thrilled and full of joy about something: TIPTOP!

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