Your father, Alain Mikli, also had his own glasses brand. Do you get your passion for craftsmanship, your eye for detail and for high-quality materials from him?
My father had his brand for thirty years. I was always around his colleagues, but we never worked together. It wasn’t a process of passing it down to me, but it did mean that I ended up working in the same field. Basically, I went to Berlin to learn German because I was studying finance: quite distant to the world of glasses! But by chance I ended up doing an internship in the accounts office of the glasses brand IC in Berlin, right on my doorstep. To be perfectly honest, the accounting side of things was not so fun, especially in German (laughs)! It lasted for two weeks, and I was gradually absorbed into the creative team. I then stayed on for two years, which was unusual. After that, I studied graphic design in New York and began to work in eyeglass shops. That suited me a lot better and I felt ready to set up my own small business. For a variety of reasons, I decided to come back to Paris, particularly because of “French craftsmanship.” It was important to me to be as close to the production site as possible.
For each model, you produce 500 pairs of glasses, all numbered – you call them “limited eye-ditions.” Why do you only produce limited editions?
That runs deep in the brand’s DNA. On the one hand it’s about our production – we only make glasses in small batches and use our own colors. But it’s also down to the fact that half of our collection is made exclusively out of materials that are twenty or thirty years old. There’s a factory in China that works with old acetate, which we then transform and combine with other materials, and sometimes that only results in thirty or forty pairs of glasses. The aim is to create unique and individual colors.
What inspires you?
Colors more than anything else. Even when you’re creating a glasses frame, it’s the color that determines the shape. Light is also very important: We have a lot of frames where we’ve added a transparent layer behind the colors to create a relief effect.