1. Can you describe the birth of KOMONO, how did you and Raf/Anton meet, and where does this idea of creating eyewear and timepieces begin?
Me and Raf met each other through our common passion: snowboarding. After our snowboarding career, we started distributing equipment for snowboarding, skating and streetwear in the Benelux.
Both our creativity and ambition grew, so we decided to do things differently. That’s when we started designing the KOMONO watches and sunglasses. The brand was born out of our equal passion for esthetics and entrepreneurship. After years of working in the fashion distribution, we felt like we were ready to create our own brand to express our vision.
2. How would you describe Raf/Anton, and how would Raf /Anton describe you? What are important qualities to have as cofounders in this industry?
I would describe Raf as a true perfectionist. From an early age he already cultivated an obsession with design and architecture. He can always be found snapping photos in any distant corner of the world. Raf is living in L.A, so he’s the key player for our global sales and marketing.
I think Raf would describe me as a free spirit with a fascination for cultural systems from a foundation of engineering and design. I’m also active at our headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium and mostly working on design development and production.
The most important characteristic as co-founders is to have a clear vision and transparent future perspective. If you work with multiple co-founders it’s important that you share the same vision.
3. How did KOMONO launch, and looking back can you quickly summarize how the brand has evolved or maintained its creative identity?
KOMONO launched in June 2009 and from the start it was a great success. First we started small but quickly grew out to a very popular brand. Actually I don’t look back too often, it’s the future that drives me. At the moment we’ve got over 3500 selling points, 292 watches and more than 443 sunglasses.
We’re always collaborating with innovative, creative minds. We also have a huge community using a variety of platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Our community is both the source of our inspiration and the source of our sales and continued ability to operate.
The story of KOMONO is definitely not over yet. This fall we will introduce the new Mirror Series that integrates a reflective face into the watches as a reminder to never be afraid to shine your light. We’re also launching a new watch called The Walther, which boasts impeccable craftsmanship paired with premium materials. We have also designed a collection with optical glasses, called KOMONO Opticals. We will introduce this collection to the market as from October 2017, so this a very exciting and new step for KONOMO.
4. What truly defines your brand, and how does this creativity form?
KOMONO is the perfect blend of Vision and Timing. We have an advanced vision for our accessories. We want them to be contemporary, inspiring and dedicated to the craft. KOMONO focuses on an audience that has a hunger for design and culture. But it’s also important to keep our products affordable so nobody is being held back from looking wonderful. Accessories are essential, they make your outfit complete.
Our creativity comes from our immense community on all the social media platforms. But also from the beauty that lies within our world. We can say that KOMONO is global fashion at your fingertips.
5. What has the brand done right, to push itself to be such a successful brand, and what will you be focusing on in the future?
Both, Raf and me, already had a lot of experience as distributors. So we built up a wide network of distributors all over the world. This made sure that the brand was swiftly spread across Europe. We grew firmly and quickly achieved worldwide popularity.
We are a community of dreamers and designers committed to perfectly timed accessories. We’re rooted in the Belgian tradition of strong dedication to quality and craft. We’re really focused on the details. Honoring quality craftsmanship is one of our greatest sources of pride. We’re also constantly feeding our curiosity by spanning the globe to seek out the best inspiration in design and culture. The future is shining and we love to chase it down each day.
6. What is your favourite accessories collection?
That’s a tough question because I really like all our collections. We have two distinctive collections: KOMONO and KOMONO Curated. They all share the identical style DNA and are targeted for a worldwide audience. On the other hand each collection has its own character, making every one of them specific and unique.
If you take a closer look at the KOMONO Collection then you will notice it contains original accessories that allow you to express your personality. The collection embodies authentic designs that were created to blend the classic and the new, accessories and lifestyle. The collection is undoubtedly for people with particular attention to detail. Because design is very important to KOMONO, each detail of the sunglasses is perfected from the hinges to the nose pads.
Furthermore we’ve got the KOMONO Curated Collection. It’s an ongoing collection of collaborations with the most influential creatives of our time. The collection provides a canvas of wearable art for inspiring people and is a homage to those who push culture forward.
Thank you Anton for the interview, it has been very insightful looking at KOMONO from an inside lens.
For everyone else make sure to check out KOMONO at www.komono.com