NEW ISSUE – NEW #MYFRAMESHOT-COMPETITION In order to celebrate the launch of Issue #16 with a big bang, we have a special surprise for our readers. We are giving away five (!) pairs of IC!BERLIN »Katharina L.« – the eyewear on our cover. In order to......
ic! berlin is a German company which designs and produces high-end, handcrafted eyewear in Berlin, and distributes it worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 by Ralph Anderl.
ic! berlin produces eyewear from 0.5mm thick stainless spring steel sheet metal, using a patented hinge design which avoids the use of any screws, welds, or glue in the construction of their frames. The combination of materials and techniques allows their products to be light and flexible.
ic! brille became ic! berlin in late 1997. Starting in a small apartment with a shop front in Max-Beer-Straße in Berlin-Mitte, ic! berlin quickly expanded into the neighbouring apartments before moving to the nearby Backfabrik in 2005. The shop in Max-Beer-Straße remains to this day.
While Haffmans and Gottschling focused on design and production, Anderl would take control of finance, organisation and distribution. Riding his bike all over Berlin, Anderl would visit potential clients and show product samples which he kept in extra pockets he had sewn into his coat. This strategy was repeated at ic! berlin’s first appearances at the Optika optical fair Cologne in 1997 and the following year at Mido in Milan: unable to secure a stand, Anderl would walk around the exhibition centre with a trench coat full of ic! berlin samples, much like those used by counterfeit watch sellers.
After creating a great deal of buzz in Milan, ic! berlin was gifted a small stand and showed officially for the first time at Silmo Paris, where it won the prestigious Silmo D’Or. This was the first of three wins at Silmo (1998, 2008, 2011). Since then ic! berlin has been a regular fixture at, and won top honours from, the world’s top optical trade and design fairs.
In 2003 the trio split, with Anderl remaining at ic! berlin as the sole Managing Director.
Under Anderl, ic! berlin has expanded into fashion, launching a line of jeans and collaborating with other designers and fashion labels such as [Kix], [Bathing Ape], [Luisa Hecking] and [Superfine]. Anderl continues to forge a strong relationship with the art world, frequently collaborating with photographers such as [Mathias Bothor] and [Lyle Owerko]. In 2013 renowned German artist and entertainer [Friedrich Lichtenstein] took up residency at ic! berlin an [ornamental hermit].
Today ic! berlin has over 200 employees worldwide with subsidiaries in Berlin, New York and Tokyo. Head office remains in the Backfabrik and has expanded over the years to cover three floors: design, production, dispatch, sales, marketing and service all happen under the one roof.