Behind the brand
A chance to innovate
Founder and managing director of Komono, Anton Janssens, talks to OT about experimenting and paying attention to details
Can you tell me three interesting facts about the company?
- Komono means ‘small things’ in Japanese. We bring sleek design, an inspiring colour palette and surprising aesthetic into the world of watches and eyewear
- Komono offers great quality and innovative design at an accessible price point with the goal to make luxury accessible. Instead of exclusivity, we thrive on mutual inspiration
- We are based in Antwerp – the home of innovative fashion, from intricate lace-making to the game-changing Antwerp Six. Komono has spawned from this hub of creativity and aesthetics, bringing the essence of the city to the world. This year marked the start of our collaboration with the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. We invited four students to create their own capsule collection, which was then presented as part of their graduation project. It shows how far you can go in design when you let creativity and innovation dominate the process.
What makes your eyewear unique?
At Komono we always try to experiment and do things differently. In order to make our products stand out, every detail matters. Every detail is also a chance to innovate, whether it is in the shape of the frame, the materials being used or the colour palette. We pride ourselves in being original and trying to capture the zeitgeist into our designs.
What is the latest collection that Komono has released and what are its defining features?
At Silmo, we presented our latest autumn/winter 2019 optical collection. Unexpected contrasts of visual details are characteristic of both the new acetate and metal series and open up the collection to multiple readings. Introducing our most slender frames to date, the Slim series is a reconstructed copy of some of our most celebrated styles, suited for smaller faces.
What are the company’s main ambitions for the next 12 months?
Continuing our growth while also staying true to our brand DNA. At Komono, every day represents a new challenge and a possibility to completely reinvent ourselves. Balancing this with an ever-expanding company structure and a more elaborate supply chain is key.
What external factors are the company taking into account when planning for the future, and why?
The entry of the direct-to-consumer model has shaken up the optical industry and will continue to do so. At Komono, we offer independent opticians a way to compete in the sense that we can provide them with fashionable design at an affordable price and with a marketing strategy relevant towards a younger customer.
At Komono, every day represents a new challenge and a possibility to completely reinvent ourselves
Are there any new products in development that customers should be aware of?
We will introduce Komono’s first foray into winter sports, a hint towards my days as a professional snowboarder. Using enhanced lenses and anti-slip rubber straps, the ‘Anton’ frame is our first goggle to combine a perfect fit and ample protection with a fierce attitude. Staying true to our roots of going off-piste, it adds superior design and a touch of playfulness to the skiwear category. Referencing the practice of personalising your board, every pair will come with replaceable patches that can be added or removed according to your state of mind.
What do you predict eyewear trends to be in 2020?
For 2020, we went bolder and invested heavily in acetate. Bold styles with a late 70s, early 80s vibe and shape are key. In terms of colours, we are introducing more faded, dirty colours such as grey, dirty orange, filthy pink and a minty faded-out green.