Fashion capital, political headquarters, nightlife mecca: no matter which lens you look at Berlin through, the German capital has a turbulent history. Sixty years ago, a wall was built right through the middle of the bustling metropolis, separating families, and claiming lives – only to be eventually pulled down in 1989. The centre of Berlin, and East Berlin in particular, subsequently developed into a creative engine without equal. Just like the eyewear label ic! Berlin, which caused a sensation, not least because of their extroverted founder.
“The secret of our success was that we didn’t know anything about eyewear and we didn’t know how to build a business.”
Distinctive Individual – Unique Brand
Ralph Anderl is an entrepreneur, a maverick and above all: an artist. He sings in his self-founded company choir, paints expressionist portraits and has even been spotted naked at a fashion show. Anything that attracts attention is allowed, and Anderl prefers to be at the centre of attention.
But let’s start from the beginning: it all began in the 1990s, the time when everything seemed possible in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. The city was literally pulsating with creativity. Two product designer friends asked Anderl if he wanted to model their newly developed screwless glasses made of sheet metal. He wanted to. But since none of the big eyewear manufacturers wanted to have the new type of glasses produced, Anderl also took on the task of sales, marketing, and accounting. This is how the ic! Berlin brand came into being in a three-room backhouse flat in Prenzlauer Berg. Today, the glasses are sold worldwide and handmade by more than 100 employees. Still made in Berlin, Germany, by the way. “The secret of our success was that we had no idea about eyewear and didn’t know how to build a company,” Anderl comments self-deprecatingly.
Exciting Style and Technical Finesse
After disagreements with the two co-founders, Ralph Anderl is now the sole owner of ic! Berlin (Harald Gottschling and Philipp Haffmans founded Mykita, an equally successful eyewear brand). However, as well as being the owner, Anderl is just as much the fun keeper and driving force of the company. He demands a lot of creative input from his employees and lives it out in the flesh – with cool looks and an eye-catching style. “At the end of the day, this company is a big art operation,” he comments.
The ic! Berlin glasses and ic! Berlin sunglasses are definitely little works of art. They are made of super-light but sturdy sheet metal completely without screws – so screws can neither get loose nor get lost. An ingenious, flexible joint between the front and the temples makes it possible. But not only the material and the technology are first class at ic! Berlin, the unique designs of the Berlin company also cause a stir and justify the rather higher price.
Eyewear Art at Its Best
The award-winning ic!-Berlin glasses are made for people who don’t like to be pigeonholed and who value a unique style. The collection includes cool metal frames with colour accents, fashionable film star sunglasses or innovative multi-material frames made of plastic and sheet metal, connected by the legendary screwless joint. For women and men, there are high-quality models for every occasion and every face shape. The ic! Berlin Silk collection focuses on feather-light minimalism and, with its modern simplicity, is extremely popular among glasses wearers. With so much elegance, we don’t even need contact lenses anymore!
You can get an idea of the current ic! Berlin collection in our online shop. And if you’re unsure which glasses suit you, our optician Phil will certainly help you with his tutorial videos. In any case, with a unique model from ic! Berlin, you simply can’t go wrong!