This week we were lucky enough to talk to the stunningly unique brand MIKOL (Click the link to view their collection). Their focus on marble is classy yet fashion forward and we simply can’t get enough…
1. Can you tell us about the company’s origin and where the inspiration for the company name came from?
The name MIKOL is our founder’s name. He is also one of our first designers. Our founder started out manufacturing stone, working on prominent buildings with architects and designers which slowly evolved into furniture products. Over time, he grew frustrated with the industry because designers would create stunning products but then have them redesigned or value engineered for the customer due to budget constraints. Design is all in the details, and changing a few “minor details” changes the entire product. Therefore, instead of trying to convince the customers not to limit the budget, he decided to design and produce himself and not let cost be the primary concern. MIKOL was built on the principles that product and customer experiences are the first considerations, and everything else is built around that.
2. How has your brand evolved since your first collection?
Our brand started with luxury tech accessories with emphasis on real marble. But we have always kept in mind our direction as a fashion item. We have slowly expanded our collection to men’s fine accessories.
3. How would you describe your customer?
Our customers have a unique and passionate taste. Marble isn’t for everyone, so we generally attract people that want something different and design oriented with class that wish to stand out.
4. How do you want your customers to feel when they wear one of your products?
We want them to feel unique, different from the crowd as that is what our products represent.
5. Who are your style icons?
Haven’t thought much about this.
6. Which fashion designers have inspired you?
They all have something to offer. Not one in particular.
7. What aspects of your life do you draw inspiration from for the brand image and products?
Nature has always been a huge part of our inspirations. There’s a big group of us that go hiking around the world and at the same time seek out inspiration for the next idea. In terms of brand image, we are from a major city and that feel, that culture has an impact and influence on our brand image as well. Just by being us and attracting like minded people seems the easiest way to build our brand image, because it’s us.
8. Is there anyone you’d like to design for and why?
There are plenty of people and companies with great ideas we would like to work with, but no one in particular, whoever has a great concept. We simply love working on beautiful products/designs.
9. Do you follow fashion trends or do you work from your own inspiration?
We certainly have to be aware and up to date on fashion trends. At the same time, we try not to be influenced too much either.
10. Can you guide us through your design process?
We actually have constant designs being submitted for approval. These designs are then evaluated by our marketing department to see if they fit our brand’s direction and if they are in line with what our customers want. After process of elimination, top products are selected out and then refined more in creating the perfect piece. Manufacturing and production is our specialty, so we focus on having our designers come up with the wildest idea. If you ask any other stone manufacturer to make real marble business cards, they will tell you that you are insane and it’s not possible.
11. Are there any new design techniques that you’ve introduced for the first time with your latest products?
This sounds corny, but our design technique stemmed from our environment. San Francisco is a beautiful city that built itself around nature’s finest scenery. We believe our products possess the same idea, in a sense that we capture the essence of nature’s beauty and by not altering too much, we add a little bit of our flare into it.
12. What were your biggest challenges as a company starting out?
Biggest challenge was getting people to know about our products and educating them that it is real marble. When you do something no one has seen before, they tend not to believe what you say is true until they see the product.