Haffmans & Neumeister
The launch of Berlin-based label Haffmans
& Neumeister marks the return of
sheet-metal veterans to the eyewear market.
A concept of curated frames rooted in
aesthetic and design dogmas, with a heavy
emphasis on historical context.
Haffmans & Neumeister founders, Daniel Haffmans, Philipp
Haffmans, and Jean-Pierre Neumeister, have stood at the
vanguard of eyewear design for over twenty years. With ic!
berlin and MYKITA, they conquered and transformed the
eyewear market through the invention of, and innovative experiments
with, flat sheet-metal frames.
Philipp Haffmans continues the tradition he pioneered
twenty years ago of utilising a dogmatic design process that
hones in on the absolute essential, stripping away artifice in
favour of honouring the sincerity of the raw material. The
new hinge design, an elegant and integrated execution,
speaks to this ethos, highlighting the beauty of its technological
The designers are driven by a connoisseur’s obsession,
scouring historical archives in pursuit of eyewear shapes at
their peak, in order to grasp the savoir-faire and aesthetics of
the pieces in their respective time period. The debut collection
acts as an abridged tour through the centuries of eyewear
history and technical evolution. The result is a concept and
collection that is clear and purposeful, yet not without vanity
— the brutal, futuristic quality of the raw material is transmuted
into an accessory that is elegant, refined, and timeless
but also fashionable.
The founders of Haffmans & Neumeister each arrived
to the optical world as outsiders. Philipp Haffmans and
Jean-Pierre Neumeister studied industrial design together,
and were first exposed to eyewear by way of a university
design competition. Neumeister, also a gallerist, comes from
a family of watchmakers and inventors. Daniel Haffmans is
an award-winning designer and architect. The three have a
distinct approach to, and perception of, eyewear — and with
two decades of experience, they have a self-confidence that
supports their radical thinking.
“Developing new types of glasses is what we enjoy most.
However, the joy of the process faded into the background
as the size of the respective companies increased,” Daniel
Haffmans explains. “We want to develop new things again,
and that means, conversely, to remain small and focused.”
The company concept follows that of the design
principle, seeking out what is essential in order to produce
clarity and transparency.
In order to maintain the greatest control over quality, processes,
and delivery, frames are hand bent, assembled, and finished at the
Haffmans & Neumeister manufactory, an historic factory building
located in their home city of Berlin. Continuing their legacy of
respect for traditional handcraft and an open-minded curiosity for
the high-tech, Haffmans & Neumeister seek to push not only the
possibilities within the material they work with, but within the
eyewear industry itself.