Independent optical store owner and eyewear expert launches own collection with NA eyewear
Dana Prekopova opened a boutique style optical shop in Slovakia in 2005 – a time when very few independent collections had reached her home town of Bratislava. “The beginnings were not really easy,” she explains. “Slovak clients weren’t well educated about “independent eyewear”. I began to introduce individual pieces gradually.”
The first original, handmade frame collection stocked by IOKO came from French artisan designers Vue dc. “At that time this was a young brand as well and the people behind it seemed to me extraordinary and original. We first met at Opti – the trade fair in Munich, and we immediately had an incredible connection.”
As her business grew, Dana became more and more enthusiastic about unique independent brands and she started to organize events “IOKO Meets…”. “I later started to invite all the independent manufacturers of spectacles we represent in our shop. My idea was supported by the Slovak National Gallery, an incredible place for a presentation of original design and the people behind all brands. For three years we hosted designers like Jason and Karen Kirk, Fréderic Ferrant, Chris and Yoma Mascre, Allan and Bettina Petersen, Sergio Eusebi and Livio Grazziotin, and Veronika Wildgruber, who won the prestigious Silmo d’Or 2017 the same year she was presented at one of our events. Our latest event was dedicated to our new own label. In October 2018 we launched IOKO & NA eyewear – this is a personal passion set up as a small creative start up.”
“IOKO x NA Eyewear is my dream come true” – above, photoshoot featuring the new collaborative collection
Asked to explain her plans with her own line Dana tells the story from the beginning: “I should tell you that Slovakia, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992, didn’t have any eyewear production or history in this field, on which we might have built or drawn ideas. When we used to be Czechoslovakia, the production of spectacles was located in Czech and there it remained.
The aim of the IOKO events in cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery was to speak not only to the public but also to young designers, who might be interested to start a business in this field. I eventually came across one young ambitious Czech jeweler who decided to produce handmade spectacles under her own brand: NA Eyewear. Connected at first on social media, after some time Dana visited NA’s founder in her studio. “I really wanted to get to know her work and hold the final product in my hands.
I travelled to Prague to meet Nastassia Kahotski Aleinikava and Pavel Kahotski. From that moment I knew that together we could develop a perfect result…and this is when the new IOKO collection was born. This day became one of the most special days of my life, and on the way back I was sitting in the train drawing first proposals for new frames.”
The first IOKO x NA collaborative collection is launched with six models, each one produced with three alternatives, in colour and design. Each frame is exclusively handmade and, in the method used, there is zero waste. The frames are produced in Mazzuccheli’s bio acetate, and presented in an original jewellery box or a compact textile packaging by designer Lea Fekete. “Her works are special because of the textile produced through a special technique of layering wool and silk.” The collection is now available exclusively at IOKO, launched with beautiful portrait imagery featuring Dana herself. For more information visit www.ioko.sk and www.naeyewear.com CN