Finally, the sun has decided to show it’s face and we’ve just experienced the hottest day of the year (dig out that bikini dammit). In typical Brit style we’ll now shoehorn all our summer activities into the next few days as we’re not sure how long it’s going to last. So, as I dust off my sunglasses I thought it fitting to sit down with the founder of eyewear brand Anna-Karin Karlsson. After starting her career at luxury opticians, E.B. Meyrowitz of Old Bond Street in London, Anna has since returned to her homeland, Sweden, where she designs bad ass luxury eyewear worn by the likes of Grace Jones, Miley Cyrus and Solange Knowles…
You started your career at a luxury options in London . Did you make a conscious decision to work in eyewear after graduation?
I fell into eyewear by chance, although I’d always loved sunglasses.
What is it about eyewear that you find so fascinating?
The instant glamour thing I reckon, it saves or adds to any outfit.
What is your most prized accessory?
I have accessories that could fill a small store, and these days they are all somewhat valuable. My Jennifer Behr pieces are very treasured as she is an amazing woman and my friend.
If you could make a custom pair of glasses for anybody who would it be and why?
The crown princess of Sweden as it would be good to add some wit to her wardrobe and someone sensible into my clientele. Also, Lana del Rey as I would pitch her inner thoughts.
Describe the typical Anna-Karin Karlsson customer.
It’s a person with the heart that desires something more out of life. Age, looks and nationality vary greatly. I like to think that it’s the more romantic of personalities that are attracted to my work.
You have a passion for music – what’s your style?
I love classical music and I’m also into British underground music as I myself worked with that type of music. I have very varied tastes indeed, slightly like my eyewear design as well.
Who would you love to collaborate with on a track?
The Knife, Erik Satie, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd and Blur because of the boys (smiles).
If money and availability was no object – who would star in your SS15 campaign – dead or alive?
Elvis Presley and Lana del Rey, under water, amongst water lilies…
Can you remember the first pair of glasses you designed – what were they like?
The first glasses I designed with a free hand were a pink pair for my best friend in the 90s, handmade in the UK with Swarowski crystals. They were very baroque, not too dissimilar to what Prada does these days. She still wears them with love.
What’s the most bizarre brief you’ve been given for a pair of glasses?
I have been asked to help to draw attention to the Giant Pandas in China, so to make Panda sunglasses for the Chinese clientele. That was very special and whatever I tend to do it ends us much sweeter than intended.
Which frames are you most proud of?
They are all feel like my children, so I feel proud of them all.
If you could do a collaboration with any designer who would you choose and why?
McQueen if I could get hold of this old archives with cloth and patterns. I would remove the fast food aesthetics that the eyewear part of McQueen has and dig into the mind of McQueen.
What’s next for Anna-Karin Karlsson?
I just released my first optical collection, so to get those into great stores and then I will aim to release other accessories and get back into fine arts.
i the stylist xx
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