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OUT NOW: Threads: Vasuma

 

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The future’s so bright…

Swedish eyewear brand Vasuma is celebrating ten years. Today, they create both sunglasses and regular glasses, a trend that has gained momentum in the last few years, and the brand is present in all of Scandinavia, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and US.

The founders of the company are Steffen Sundelius, Lars Malmsten, and Jana Vana. It is their surnames that created the name Vasuma – based on the first two letter of their respective surnames. The company is based in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, where they are neighbors with the royal castle.

We spoke to Steffen about the years passed, and what is to come. The goal with Vasuma, he tells us, is to design and create unisex retro-inspired eyewear and sunglasses of the highest quality, to suit everyone.

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How did you end up working with eyewear?

It was never a plan for me personally to work with fashion, it kind of just happened when I met Lars and Jan. We actually started out as a fashion brand but that didn’t go too well, but in 2007 we met this lady at a fair in New York that was starting an eyewear factory in Hong Kong. She asked us if we wanted to make a couple of styles. We had no experience whatsoever in eyewear at that time but naively we said yes. And here we are!

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now we are working on the upcoming trade shows around Europe. I’m planning a huge party for sales agents and distributors in Paris. We’ve rented this amazing huge apartment where we’re gonna have the sales meetings and a party. In terms of collections, we’ve started the drawing and sourcing for spring/summer 2016.

Who do you reckon is your typical costumer?

This is so hard. For a long time we thought males was our biggest group of customers but when we did surveys on this it showed we have more females then males buying our eyewear, which is fantastic. So our typical customer is probably a female between 18-50. Age is super-hard to define because we get *all* ages buying our stuff.

Do you feel like Vasuma are part of a general trend at the moment?

Yeah, for sure. Glasses are a huge trend right now and people are buying more and more eyewear. Eyewear is becoming more like accessories than before and I’d say we’re a big part of that trend. We have this one style, an aviator, in a thin metal. I honestly think we’ve sold close to 30,000 of those in Sweden alone. That’s a trend, right?

From where do you draw your inspiration?

Travels, food, music. Yeah, anything in terms of culture inspires me really. But mainly I would have to say traveling. I travel all the time and it really doesn’t matter where I end up but I always sit down at a café somewhere and just look at people. That inspires me.

What’s the blueprint to success for a young designer?

I think why we’ve succeeded the way we’ve done is because we had a solid business plan from the beginning. It’s such a boring answer, but it’s the truth. Other than that, my philosophy has always been to surround me with people more skilled then myself.

So, let’s talk about the next ten years. What are your plans for the future?

Apart from world domination in the eyewear market, our plans now are to continue our growth in Europe. We’re going to focus on Spain and France where things are buzzing a little bit for us. We have a long-term plan to open up our own flagship optical shop in Stockholm. That would be very cool!

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Words Ida Therén