Interview with Elle-nominated Ann-Sofie Back

Exclusive interview with Ann-Sofie Back, currently nominated to Designer of the year at Swedish ELLE gala 2013.

At Bonocle we love Ann-Sofie Back’s design and are really amazed of her latest avant-garde sunglass’ collection in collaboration with Hyde’s. We felt it was about time meeting her in person and have a chat about the awesome sunglasses and the future. You can read and see more about the collection itself on our previous post (here).

hydes-for-asb / BACK & ATELJESS13 novelties from BACK and ASB Atelje

Ann-Sofie Back is a Stockholm-based designer, currently Creative Director of ASB Atelje, BACK and Cheap Monday. How does your role as creative director differ between the different brands? ”At Cheap Monday I’m more like an editor working with 7 designers. I don’t sketch anything myself, I come up with a theme and guidelines together with my team for the next-coming season and later on I’m the one selecting which pieces shall be in the collection. At BACK however I’m designing everything myself, while the Atelje collection is done together with our own designer Anders Haal.” 

ASB ATELJEVisitng the ASB Atelier

”I have a huge archive of designs that didn’t always come out right the first time, BACK is my second chance”

Ann-Sofie describes the differences between her two own lines, ASB Atelje and BACK, as two different platforms. The Atelje line is always based on a theme which can be completely different season to season. This makes the Atelje collection less predictable and more playful, while the BACK collection is more about continuously developing a certain style. Timeless. It’s a continuos work from season to season, all collections following the same kind of style. The BACK pieces are often based on old design ideas her own mainline and sometimes even redesigns from previous creations. “I have a huge archive of designs that didn’t always come out right the first time, BACK is my second chance” Ann-Sofie says.

ASB ATELJE3Creative work in process

”I love sunglasses! I like to hide myself, the bigger the better”

Ann-Sofie has a big passion for sunglasses and it’s an accessory she uses very much
herself, ”I love sunglasses! I like to hide myself, the bigger the better” she explains. No wonder her very first collection at Purple Institute SS02 contained sunglasses as well, ”It was an obvious part of the accessories”. The SS02 collection contained a selection of accessories, all covered in tin foil including the sunglasses. The SS13 collection is however the first collection with a sunglass’ collection available for sale and not only to be used as showpieces. ”The funny thing is that the ASB Atelje sunnies are the ones selling best so far. It’s interesting to see how you can push the boundaries with sunglass’ design, more than I thought!”

At Bonocle we get the chance to see and try so many glasses, still it’s far from all brands having really good comfort and fit. What is in your opinion the hardest part of eyewear design? ”That it happens so much between the sketch and the prototype! It’s very hard to get a feeling of the size and fit from a paper”. But one of the most important thing with a pair of sunglasses is to have really dark lenses ”I don’t want my eyes to be seen trough the lenses” Ann-Sofie says. She loves to hide herself behind her sunglasses, so much that she sometimes even wear them inside.

ASB ATELJE interview At the ASB Atelje HQ

”At the beginning I felt it was like incest to wear my own creations”

Ann-Sofie tells us she very often wears her own design. It took her a while though, ”at the beginning I felt it was like incest to wear my own creations” but today she is dressed from top to tow with clothes from the BACK collection which she doesn’t have any problems with anymore. For spring she will therefore be most likely to wear the ASB Atelje sunglasses but she is also looking forward getting herself a pair of yellow sunglasses with yellow tinted lenses, she tells us.

ann-sofie back pictureDesigner Ann-Sofie Back

Finally we ask Ann-Sofie about the future, can we expect more sunglasses from your lines? ”We’re actually working on sunglasses for the ASB Atelje AW13 collection, even though it’s an autumn/winter collection but it’s quite an adventurous idea so we’ll see how they turn out. For BACK we’ll most likely present new sunglasses for next spring again.”


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