An Interview with Jacob Höglund of Sunpocket
Last summer, a friend was found sporting a pair of racing green sunglasses during lunch. They were pretty awesome looking. And then he took them off and folded them into the palm of his hand. We were blown away. At the table, we picked them up and just couldn’t put them down. The conversation continued and we barely paid attention because of a pair of sunglasses. Within days, we tracked down the only store in Manhattan to stock them and bought our very own pair.
It turns out the sunglasses also came with a story. Originally a French company, Sunpocket had only recently been relaunched by a Swedish entrepreneur named Jacob Höglund (pictured above with his father), after he discovered an old pair in his parents’ cottage.
Jacob was kind enough to answer a few questions about what’s been happening with Sunpocket since he reintroduced it to the world a couple years ago.
[GI] When did you have the realization that you wanted to take a chance on relaunching the brand and how did your friends/family react?
[JH] When I found my father’s original Sunpockets in our ski cottage in Norway a few years ago, I just loved the product right away. It also brought back tons of memories from my childhood, as I was brought up in a crazy ski family that spent every weekend and holiday on skis.
I just thought, “What happened to these insanely cool sunglasses?,” and decided to track down the founders to suggest that I could assist them in a re-launch.
When I ended up as the one man in control of the brand, everybody around me thought it was so great and that it suited me perfectly as I was quite bored being a management trainee for 4 years.
[GI] How would you explain the sudden success of the Sunpockets, given an industry that’s so over-saturated with options to begin with?
[JH] Sunpocket is premium but not pricy. The humble attitude in combination with sharp and colorful details makes it the perfect alternative to expensive and spacious eyewear.
It’s just so easy to have on the go and as they are so small, you just put them in your pocket when they’re not being used. If you have an active life they wont fall off, as they were produced with shorter temples to stay put on your nose tip when doing sports.
[GI] Since reintroducing the brand, have you received any interesting stories from older Sunpocket owners?
[JH] I met with Felix St. Clair Renard—a legendary ski photographer who grew up in Sweden but spent the winters in Chamonix for over 40 years—in his studio in Stockholm.
I spent a whole day going through his archive of slides with a loupe and I found the most fantastic Sunpocket shots from the French alps in the early ’80s, like this one [above] from Vallé Blanc, Chamonix in April 1983. The image speaks for itself.
[GI] What do you think sets the Sunpockets apart from other folding sunglasses on the market?
[JH] WIth the Sunpocket product comes a great brand history full of joy, colors and attitude. As we only do foldable eyewear people tend to think of Sunpocket when they see other foldable eyewear. It was great to see that brands like Dior, Mulberry, and Rayban are still up for it; it just makes it easier for us to approve the greatness of the feature.