Wild at Heart

The pieces of Anna-Karin Karlsson are not for the faint of heart, but rather for “dancing hearts”. Put on heart shaped sunglasses ‘cause we gonna take a ride, quoting Lana Del Rey. A two-stop trip or a short coffee break and a quick chat with the Swedish designer – the queen of sunglasses of all shapes and sizes –, on the launch of her first jewelry collection, promoted exclusively in Portugal by Olhar de Prata.


Filipa Penteado – Just to break the ice: “more is more and less is a bore”. Do you agree with Iris Apfel?

Anna-Karin Karlsson – I agree indeed! I will do lots of less is more when I’m dead so while on earth I tend to want things extraordinary to keep me from the hardship of life.

FP – Tell me a bit about your background and how did you end up designing eyewear and jewelry. I’ve read that you’ve been fascinated with accessories since you were a child.

AKK – I fell into eyewear design by chance, right out of acting and art school. I always loved fashion but always felt it was too shallow to have as a profession. Even so, by the time I made the progression I was warmly welcomed home as a long-lost child by the fashion world.

FP – Was it difficult to transition from eyewear to jewelry? What was your approach to this collection?

AKK – I have not done a transition but an extension. I want my accessories to tell a poetic story and here the story of the jewelry goes hand in hand with the story of the eyewear. A cohesive story of a life less ordinary.

FP – Who do you see wearing your pieces? It takes a certain type of woman not to feel overwhelmed by the statement your pieces make.

AKK – I call them folks with dancing hearts. People who may just want something extra in their life. A kind of glittering distraction from the reality of life that I so seldom feel at ease with.

FP – Do you plan to expand your line of accessories? Shoes, bags? What can we expect in the future?

AKK – At this stage I do not know, but I could imagine it would be awesome having cohesive sunnies and shoes.

Collaborator of the Umbigo since 2000 and… The relationship has survived several absences and delays. She graduated in Fashion Design, but the images only make her sense if they are sewn with words. She does production so as not to rustle the facet of control freak, dance as a form of breathing and watch horror movies to never lose sight of their demons. Whenever you ask for a biography, say a few profanities and then remember this poem of Al Berto, without ever being sure if you really put it into practice or if it is an eternal purpose of life: "But I like the night and the laughter of ashes, I like the desert, and the chance of life, I like the mistakes, the luck and the unexpected encounters. Almost always on the sacred side of my heart, or where fear has the precariousness of another body"

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