Sandqvist's Jacob Spansk Chats to The Idle Man

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Sandqvist is one of the biggest Swedish names at the moment, and their selection of beautifully crafted bags epitomises minimal Scandinavian style. So how have Sandqvist become one of the coolest brands around? We caught up with designer Jacob Spansk to talk design, their latest collection and all things Sweden.

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What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Coffee. I don't eat breakfast so I need lots of coffee to get started each morning. After that I start up the computer and play music. I listen all day, every day. I have a huge interest in music and I try to play different songs/artists everyday so I don't get tired of my favourite artists.

Where can we find you most of the day?

At the computer or in a meeting. I log at least 4 hours at the computer each day doing artworks or other related work for upcoming or current collections. And then there are meetings - a lot of them. We work as a collective most of the time here at Sandqvist, so I'm involved with many different projects all the time - everything from packaging designs to giving my input on upcoming events. It's a lot of fun working this way but it requires discipline and focus to stay on top of things.

sandqvist jacob spansk office
PHOTO CREDIT: Sandqvist

How did you first get into design?

I went to Bangkok to study fashion design with my girlfriend who wanted to study design. I studied philosophy at the time but wanted an adventure and to spend more time with my girlfriend so we moved from Stockholm to Bangkok and stayed there for 4 years. Why Bangkok? Is commonly asked. Well, it sounded more fun and unique than perhaps London or New York. We don't regret the decision and we're still together, now married, and have 12 years together as we speak.

How important do you think a collage / university education is for designers?

Very important. My ambition has always been to be the best I can be at what I do. To do this without fundamental understanding of pattern making and construction, sewing skills, understanding of fashion history, material knowledge and so on is almost impossible. Creating good products that will last and serve the user the best it can requires a lot of different skills, many of them are being thought at fashion schools around the world. I would strongly recommend a good education for future work in the industry.

jacob spansk sandqvist
PHOTO CREDIT: Sandqvist

What inspired the latest collection?

We're always inspired by our environment of Nordic landscapes. The nature and the city are contrasting entities and we're always trying to find common ground between them. Sustainability is also always present and the ambition to create superior products that is functional, socially and environmentally sustainable and beautiful.

What’s your favourite piece from the current collection?

I love the new women's products. We have a smaller version of a classic Sandqvist shoulder bag, Eva, which is perfect for everyday use. The simplicity and craftsmanship is what we're all about. We're also extending our more functional and technical series, Aerial, with new products. They are among my favourites this season.

sandqvist office
PHOTO CREDIT: Sandqvist

What are your aims for next season?

We have a lot of exciting new products for aw18. Without giving away too much I can give you a hint of more high end women's bags that will continue our growth in that segment. My personal aim is always to push myself to create better and better products. I study my surroundings and industry in particular and try to use my knowledge in every seam of every bag.

Who, if anyone, inspires most of your collection? Any particular muse?

We're blessed to have great people coming through our office every week. It can be photographers, colleagues, friends, artists and other great people. It's not hard to be inspired by them. However, it's the customer who pays my salary and when I see them around town or in the nature or on the other side of the world on perhaps Instagram with our products in full use I feel most excited; we're creating products people care about; that is in itself meaningful and inspiring.

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