We’ve been fans of Swedish bag-makers Sandqvist since we first moved to Scandinavia. Although they’re not yet widely known around the rest of the world, they’re poised to become a major brand, with a growing following in the UK as well as here in the north. Their bags are sleek and minimalist with a bit of rugged usability. Their backpacks run the gambit from outdoorsy to professional, while their handbags and briefcases are a perfect example of letting materials and functionality speak for itself.
We sat down with co-founder and Head of Marketing Sebastian to get a better sense of what Sandqvist is all about:
When was Sandqvist launched?
Anton Sandqvist first started the brand in 2004, it came out of the need of a good computer/working bag.
At the time, the range of bags available wasn’t big. Later on in 2006, Anton’s younger brother and I came along. We started making more fashionable bags, influenced by our interests and the Swedish countryside.
What are the guiding principles of Sandqvist?
We aim to make durable, functional bags influenced by Scandinavian nature.
Where are your bags most popular?
We are still best known in Sweden but London is a really good market for us.
Do you think your bags fit within the Scandinavian aesthetic?
We definitely do! We keep it clean; no unnecessary features. We want to make usable, high-quality bags.
Explain the production process for your bags
Since 2009, Sandqvist manufactures all of our bags and items in India. We highly value the long-term relationship we have with our factories. We have a really close relationship with the producers. We sell our bags in over 450 shops in 35 countries and have four Sandqvist shops of our own: two in Stockholm, one in Gothenburg and one in London. And of course we have a strong presence online.
Explain the look of your bags this season and how it differs from past seasons?
The biggest news this fall is our women’s collection; those bags are so amazing! We also added some styles into our more sporty and trendy collections. We try to challenge ourselves each season by developing and adding styles, forms and fabrics.
Can you talk a bit about your minimalist branding on the bags?
We don’t want to be the most trendy brand or the most hyped. We hope the bag design speaks for itself, moreso than screaming our logo. We just make nice bags and hope people like what we do. I think bags with a big logo on are ugly and I don’t like that “in your face” strategy.
Who is the Sandqvist customer?
Our customers appreciate timeless design. Because we make so many different styles, our target group varies from young fashionable people to the office guy who need a good briefcase. The Sandqvist customer is a stylish, conscious and kind.
What are your goals for Sandqvist?
We will keep on pushing and challenge ourselves. We will open more shops on key markets, and make new and better bags. We have just started our journey and there so much more to do, so many more bags to design. So excited!
Discover more Scandi backpacks!
This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.