Never change a winning team. When Ace & Tate linked up with CMMN SWDN for their first eyewear capsule collection last year, they proved they were the ones to beat. Now the dream team has us gearing up for summer with another high-speed collaboration. While their first collection gave a beating heart to the tiny-lens trend, 2.0 is all about futuristic athletic frames, inspired by nineties sports trends.

This nostalgic futurism builds on CMMN SWDN’s AW18 collection. The young label has made an ambitious mark on contemporary menswear under the watchful eye and vision of Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund. Interview spoke to the designer duo about their venture into eyewear, creating with Ace & Tate and pushing boundaries.



SARAH OSEI Can you tell us what the essence of CMMN SWDN is, both aesthetically and in terms of identity?

SAIF BAKIR & EMMA HEDLUND If we had to put our aesthetics into words, we would say contrasting elements and unexpected pairings: masculine and feminine, texture and softness, structure and fluidity with each piece offering a balance of opposing elements.

Perhaps because we are two designers with somewhat different backgrounds and design discipline, we love to mix different aesthetics, cultures and references together just as we as people living in this world are a mix, so is CMMN SWDN.

SO How do you want to alter the image of masculinity?

SB & EH It’s about pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable and what’s defined as menswear. It’s not about gender bending or gender fluidity, but about changing the notion of masculinity within, so that it becomes permanent rather than a trend.

SO How did this collaboration with Ace & Tate come about?

SB & EH We were actually approached by Ace & Tate about a year ago with an offer to collaborate. We shared similar values and there was a clear synergy between our brands from day one which worked really.

“There was a clear synergy between our brands from day one”

SO How did you approach designing eyewear? Did you think about trends when you created this collection?

SB & EH Just as designing our clothes really. As designer we are constantly researching, visuals are around us. When we designed these two collections together with Ace & Tate we looked at our own teen years and referenced an era that we grew up in and very much understood. It’s not so much about trends although it so happened that we were quite spot on which is a plus, lol.

SO CMMN SWDN is a menswear label, how do you translate this masculinity into fluid, unisex frames?

SB & EH We are a duo, where Emma is trained as a womenswear designer from Central Saint Martins so the translation into unisex frames came natural to us, it is already very much part of our aesthetic as a brand.

“The glasses are an homage to ’90s sports aesthetic.”

SO There is a strong athletic theme throughout this collection and you draw inspiration from cycling gear. What is the story behind these pieces?

SB & EH The glasses are an homage to ’90s sports aesthetic. We looked back at what we were wearing when we grew up and taking references from postmodernism and their past ideas of the future and what that would look like today.

SO What are your ambitions and hopes for the future of CMMN SWDN?

SB & EH Our ambition is to grow the brand to include Womenswear and an accessories line. Designing these glasses have created an urge to do more and to expand into the field of accessories but it all about timing and doing it right so we are taking our time to develop that part for now.


To view the full Ace & Tate x CMMN SWDN 2.0 collection and shop the items click here.


Interview SARAH OSEI