Charlie Lindström and Daniel Djurdjevic founded CHIMI in 2016 when the former was working as a stylist and had a hard time creating a unique look because there were no options, especially when it came to sunglasses.
— Daniel was running an influencer marketing company at the time and identified the lack of strong ”selfie product”, says Lindström. He wanted to create something that could really claim the digital frame on social media. We both felt that it was a gap in the Swedish market and that’s how the idea about CHIMI was born. We wanted to create sunglasses in a lot of different colours, so that your outfit could match your feelings. Our core collection comes in 10 different colours, to match all styles and feelings.
Last year saw the opening of their first store, CHIMI Gallery, in Stockholm.
— It’s inspired by ”La Muralla Roja” in Spain and we wanted it to feel like more than just a store. This is where we did our first big campaign shoot, so wanted to go back to the roots and honour the location that we are still obsessed with. The architecture is so cool! The white spaces and the straight lines really highlights our colourful products in a beautiful way.
And recently you went ”down under” to Australia. How’s the reception there?
— Our excitement in Australia is crazy and the market is super interesting from a business perspective, says Djurdjevic. Their spring/summer season starts when the autumn/winter begins in Europe. This makes it possible for us to keep a high sell-through all year round which is obviously important when establishing a sustainable business. We have been launching with a bunch of local retailers, and have been featured in the local GQ, so we are excited to keep on developing from here. Miranda Kerr, Tash Oakley, and Dylan Frost from the Sticky Fingers are all huge fans of our product. You can see them wearing their CHIMI’s frequently on social media.
How’s the business?
— We are doing well, growing annually since the start. This season will hopefully be the big breakthrough for CHIMI internationally. Sweden is still the biggest market by far, but we see trends indicating that the U.S., Australia, and the UK are the fastest growing markets, both online and offline. We are looking forward to continuing our growth and establishing CHIMI on new markets such as South Korea, Russia and in the Middle East, says Daniel Djurdjevic.
Earlier this season, the brand launched a special — and really noticed — collab with J.Lindeberg, and today present their new Chi in Chimi campaign, fronted by supermodel Elsa Hosk (to be followed by her own collab collection to be launched May 24).
— She might be the biggest fashion face of Scandinavia and Europe. Having that said, it feels like the right thing to do [working with her] when stepping into the big international fashion scene, says Djurdjevic.
And this season we’ll also see a slightly ”new CHIMI”, including the new Neon collection?
— Yes, we have been pushing the mirrored lenses and the poppy colourful styles pretty hard since day one. At this point, we feel that the mirrors are too niche and that we need to be more available to everyone. We want to stick to our DNA, but this year’s challenge will be to take the brand ”from the beach to the catwalk”, as we like to express it internally. New CHIMI, including Neon and a bunch of other styles, will enable this progress in a smooth and natural way, says Lindström.