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Designer to Watch: Australia’s Sunday Somewhere Makes Classic-with-a-Twist Eyewear

Sunday Somewhere Brand founder Dave Allison

Brand founder Dave Allison

There's more to the eyewear industry than the Pradas and the Warby Parkers of the world. In fact, there's a growing demand for niche brands catering to men and women looking for unique sunglasses meant to be worn as statement pieces. Sydney-based Sunday Somewhere, whose presence is rapidly growing stateside thanks to retailers like Henri Bendel, is one such brand.

We spoke with founder Dave Allison about how his brand got its start and what void he's trying to fill.

theFashionSpot: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Dave Allison: Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to be a designer. I never knew exactly what kind of designer I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be in the design field. The more I explored this, the more I realized just how large the design world was. I studied Graphic Design in my middle years, completed as many art classes as I could through school and ended up studying Visual Communication at one of the best universities in Australia. My first job was as the Accessories Designer at Mambo — when it was cool! — and have subsequently worked in the fashion world since.

tFS: At what point did you start thinking about launching your own brand and can you tell us about the initial steps?

DA: When I was working for other eyewear labels, I encountered many design, procedural and structural limitations that prevented me from designing frames I liked or thought were perfect for the market. It was at this time I considered starting up my own brand. After 12-18 solid months of market research, design, sampling and brainstorming brand names, Sunday Somewhere was born into the market.

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tFS: Where did the name come from?

DA: They are my two favorite words.

tFS: You have a really interesting lookbook. Can you tell us about how you picked your models?

DA: Thank you. We go about casting models the usual way. We approach a lot of modeling agencies with specific looks from a creative brief constructed specifically for the campaign. For some reason, models with international experience seem to usually get the job. Our creative team is made up of professionals who are usually friends, fun and like-minded. This helps the day run smoothly and be as "stress-free" as possible. It is common for us to finish a shoot and someone on set say how fun and easy the day was. I like the organic-ness and process by which we work. We don't take ourselves too seriously, yet set high goals for ourselves, the product and how we present this to people.

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tFS: You started as an eyewear brand, but have expanded into other categories can you tell us about that?

DA: My background is in accessories design. I wish for Sunday Somewhere to essentially be an eyewear brand, but not only limited to that. The eyewear process is long and while there is a small element of trending that is applied to the product, as a category, for me designs are generally more timeless. Introducing new categories into the line gave me the ability to respond quicker to trends and design across more categories that also interest me.

tFS: What do you think sets your eyewear apart?

DA: Sunday Somewhere is different from other brands because we are on more of a lifestyle tangent.

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tFS: You’re based in Sydney. Can you tell us a little bit about the fashion scene there and how it compares to other fashion capitals?

DA: I travel quite a bit and always love coming home. The uniqueness about Sydney which sets it apart from most other major fashion cities is its beach culture. This affinity with beach life creates a more relaxed, chill and potentially more atuned lifestyle rather than a scene. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a scene, but I feel it is not as refined as when you walk the streets of Milan or Paris, if you get my drift. The mash-up of high-end labels with op-shop purchasing has always been something I feel Sydney-siders do well.

tFS: How many pairs of glasses do you own?

DA: Too many!

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tFS: Any tips for buying sunglasses online without having tried them on first?

DA: Know what frame shapes suit your face and have a rough idea about the dimensions which work. Most important measurements to know are inner "lug to lug" length (width), nose bridge shape and lens measurements. A little research here will go a long way.

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