|Efva Attling’s career has come full circle. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Attling studied silversmithing when she was 16. “Although I loved the work, at that point I lacked the necessary patience for the job and I wanted to see the world,” she notes. |
A year later, she was discovered by Eileen Ford of the famous modeling agency bearing her name. She began a 12-year modeling career, working in Paris, London, Milan and New York. Then, inspired by her jazz-musician father, Attling joined a group of musicians in Milan and began writing music and lyrics. In 1981, she returned to Sweden, formed a band called The X Models and wrote a hit ballad, “Two of Us,” now a Swedish pop classic. In addition to her music career, Attling designed clothes for Levi’s and H&M, a Swedish-based department store chain and worked at a variety of magazines as fashion editor.
It was while working in publishing that she became inspired to return to her first love, silversmithing. “One of the employees told me she had to leave at five o’ clock to attend silversmith school. I hadn’t thought about it in 27 years, but suddenly I realized I wanted to work with metal,” says Attling. “Maybe I needed all those years of gathering life experiences—including having two children—to learn the patience metal demands. But actually designing jewelry is much like writing songs. It’s another way to express myself and connect with and touch people.” In the six years Attling has been designing jewelry, she has become recognized internationally and has a client base that includes Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears. In 2002, she opened a jewelry shop in London.
And in September 2002, her first eyewear collection designed for Skaga, the Scandinavian eyewear company founded in 1948, debuted at Vision Expo West this past September, followed by its European debut at Silmo in October.
“I see a natural connection between jewelry and eyeglasses,” notes Attling. In fact, all of her acetate frames feature her signature sterling silver accents. One style is made completely of sterling silver and another incorporates the ring links from one of her necklaces. “My eyewear is for those who want to show who they are,” the designer says. “I don’t want to do minimalist eyewear. I want glasses that are noticed—that are reminiscent of glamorous Hollywood styling.” Indeed Attling’s eyewear sports such names as G.G., Gina, Grace, Ray and Rita. Humor is also important in her designs. “My favorite TV program is ‘Six Feet Under,’ so I designed an eyeglass case that resembles a coffin,” Attling says. “I see my eyewear as both classic and bold. With my frames, you can chose who you want to be.” —Gloria Nicola