Sunski History Part 2

We’re not done talking about our 5 Year Anniversary. Instead, we’re going to drag it out for an entire month because we want to remember some awesome moments cemented in Sunski history. This week we’d like to travel back to 2012 when we got featured in Outside magazine and placed a huge bet on our first rounded style, the Dipseas.


The Sunski story began in 2012 with a serendipitous Kickstarter that revitalized a few pairs of vintage sunglasses I found in a thrift store while on a surf trip in Australia. There was something about those colorful shades that caught my eye way back then. It was probably the same thing that caused them to garner so much attention when I wore them around back home. Those shades became the “Originals” that Sunski still features to this day.

 When we decided to create that Kickstarter campaign we had no plans of starting a sunglasses company. The idea was only to create an exciting project that combined our love for design with our passion for the outdoors — two important parts of our lives that were, until then, disconnected. The success we experienced on Kickstarter exceeded our wildest dreams, and set us off a crash course in sunglasses manufacturing that we’re still perfecting to this day. Suffice to say that at the time, we certainly had no plans for any designs beyond the retrofitting those original souvenirs I found down under.

In the following summer of 2013 we launched another crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for what are now the Sunski Headlands. Those shades were based off the same Originals silhouette except with matte grey frames. Shortly thereafter in the Spring of 2014, we launched the Sunski Madronas which once again relied on the same Originals silhouette…except with tortoise frames. Maybe you’re starting to see the pattern.

All of those product releases were met with enough enthusiasm to keep Sunski going. We had somehow made it two years (!) after our original Kickstarter campaign, but we felt that we were running out steam with our designs. For some reason that I still can’t explain, we decided that the best idea around was to move past sunglasses and design a watch!


What could be more wise and efficient than learning about an entire new product category, supply chain process, and customer market? The results were what one might expect when two accidental sunglasses designers undertake to design a wristwatch for no apparent reason. The Kickstarter campaign that we launched did a full-on faceplant in the first two days and we pulled the plug.

Down and out, I found myself at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park on a foggy Saturday afternoon contemplating life to a surfy soundtrack supplied by Ben Howard. I was with a few friends at the time and among them was Gabby, our reliably fashion-forward festival friend who was at the time rocking some radical round sunglasses, origin unknown. Somehow the topic of Sunski’s ill-fated watch project came up and the lightbulb went off: why on earth are we making a watch. We obviously need to be making more…and different…sunglasses.


The very pair of shades that Gabby had that day is now safely stored in the Sunski time capsule vault, memorialized forever as the shades that sparked a wave of new designs that we’re still riding to this day. That pair became the inspiration for Sunski’s all-time best-selling silhouette, the Dipsea, which was also the first ever completely original sunglasses design that we developed in house.

In the months that followed, the newfound fervor for sunglasses design led Michael and me to Sindre, a wonderful Bay Area designer who moonlighted with us to bring the Dipsea concept to life after he finished work at his full time job. Three years on, Sindre is now Head of Design and Sunski and Dipsea remains our flagship design.

Since then, we’ve launched a ton of limited edition Dipsea color options. Although we continue to design and release new Sunskis, the Dipseas are still one of our top favorites!