Scan Magazine | Issue 67 | August 2014

Page 13

Scan Magazine | Design | Zound Industries

From colourful to fine-tailored fashion accessories, the Zound Industries brands include Urbanears, Coloud, Molami and Marshall Headphones.

Headphones turned fashion By combining fashion and technology, the Stockholm-based brand incubator Zound Industries has added a new set of values to the industry and changed the way we look at headphones. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Zound Industries

launched our first products in 18 countries straight away and that really characterises Zound Industries,” says Ekman about the rapid international expansion.

If you had a pair of headphones a couple of years back, they were most likely black and not too exciting fashion-wise. A lot changed when Konrad Bergström and his seven fellow co-founders started Zound Industries in 2008. “We were the first to look at headphones as a fashion accessory,” says Pernilla Ekman, CEO at Zound Industries. The first product in 2009 really stood out, and the company “saw the potential and seized the opportunity.” The combination of design and functionality is still the key ingredient.

The approach proved successful to say the least. Zound Industries’ turnover increased by nearly 11,000 per cent over a three-year period. No wonder it won Supergasellen 2013, an award by Swedish business paper Dagens Industri (DI) for being the fastest growing company in the country.

Rapid expansion

Multiple talents

Fast-forward to 2014 and Zound Industries has put the colourful headphone line Urbanears on the map, along with successful launches of headphone brands Coloud, Molami and the licensed brand Marshall Headphones. The company is present in 95 countries and the brands are available in 20,000 shops around the world. “We

Zound Industries combines design and functionality and does everything inhouse, with a 360-degree-perspective to preserve the brand DNA. “Everyone has their own task and talent, and everyone really gets to use it. But we all have the same driving force and goal going forward,” Ekman says.

Today, 65 employees work across the head office in Stockholm, an office in New York, and a production office in Shenzen, China. All eight co-founders are still in the company, also co-owned by several influencers within the disciplines of fashion, technology and business. The latest partner to invest is the Swedish telecom operator TeliaSonera. British sound meets Scandi design Scandinavian design meets 50 years of rock’n’roll history in Marshall Headphones, developed by Zound Industries for the British rock legend Marshall alongside a popular line of home speakers. Another popular brand, Urbanears, was recently voted one of Britain’s coolest and will be included in the book CoolBrands 2014/15, due to be published in September.

CEO Pernilla Ekman

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Issue 67 | August 2014 | 13

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