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TEKLA’S CHARLIE HEDIN

Meet the founder and creative director behind the quietly luxurious Copenhagen-based textile brand

Words by Olivia Berry

TEKLA CHEAT SHEET


Founder:
Charlie Hedin


Founded:
2017


Brand Birthplace:
Copenhagen, Denmark


Founder’s Birthplace:
Sweden


Founder’s Resume:
Acne Studios, Eytys

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How did Tekla Fabrics come to be?


I’ve moved around so much – Paris, Amsterdam and Los Angeles – and every time I moved I needed to buy new bed sheets or towels. However, there was nothing that made me think ‘this is it’. At some point, it was not about home textiles anymore – it was about creating something that you buy to wear in your spare time or to sleep in, and products that you want to use and are very functional but in a beautiful way. I started developing the concept while doing freelance work on the side for the first eight months. I started it all from my savings, but since we registered significant growth in the first six months, I decided to take investors on board.


How do you incorporate sustainability into your approach?


For us, finding the right qualities that work in the modern world means also finding something that is long lasting and serves a sustainable purpose. Sustainability is not something we had to acquire, but something that has always been part of our DNA. We try to make things that are very timeless, practical and responsible, and every part of our supply chain should reflect that.

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What makes you fall in love with a fabric or textile?


It’s always about functionality before form, and the same applies to choosing the fabrics and textiles. A towel should make you dry; a blanket should warm you up – simple things like that. I always start with the function and then I add the design after that. Another important thing is the tactility of the fabrics. People want different feelings and different experiences, whether it's about softness, the touch or something you can escape in.


What are some examples of spaces that inspire you?


It's about creating a room that feels light and warm. Homes that I have always admired are spaces designed by Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Axel Vervoordt and John Pawson.


Would you describe yourself as a minimalist?


In place of the term minimalism, as Donald Judd once said: “I prefer to speak of the simple expression of complex thought and functionality.” The idea of not having too many things, and being conscious of space that is comfortable, both for people and for design. Space does not have to be crafted from scratch to feel special and refined.

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You don’t follow traditional seasons – what can we expect to see from Tekla in the future?


Rather than expanding with new products, we are focusing on new colourways, accentuating the nature of fabrics and their inherent qualities. Through the story we tell, Tekla must become a universal language itself.


At the moment, our main focus is on our sleepwear collection. Other than that, we are excited about what the future holds for us, including a continuous collaboration with the prominent British architect John Pawson.

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How do you wind down after a long or stressful day?


When the temperature drops, our bodies and energy change. Especially in Copenhagen, where it’s often very cold, windy and the sun goes down very soon, it is important to keep your mind and body refreshed. That’s why I love to go winter bathing and to the sauna. I just dip in and out. It gives me the energy to start the day, and it’s also a nice way to spend time with my friends.


What is your favorite season and why?


As the making of our products is strongly shaped by the tranquility of nature, I’ve always been very interested in the seasonal shifts and how the quality of the light and shadow is changing throughout them. It makes us think about how we perceive and experience colour and atmosphere in a space. Ultimately, my favorite season is spring. Everything feels new, the sun stays out for a little longer and the air is crisp and fresh. Despite this simple cycle, we do not pay much attention to how these small and obvious things can affect our physical and mental health.


Where do you hope to be in 10 years time?


I want to keep building beautiful design-led products that will stand the test of time in both quality and appearance. I want to be scaling and sustaining a company that makes thoughtful, quality products that serve a genuine purpose in the world and push the industry towards a sustainable future.

2020-06-24 00:00:00.0

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