As the Copenhagen-based textile brand launches at Matches Fashion, we talk to the label’s founder Charlie Hedin about architectural references and the serenity of minimalism
With oversized mannish bathrobes in off-kilter colour ways, cloud-like organic cotton towelling in cool glacial tones, and virgin wool and merino blankets in warm earthy hues, Tekla Fabrics’ generous range of homewares is distinctly delicious. Founded in 2017 by Charlie Hedin, the Copenhagen-based brand’s quietly luxurious offering “embraces simple and functional living”, according to Hedin.
A second collaboration with famed architect John Pawson, named ‘Shift’ and pictured here, marks the label’s recent launch at Matches Fashion, and winds its way onto wishlists worldwide. We spoke to Hedin about how Tekla is influenced by architectural design, why he first started the brand, and why his designs are always driven by functionality.
Sophie Bew: Charlie, you started out working in fashion. How and why did your homeware brand Tekla come about?
Charlie Hedin: I was the assistant to the CEO of Acne Studios in my early twenties. Later on, I was transferred to Paris, working on the brand’s global communication. I have also moved around a lot – Amsterdam, LA, Paris and now Copenhagen – and I was having difficulties with finding the right bedding or towels. That’s where Tekla began. Copenhagen obviously has a long history of product and industrial design – and although there’s so much great furniture, I was getting irritated by the lack of affordable, yet environmentally conscious and design-driven home textiles. I wanted to create something new and functional, to fill the gap in the market.
SB: You’re influenced by architecture – most notably in your recurrent collaboration with architect John Pawson. But how would you describe Tekla’s aesthetic?
CH: Tekla is strongly shaped by architectural references and the tranquillity of nature, embracing simple and functional living, whether that’s about softness, touch, or something you can escape in. For me, function is always first, then comes the design – functionality is freedom. To live simply and not have too many things, to live in a space with less but better furniture is more relaxing and adds more quality to your life. And that notion always returns me to architecture.
SB: What about the palettes and patterns? Where do they come from?
CH: As Donald Judd once said, colour is never not important. The patterns and the colours of our products are based on architectural references and specifically, the visual memory of graphic interactions between architectural space and light. It’s often very personal, related to the hues of nature or light. Then there’s the hues and the tranquillity of Scandinavia, that echo of familiarity, the serenity of childhood.
SB: How did you approach collaborating with John Pawson?
CH: For the first collaboration with John, I wanted to step away from the neutral colour palette: the red shades were from something so rigorously abstract and resonantly specific at the same time – from brake lights projected onto the barn of John’s countryside home in the Cotswolds, to amazing sunsets. As for the ‘Shift’ collection, the inspiration came from the shifts in different seasons and how it reflects on the quality of the light and shadow. It’s rendered in earthy, red and soft grey colours, inspired by the rolling landscapes surrounding John’s Cotswolds home.
SB: Whose homes are you most inspired by? And where would you most like to see your pieces?
CH: Rather than homes, I get inspired by spaces and textures. It’s about creating a room that feels light and warm. This inspiration you can find anywhere – galleries, museums, airports. However, homes that I have always admired are spaces designed by Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Axel Vervoordt and John Pawson. Even if it’s minimal, as some people might say, there’s still so much thought gone into every element in the room that it gives you serenity, that I don’t think a lot of other rooms give you.
Tekla Fabrics is available at Matches Fashion now.