Mandi Keighran sits down with Annica and Marie Eklund to reflect on a decade at the helm of iconic Swedish brand Bolon
February 18th, 2013
Swedish brand Bolon was founded in 1949, manufacturing traditional Scandinavian ‘rag rugs’ from cotton and nylon. Today, under the leadership of Annika and Marie Eklund – the third generation to head the family business – Bolon is synonymous with creativity, design vision, and innovation.
For the past decade, the sisters have worked to transform the company into a global design brand. Along the way, they have collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business – from the Campana brothers to Jean Nouvel – and have invested heavily to bring all production back into Sweden.
“Even if Bolon has undergone extensive changes during the last ten years,” says Annika Eklund, “we have always stayed true to our heritage, history, and product.” Indeed, the headquarters is still located in the same small Swedish town in which it was founded.
To celebrate ten years at the helm of the iconic company, Marie and Annika plan to launch a limited edition book that showcases Bolon’s inspiring history. Titled The Story of Bolon, the book was previews at an exclusive event (see images in gallery below) held at the Ett Hem Hotel during Stockholm Design Week. The book will be fully presented during Milan Design Week in April, where “people will be able to enjoy the full story and take part of the exciting journey we have done,” says Annika.
Filled with evocative black and white photographs by Tobias Regell, and edited by Simon Mills, The Story of Bolon recalls the history of the company and the personalities that have brought Bolon to life.
“We wanted to take the time to reflect and show everybody how proud we are over the fantastic journey we have been through the last ten years and show a more personal piece of ourselves,” says Marie.
“It’s been the most amazing journey for us,” says Annika. “We have been fortunate to meet and collaborate with inspiring and creative souls from all over the world.”
These collaborators are honoured in The Story of Bolon by way of personal interviews. Rosita Missoni, Jean Nouvel, and Giulio Cappellini are just a few of the illustrious creative talents are featured in the book.
A book such as this, which echoes the tomes often produced for global fashion houses, is hardly a surprising move from the company. Since taking over, Annika and Marie have constantly drawn on the fashion world for inspiration and to drive the design vision of the company – hence the recent collaboration with Italian fashion house Missoni.
The future, the sisters say, is open to endless possibilities. “Our vision is to ‘create new dimensions’,” says Marie, “which is the guiding star in everything we do at Bolon.”
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