We want to present home textiles in a new context, giving people the opportunity to combine mesh, poplin, lace, silk, linen, washed jersey, and sateen; imbuing these everyday goods with more personal energy.
Bengt Thornefors and Christoffer Svensson – the duo behind Swedish bedwear and furniture brand, Magniberg – were both born and raised in the suburbs of Stockholm, and spent many years in the design department of Acne Studios, before travelling the world and working for other esteemed fashion houses.
Each sport long, dark brown hair; heeled, leather cowboy boots; and flared jeans. Their fashion background is evident upon the first meeting. But they’ve shifted their focus towards home goods and furnishings. They’ve returned to their native Sweden, and are now collaborating on Magniberg: a company that aims to instil each product with the unique perspective and personality of its cofounders.
CEREAL: Can you tell us about your background before setting up Magniberg?
Bengt Thornefors (BT): We come from a fashion background, and have had the fortune of working with an array of inspiring companies and individuals through the years. We both worked at Acne Studios for a while. After that, Chris spent time at Burberry and Givenchy, while I worked for Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent.
CEREAL: You’ve lived and worked in Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York, and recently decided to move back home. Could you tell us why?
Christoffer Svensson (CS): We came back home to form a solid base for where Magniberg could unfold itself. Returning to our roots is also a way for us to establish common ground.
BT: We were born and raised in Sweden, and much of the sensibilities that are intrinsically tied to Magniberg stem from our upbringing here, growing up in the suburbs of Stockholm. So it makes sense for us to set up shop in this city.
CS: It’s the place that regularly informs our thought process and our approach to design. There’s a calm to Stockholm, and when the design process starts to meander and lose direction, this city is an anchor that we continuously boomerang back towards.
CEREAL: So your upbringing has definitely influenced the brand.
BT: Yes. One specific example is how we decided on the name of our brand. Magniberg was a housing complex south of Stockholm in the mid-1700’s, where carpenters and their families moved to after retirement. So the name, for us, represents the maturity of a craftsman, which is coupled with quality. Our brand is thus a modern expression of those traditional values.
CEREAL: What prompted you to delve into bedwear and furniture, rather than continuing within fashion?
CS: Bedwear and furniture were overlapping interests of ours, and they also represent a clean slate. Because we were starting something brand new, it made sense to explore mediums that were novel to us.
BT: But it’s important to note that the approach we take in our work is similar to what we used to do with fashion. Take the bedwear – it’s akin to clothing, but for interiors. We looked around our friends’ places and noticed they didn’t care as much about what sheets they were sleeping in, though they – like everyone else – spend a lot of time in bed. It made sense for us to translate our vision into something that’s an integral part of daily life. We want to present home textiles in a new context, giving people the opportunity to combine mesh, poplin, lace, silk, linen, washed jersey, and sateen; imbuing these everyday goods with more personal energy. In that sense, what we offer is a home wardrobe based on what we’d want for ourselves.
CS: Everyone invests so much money in their homes these days, and place a larger emphasis on it, ourselves included. And we found that the existing bedwear market was rather limited in its expression. So we wanted share our take on it.
CEREAL: You launched the furniture collection this past spring. How has that been?
CS: Once we developed and launched the bedwear, we started looking for the ideal bed to present our bedwear with, but couldn’t find what we we were looking for. This prompted us to design one ourselves.
BT: Something that’s always lingering in the back of our minds is allmoge – a genre of Swedish architecture that was traditionally for peasants. Allmoge places emphasis on natural, wooden materials and honest craftsmanship. Growing up, we were immersed within this style, and it’s now become a part of our aesthetic vocabulary. Designing furniture in this way makes sense to us, because it’s something that we’ve always been interested in.
- Words: Nikolaj Hansson
- Photos: Andreas Johansson