Cooee is THE brand that has generated the most buzz during fashion week and is definitely one to watch. The young Swedish designer Catrine Åberg shares with us how it all started and how her pieces became the latest must-haves. I was personally impressed by the originality of Catrine’s jewelry designs. Oh and did I mention that Cooee also extends to furniture? Scandinavian aesthetic in all its beauty. True story.
Soraya Bakhtiar: Catrine, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what’s the story behind Cooee?
Catrine Åberg : I have lived abroad for a couple of years in London, Dublin and Sydney. I studied graphic design and marketing. When I was in Sydney I got a lot of inspiration from the Aboriginal art and the Australian nature. I decided to start my own brand 2005 and I named it “Cooee” which means “hi, hello” on the Aboriginal language. I have always loved jewelry and I grew up in a family with a strong interest in art and design. My grandmother was a great painter and she also loved accessories. I used to play with her vintage clothes and jewelry as a child and she still is a great source of inspiration to me.
S.B: How do you think your Swedish culture influence your designs?
C.A: My designs are very Scandinavian minimalistic. I like to play with the materials and to push boundaries in production and in expression. But I like to spice it up with colors and not just black-white as most Swedish people like to dress in! I love colors and think a colorful jewelry can change a whole outfit.
S.B: How do you begin to create a collection and how do you pick the people you collaborate with on special collections?
C.A: When I started Cooee, I made everything myself. But as the company has grown so much throughout the years that we are now a Family business, and produce most products in-house in the south of Sweden. This is really unique and feels great to have control over the production. When we make collaborations it’s important that it still feels like the Cooee assortment with a touch from the guest designer, so it remains cohesive for the consumer.
S.B: What would you say inspires you the most when it comes down to designing jewelry?
C.A: A lot of things inspire me such as magazines; fashion, art, nature and I love music. Everyday life and dreams can make me come up with an idea for a new piece!
S.B: And if you had to describe the woman who wears Cooee, what would she look like?
C.A: We have costumers from different age categories and with different style. As my design is minimalistic it appeals to most people. Many celebrities are wearing my designs such as Mischa Barton, Lana Del Rey, Anna Dello Russo, Taylor Tomasi Hill, and believe it or not even the Swedish and Norwegian Crown princess are wearing my pieces. It’s such an honor.
S.B: Is there one piece of jewelry that you never take off?
C.A: I like to change everyday, but I wear my love-rings with diamonds, that I have designed myself, nearly everyday. Each season I get new favorites that I wear a lot, right now it’s a lot of plexi-cuffs and the “nut-cuffs” in various colors and widths all mixed together.
S.B: What’s your best-selling item?
C.A: This season it’s definitely the “nut-cuff” bracelet (as seen below), this has become a great success all over the world and we even did a trunk show for Moda Operandi.
S.B: In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing the most?
C.A: I work a lot so unfortunately so I don’t have a lot of spare time but I love to cook with my boyfriend, bake and hang out with friends. I also love to watch movies and listen to music and go to concerts along with reading books and magazines. As we live really close to the nature we often go for walks in the woods, bathe in the lakes or go on a pick-nick, and since I enjoy driving, we often go for mini road-trips to other cities.
S.B: Can you share some of your favorite spots in Stockholm?
C.A: I used to live in Stockholm, but now I’m there quite often for meetings. My favorite shopping in Stockholm must be the new galleria called Mood which is very trendy. For lovely food you have Zink Grill, which is placed on the main shopping street. For a fun night out I suggest Riche. And if you’re looking for a cool hotel stay at Story hotel or the new Hotel Nobis.
For more information visit Cooee