Introducing the calming Swedish designs of NRJD
Exploring the close-knit design partnership of founders Oscar Kylberg and HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
‘We will be happy when the pandemic has passed so we can go back to our five-metre rule of social distancing,’ quips Oscar Kylberg, CEO at Bernadotte & Kylberg design studio in Stockholm. As some of us prepare for a long, quiet winter, he and his business partner HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden are busier than ever with the launch of their new design brand NJRD.
The debut collection stretches to 86 pieces and consists of tufted and woven rugs, tableware and throws made of recycled cotton in colours inspired by Sweden’s pink winter sunsets and the graphite rocks of the archipelago. These work anywhere, but idea is that NRJD will create items for every room in the house. The pair are well-placed to work in this way. Since they founded Bernadotte & Kylberg eight years ago, they have collaborated with many international brands, among them Hästens, Georg Jensen, Stelton and Zwiesel. But until now, they have never designed for themselves. ‘Working for so many others, we have come up with lots of ideas, some of which have not necessarily been the right fit. Along the way, we have worked out what we want NJRD to be,’ explains Kylberg.
The pair studied graphics at Stockholm’s Forsberg design school after pursuing careers elsewhere. The 41 year old prince also studied at Rhode Island School of Design in the US and Kylberg studied finance at the University of Southern Europe in Monaco. They were friends before they went to Forsberg, and Kylberg is godfather to the prince’s second son Gabriel. ‘We work so tightly together we intuitively know what the other is thinking,’ says Kylberg.
The NJRD collection launches on 12 November exclusively through Nordic Nest, a leading online retailer of Scandinavian design. Featuring more than 200, mostly regional, brands, Nordic Nest sells in 70 countries and shoppers in the US and Asia. NRJD fits right into the mix. ‘We are typical Scandinavian designers; we like natural materials, clean lines and colour. People see the Swedish aesthetic as very strict – minimal and functional – but our heritage is more colourful and playful than that.’
Both Kylberg and the Prince have been brought up with ‘heirloom pieces that have been passed down through generations. They are the definition of sustainable,’ says Kylberg. ‘We want NJRD objects to still be in use in 50 years’ time.’ This looks likely. The pair has won a Red Dot Award for a collection of bowls and vases for Stelton and their crystal vessels for Zwiesel Kristallglass took home a German Design Gold Award in 2018. NJRD will not bow to forced production cycles, and where possible, products will be made in Scandinavia using recycled materials. ‘With everything that is happening in the world right now, there has never been a better time to stay simple, and to support local producers.’ §