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Trends with Stefan Nilsson; Repair Rituals.

Stefan Nilsson, or Trendstefan as he is known in the Swedish media, is constantly searching for new trends and phenomena. His office is based in Milan, or Paris, or in any other world metropolis where he happens to be and then only for a day or so before he’s on the move again. Stefan Nilsson is searching for the future, for what we consumers will like, dislike, buy or rave about a year from now.

During the pandemic, the world came to a standstill. We stopped travelling, meeting friends and family and limited our everyday life to our homes. The lifting of restrictions throughout Europe and large parts of the world has sparked a growth in human curiosity and a desire to discover new things. We long for renewal, entertainment and, above all, inspiration. In social media, we look for new trends and ideas that can provide “food for thought” and boost our creativity and our desire to create. In Stefan Nilsson’s and LINUM’s series, we’ll present four exciting trends and colour combinations that we hope will feel new, interesting and maybe even a little daring.

Safe Repair Rituals.

Burgundy, denim blue, olive green and soft orange are colours that feel Nordic. This trend is cherishing and safe. Things have a habit of coming back. The burgundy is reminiscent of our Swedish red cottages, the dark blue is a rainy Scandinavian sky or sea, the olive green is our forests, while the rusty orange hints at winter fires.

In this picture we have tried to reproduce a kind of desk. A place to sit in soft lighting and read. We see some collectibles because history interests us more than ever. During troubled times, we look for safety in the past. Many people compare our era with events that took place about a hundred years ago, such as the Spanish flu, but our times also bear reference to several big world events. There have been tsunamis in Japan, terrorist attacks in Spain and France, and of course unrest in the United States. That’s when we long for something concrete and tangible in our world.

We repair things.

This trend is called Repair Rituals because the ritual around repairing things is important. It’s as if repairing old things becomes something concrete in an otherwise complex world. That’s why we’re repairing more than ever. Or at least we want to repair. New entrepreneurs are emerging who specialise in restoring and repairing. Everything from Swedish Repamera, where customers send their worn-out jeans to Malmö and get them back whole and clean, to designer repair patterns in London via the fashion brand Toast. Social media platform TikTok is full of examples of young people’s desire to learn how to sew and do other crafts. Even commercial giants like H&M have realised that repairing and recycling are the future and now run several workshops in their key stores.

Repairing is also a sign of the times as we tire of casual consumerism. We want to buy things that are well made and that can be repaired. The best buy you can make is a product of such good quality that it can withstand two or three repairs. Even the Opera in Gothenburg was renovated with existing furniture, instead of new. Repairing is simply the right thing to do.

Arts and crafts are in.

Arts and crafts have major appeal. Sweden will see a suite of craft association anniversaries in coming years. Stockholm’s Hantverk celebrates 175 years, Swedish Handicrafts will celebrate 125 years, and so on. History, tradition and things that keep going.

One detail that can be seen in this trend is how we work with ropes. This might be something as simple as “soap on a rope”, or little details such as fringes on throws and rugs. I think the rope is also like a symbol of exactly how we tie things together. There are so many ropes and knots in this trend that the mathematical knot theory won’t be far behind. Did you know, for example, that you can use knots to send messages? Different knots mean different things. So if I give you a tied bouquet of flowers, check how I’ve tied the string. Perhaps I’m trying to tell you something.

Weaving is the new way forward.

Speaking of threads and ropes, weaving is back and we are seeing lots of woven details and patchwork quilts. In general, textiles are something that interests and engages. I am particularly fond of the Finnish brand Myssi, which is based on products from 40 knitting grandmothers who make gloves and hats by hand. They are then sold in a fashionable store near you. It doesn’t get trendier than that.

Text: Stefan Nilsson
Photography: Martin Brunn