Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has found his vocation. He has a real talent for design – as did some of his forebears. Designer and accomplished photographer Carl Philip together with college friend Oscar Kylberg were at Ambiente to present a highly elegant collection of centerpieces for the traditional Danish Design company Stelton. The inspiration for the collection came from their love of the sea and the reflection it creates.
Even without his title Prince Carl Philip of Sweden would have attracted plenty of attention at Ambiente. The charismatic 36-year-old used this leading world trade fair to present his exclusive and perfectly designed Stelton collection. Together with fellow Swede Oscar Kylberg, the prince – under his professional name Carl Philip Bernadotte – has created a series of extremely expressive interior objects. The two designers first met during their student days and in 2012 founded their joint Stockholm-based label Bernadotte & Kylberg, which specializes in product and industrial design. Since Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has long been a big fan of the Stelton brand and the company, which was founded in 1960 and Stelton was fond of the work Bernadotte & Kylberg had already created, a collaborative relationship was only a matter of time. The Stelton name is inextricably linked with metalworking and collaborations with famous designers. The collaboration was received very positively by the prince and Stelton joined forces with Bernadotte & Kylberg for a new product line. The results were introduced at Ambiente. With help from an innovative production technique, the Stockholm Aquatic pattern is presented in cold enamel on organically shaped aluminum bowls and vases. Each product is finished by hand for an individual look. The unique handcrafted products of aluminium and enamel reveal a quite distinctive style. The gentle design is inspired by the coastline of the Stockholm archipelago and looks as though it was painted on canvas. Here is where art meets metal.
Two newcomers, with a great passion and appreciation of the sea, both grew up by the coast: “We are inspired by the fact that the sea never looks the same, it is constantly changing.” The Stockholm Aquatic collection for Stelton – four deep bowls and three vases in various sizes – takes its inspiration from the water that surrounds their home town of Stockholm. Inky blue nuances are reflected in the creamy-white enamelled metal – a clear homage to Stockholm. The city, also known as the Venice of the North, is built on 14 islands in Lake Maelaren and the Baltic Sea. The flecks of colour are blurred like watercolours on wet paper, just like the ever-changing and shimmering nuances of the water. In fact, the two Swedes created their design with ink, paper and water. The seascape-inspired colours seem to change from blue to black, depending on how the light falls. Above all, the simple bowls that were effectively presented at Ambiente on a gleaming surface reminded us of those pure-white enamelled bowls found in rural households of yesteryear. In the 1950s, enamelled metal was a major Scandinavian interior trend, which is being brought to life again in these designs. The unique items designed by Bernadotte & Kylberg clearly resonates with their love and appreciation of the sea and a strong attachment to homeland. It’s no surprise that the collection was the recipient of the coveted Red Dot Award 2015.
How it all started
He began with porcelain and quilted jackets and then moved on to design cushions, rugs, blankets, hand towels and silver cutlery. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden is also an accomplished photographer. The prince initially studied graphic design under a pseudonym at the famous Rhode Island Design School. In 2008, he received an award for the design of a logo showing the lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard, which motivated him to continue on this path. Carl Philip ultimately graduated from the Stockholm Forsberg Skola, where he met Oscar Kylberg. Their joint label – ‘B+K’ for short – quickly took off. Textile designs for a well-known department store and little china bowls with rabbits and moles for the porcelain company Gustavsberg were the pair’s first projects. The two designers understand each other intuitively and are a consummate team. “We understand each other without words. We see something and think the same thing. Almost like twins.”
Blue blood in creative veins
With kindred spirits Bernadotte & Kylberg created a strong team with two minds and one design concept. With the genes in the family, this is might not a coincidence. In both families there are celebrated designers, artists and patrons of the arts. An ancestor of Oscar Kylberg was a renowned painter and one of his works decorates a Swedish postage stamp. Prince Carl Philip’s great-uncle Sigvart Bernadotte designed a coffee service that is in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. The melamine ‘Margrethe’ mixing bowl he designed can still be found in many German kitchens. In short, we are confident that we can expect even more great things to come from Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Oscar Kylberg. The collaboration was so well received that Bernadotte & Kylberg just launched their second collection for Stelton.