Launch of the Tekla kitchen linen collection in six rich shades

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Every once in a while, though rarely these days, a brand lights up the tactile paper of a white space you never realized existed and explodes. Tekla is a bit like that – when co-founders Charlie Hedin and Kristoffer Juhl started discussing luxurious bed sheets, consciously made with a believable design philosophy in 2016, it seemed a step too gradual. “No one had done this before. When we first launched Tekla and knocked on doors, people thought we were crazy, ”says Juhl. “It didn’t make sense that two young people were going to work in this industry which had barely changed in 30 years. It was uphill, that’s for sure.

The reluctance didn’t last long: it turns out the co-founders knew exactly what we wanted before we did. Hedin has a stealthily solid track record with a Midas twist. The Swede, who started his career at Acne, is a natural innovator who prefers to fly under the radar, avoiding courting social media in favor of building real relationships. Juhl brings current knowledge of digital business and e-commerce, having studied the economics of luxury consumption. While finishing his studies, he started his career with Danish jeweler Sophie Bille Brahe – where he met Hedin in 2012 through Hedin’s sister, who also worked for the brand – before launching a social app. based on a Danish radio show that worked. by inviting people to dinner parties at home. That’s not a giant leap from today’s conversation around Tekla’s new kitchen line, which is all about sharing great food and company around a table.

A new collection of kitchens by Tekla

Apple Core, Duck Egg, Bordeaux and Porcelain Glass Napkins, £ 32 each

Hedin had explored the idea, and by the mid-2010s he had enough framework in place to seek out Juhl’s technological expertise. The duo started working together, informally at first, and the brand launched in the spring of 2017, just as we started to become hyper focused on our homes, obsessed with community and eating together. . Tekla addresses the “core” activities of life; sleep, wash, rest and now cook. “Basic products, part of your home, part of your daily life,” says Juhl. “People appreciate the timeless aesthetics, quality, finish and consistency in these areas. “

The brand was launched with stone-washed linen and percale cotton sheets, and evolved to include terrycloth bathrobes and towels, cotton-poplin pajamas, and woolen blankets when Hedin couldn’t find one. high quality version of a certain aesthetic on the market. Now they are thriving in kitchen accessories including tablecloths, napkins, glass cloths, kitchen towels and aprons. The rich colors – Porcelain, Apple Core, Duck Egg, Bordeaux, Tinted and Black – are inspired by the aftereffects of a dinner party. (The brand is also considering its own retail spaces, so an eye has been kept on color consistency with the other items that will be placed next to the towels and aprons on the shelves).

Apple Core, Duck Egg and Bordeaux Napkins, £ 29 each

Although a kitchen line has long been part of Juhl and Hedin’s plans, the idea did not galvanize until the pandemic, as dinners and family reunions disappeared. “We wanted to find a way to translate the emotion that comes with hospitality, wine and meals into products,” says Juhl, of the inspiration for the Tekla kitchen linen collection. The product development stage took longer than expected, firstly because the duo couldn’t visit their suppliers in Portugal, but also because Hedin is a perfectionist. Eventually they found a linen he was satisfied with – double the thickness of anything comparable on the market. “Functionality is very important,” continues Juhl. “Even when something is beautiful and has a nice touch and feel, and a good drop to the table because of the size and thickness, we wanted to consider functionality. So we reached out to chefs and friends who love to cook and asked them what they would like to see in the range. They gave us some really valuable insights.

“We wanted to translate the emotion that comes with hosting into products” – Kristoffer Juhl

The new line of kitchens is launched on the springboard of an already dynamic company. The agile and light team of the brand, made up of 18 people, has built up a loyal following, particularly in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Asia (South Korea and Japan are increasing thanks to a collaboration with Stüssy ), but this year America has shifted to pole position as its biggest market. Part of the genius behind Tekla is the business model, built on a tight fit. Juhl unboxes it: “You don’t need something new ten times a year to be relevant. This allows us to be as sustainable as possible and to avoid waste. Having a very tight co-assortment allows us to do something smart about the way we organize our planning and production: if we had a 100-color co-assortment, it would be impossible to effectively allocate our capital and our investments, but having eight colors makes it easier to double the stake and also go to wholesalers with what we see as a beneficial business model. ‘

Porcelain tablecloth, from £ 265, and glass napkins for drying Apple Core and Duck Egg dishes, £ 32 each

While not a fashion brand, Tekla’s beautifully thought-out imagery attracts an aesthetically sensitive audience. However, in contrast to the perpetual pursuit of fashion novelty, Tekla’s ethos is appealing to a new generation of consumers, thanks to its radically rethought shopping psychology. It takes trust that a brand isn’t looking for a quick sale, but rather devotes time, energy, and resources to delivering a few perfect things.

“Our core values ​​haven’t really changed when I look back over the past three and a half years,” Juhl says. “We saw an opportunity to bring culture closer to a product, at home, to build relevance through integrity, and to build excitement around a category that was completely at a standstill. ” Mission accomplished. §


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