35. taurus. gatherer.

Are you affected by the space around you and the fact that you’re surrounded by so much stuff?

I don’t notice it, but when I have visitors I know that it affects them. My biggest concern is that people will think I’m a messy person, that the apartment looks like a mega cheesy bachelor pad like in the Tom Hanks movie Big.

You’ve built a lot of things in this flat.

I wish I could afford Dieter Rams but since all of his pieces are so expensive I end up just building things myself. I built my bed but it took ages.
      My friend Chingi said to me, while we were building the bed, “I see the link between your German heritage and your unhealthy fascination with Japan. It’s the wood on the countertop in the kitchen.” It’s a raw wooden board, part-Tyrolean with a touch of Japan. It’s oak.

i had long nails, dyed hair
and got beaten up at school.

where does this so-called unhealthy fascination with japan come from?

It started with me sitting at home and reading a lot of comic books. There was more edge to the Japanese illustrations. They felt more grown-up and real—they even made the blood look real. Later on it was video games, then music and clothes. And the fact that they have succeeded in industrialising real craftsmanship.
      For a while I even dressed like Visual kei, had long nails, dyed hair and got beaten up at school—that was the case throughout middle school.

Before that, when you were little, what was your thing?

Since I was extremely allergic, I learned to ride a bike indoors because I couldn’t go outside in the summer. It wasn’t easy learning to cycle indoors in a seventy square meter apartment. Naturally, one of the first things I learned to do was how to check the pollen report on teletext.

An indoor child, that make sense in terms of all the hobbies you have. Another thing that you’re into is craftsmanship and the process of how things are made.

I think it’s cool to know how things turn out, that things aren’t that difficult to do. My dad always said; just do it! It may take a long time, but it’s not difficult. Nothing is difficult.
      I grew up in a matriarchy because my dad worked so much, and found myself surrounded by my mom, aunt and grandmother. A lot of what I like are so-called “soft skills”, which are stereotypically female skills. To be able to express this, in a male context, I’ve done that through craftsmanship.

How did you start making your own jewellery? You’ve done some glass pieces for Our Legacy and your own silver feather designs.

My dad was interested in Native American culture—Navajo, Apache and Mohican. I took a silversmith course because I wanted to make these silver feathers in his honour. My mom, grandma and aunt all have one.
      I don’t think you should buy jewellery for yourself, it’s something you should be given. It’s about the fact that the jewellery can be ugly, but if you get it from someone you like, you wear it and carry the friendship around with you in a way.
      It’s the same with art—I have no real art at home. I found the Robert Broberg poster in a dumpster and he’s just a funny person. The other work of art I have is by my friend. I would rather surround myself with art by people I like.

What else did you bring from home? You and your mother like to go thrifting together.

Yes, but my mom also likes to get rid of things. It was my dad who was extreme—when he died we had to take over his warehouse. One thing I came across was an old chest of drawers, where all the drawers were filled with unsorted screws. He liked to say “I have it!” if anyone needed anything, he had it. For him, it was a result of growing up in post-war Berlin.

i found the robert broberg
poster in a dumpster.

Was it that he wanted to preserve memories?

He would save stuff, but on the other hand he had an anxiety about consumption.
My mom loves to buy things, but she also gets rid of things. I’m their juxtaposition, who loves to consume things, but will also save everything!
      Now that he’s gone, I turn up the traits from him, to keep him around.

when did you realise that you were a collector?

There are those who are real collectors, who have their display cabinets with figurines, etc. I don’t have a specific collection that I’m proud of—I want to collect everything. I prefer to think of myself as a gatherer.

What’s the oldest thing in your collection?

These necklaces that are called ponybeads and white heart beads. When they colonized America, they brought it over from Venice, and for a couple necklaces you could buy a pony. I got them so I could incorporate them into my jewellery. A single bead costs four euros, but I managed to find an old man in England who had some shady contacts.

my morning ritual is ebay, tradera and german blocket.

Would you say that the internet has killed the hunt, and has it become more or less difficult to be a collector?

It’s become easier to consume, but harder to make a bargain. I’m in it for the hunt. Certain things I have are worth a lot, but I would never pay full price for them, or have a problem passing them on. I almost look down on those who buy to profit from it or who pay overprice, they’re not collectors in my mind.
      I have a Helmut Lang jacket that I found in a dumpster. And this watch that I bought for nine euros but is actually worth 4,000 euros.
      There’s a good documentary on HBO called Booksellers that interviews various antique bookshop owners and collectors, that talk about how the internet has ruined the art of collecting.

where do you find stuff?

My morning ritual is to check Ebay, Tradera and the German equivalent of Blocket. Every Sunday I make dinner with my mum and we check out different secondhand places in town: Myrorna, Stadsmissionen or Emmaus. Outside the city we often check St. Erikshjälpen, Läkarmissionen and in Västerås there’s a place called Brödet och Fiskarna. Another good site is, which collects everything from all the auction houses in Sweden.

you also had your own vintage store, how did that happen?

I was offered a shop space on the condition that it had to be called Tokyo Stop. I googled around and found some contacts and then we shipped seven tonnes of clothes back from Japan. I ended up throwing away around 15 Margiela pieces when I found all these garments with random numbers in the neck, which I thought were ugly. I was 21 years old and didn’t have any experience. I didn’t know what Margiela was before I started at Our Legacy three years later.

How did you start out as a designer?

It was through Our Legacy, where I started in 2011. I applied for a lot of different jobs and then I ended up at an interview with them. First it was a casual coffee, then there was another, and then a third. At that point it was suggested that I should become assistant to one of the founders, Cristopher Nying. He taught me a lot about vintage, and above all designers.
      I’ve never really been interested in fashion. My interest was a more on the level of, what kind of leather jackets are the Ramones wearing, then researching the exact brand, and in that way becoming interested.
      I like when things have a function. I struggle between liking ruffles and glitter or the Dieter Rams approach with less is more. But I would probably see myself more as an industrial or product designer than a fashion designer. I create rules before I start, to rein myself in. That gives me a framework that I create from. Cristopher is a bit more ruthless and free from the get-go, and the framework comes as he goes along.

white t-shirt, leather jacket and black or white chucks.

Which one of your designs are you most proud of?

I’ve never been happy. Morrissey said: To be finished would be a relief. People who think that their work is so good, all the time—I just don’t buy it—why else would you continue doing anything? Of course there are things that I think are nice. Like the skull sweater called Arcadian Johnny Roger, which is made in acrylic to make it look like a homemade sweater and stonewashed to cause pilling. The skull is from Captain Harlock and his spaceship the Arcadia. It’s from an old anime TV series by Leiji Matsumoto.

The Mono Runner sneaker from Our Legacy has been widely copied. how did you develop it?

It happened while I was at a trade show, where I found the sole. No one had used it in a fashion context, and the bottom said so much that the top became quite simple.

You’ve developed this theory about the swedish hunk and the swedish hunk style.

He’s the guy who gets to sleep with all different types of ladies. His style consists of black jeans‚ never distressed, maybe a white t-shirt or a knit sweater, leather jacket and black or white Chucks, but no other colour. But it shouldn’t be too vanilla either, and that style is a hit with everyone; fashion girls, indie girls, etc. I usually try it for dates and it works! It’s lacking in identity, but universal in appeal.

what do you like to read?

I bought the Necronomicon the other day. It doesn’t really exist, it’s a book that someone’s created, and when you do rituals with this book, you apparently summon Satan. I’m also reading Pure Invention by Matt Alt on how Japanese pop culture captured the world. I also have a fantastic Japanese catalog that lists goods produced from different decades that I like to browse.

What places do you like to visit in Stockholm?

Micke’s records in Hornstull. I kind of don’t dare go in—the vibe is very High Fidelity. And I also like the bar Löwenbrau very much, which is located at Fridhemsplan. Tranan is famous for its Christmas party—it’s one of the best parties every year. I also like ROQ, the arcade hall. As for shops, there aren’t that many left, but Myrorna in Ropsten and Mr. Gold that has Japanese clothes and army stuff.

i’m messy but i keep what i need on top of the pile.

What are you listening to at the moment? And what was the last song you discovered?

Sweet Like Chocolate and lots of old garage tunes. It’s very light music that everyone can appreciate. Punk is not so welcomed at work, while no one dislikes Artful Dodger.  
      My friend Kalle introduced me to an artist or band called Gutterboy. They got a big signing bonus, but then nothing happened. The singer looks like a young and ripped Bruce Springsteen but as a New York punk. When I see the music video I want to go to the gym.

As a gatherer, where would you place yourself on the scale of being organised?

I’m messy but organised based on the fact that I keep what I need on the top of the pile. An unconscious necessity sorting.
      My dream, which I think I share with many hoarders is that if I could just get a perfect arrangement, that will solve everything. To have everything organised according to the alphabet, all the clothes in categories, with pictures of everything and rows of large rails where you can just go pick things from.

If your home was a movie, what would it be?

Wayne’s World meets Blade Runner. ✺