Swedish designer Johanna and AprillAprill
Johanna is from the lovely southern Swedish town, Helsingborg, where she lives and works as a designer. She is also the founder of AprillAprill, where she does illustrations, home styling, writes articles, organises design exhibitions and more. She is a trained fashion designer and has for the last 15 years designed clothes for companies like Craft and Tretorn, where she currently works. She also blogs about a mixture of things, feelings, experiences, generally inspiring things and her work.
What’s the idea behind AprillAprill?
I started AprillAprill about 10 years ago during my maternity leave with my oldest daughter Lillo. I did some illustrations that I started to sell. Then I had no idea where AprillAprill would take me. Now, ten years later, I have my blog, a great network and I also get to work with some great different design projects through AprillAprill.
How much time do you spend on AprillAprill?
About one day a week. I do it by myself but I often partner up with different creative people. My sister, Lisa Wikstrand for example, who I do different interior articles for magazines with. She is a photographer and in those projects, I get to write. I also run a creative network called 'Formskapet' together with Lisa and Annika Göth Nilsson. We arrange Design-markets with local designers and creative entrepreneurs, workshops and more. I also work with styling, graphic design, photography and other bits! Check out my portfolio.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From everywhere but mostly by meeting people and friends sharing the same interests as me, but also from travelling, reading books, magazines, shops and off course Instagram.
What's your background within design?
I have a bachelor degree in Fashion Design from Swedish School of Textiles in Borås. I then worked with sports fashion for several years at CRAFT Sportswear. The latest nine years I have been designing for Tretorn - A 125-year old brand with a rich heritage within rubber boots, sneakers, tennis and rainwear.
Can you tell us a bit about your illustration work?
I started as a way to focus and relax when I became a mom ten years ago. I got lots of inspiration from being at home and thinking about what is important in life and what I wish focus on. I painted and illustrated a lot when I was younger, and felt again that the inspiration to started to come back to me.
Can you give us the story about your work as a designer at Tretorn?
I work with design and product development. Both with new styles and products, but also with colours, seasonal themes and trends.
I design rainwear with a Scandinavian design language. I work with slow fashion where sustainability is a big part of the development, both in design and how we work with fabric and production. It is in the mix of contrasts, both city and nature, style and function but also timeless yet contemporary. I also challenge my self to find innovative solutions and to work more sustainably. Recently Tretorn and Naturkompaniet did a collection of jackets made from old fishing nets from the ocean, they drift in the ocean as ghost nets and destroys entire eco systems. We used fabrics from ECOALF that collects old nets and use the nylon fibres in them to create new thread for fabric. To design this jacket was a really cool project. (Watch the video below)
Who are your favourite Nordic designers/brands?
I love Scandinavian design both within fashion and interior. Copenhagen is my favourite city for the perfect mix of style and design.
I love the shop Stilleben for example that mix furniture, textile, ceramics and art.
Tell us a bit about your side project Palettblad Unite?
It started out with one little plant 7 years ago. I came to see this giant flower and ask if I could get a small cut of the flower. I planted it and when it started to grow I gave new cuts to friends. It all grew when my friends gave to their friends and from one plant there were thousands. I decided to start a hashtag on Instagram to "collect" all the plants that came from my mother plant. I was so cool to see how a trend started to grow!
How do you enjoy spending your time off?
Together with friends and family! We hang out at home or go to museums, cafés, or just out in the nature.
Where are your favourite spots in Sweden?
Helsingborg is a fantastic city with so much diversity. We have the ocean just around the corner with beaches and beautiful places and nature nearby. Kullaberg a nature reservoir with dramatic landscape. And also Mölle, Höganäs, and Borstahusen are places nearby that I love. And of course Österlen known for its long beaches, wonderful nature and cosy bed & breakfast-places.
Johanna's local tips on places to hang out;
- Koppi in Helsingborg for the best coffee and lunch.
- Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, for culture and exhibitions.
- Restaurant Sillen and Makrillen in Helsingborg
- Pålsjöbaden in Helsingborg for sauna and a bath in the ocean.
- Holy Smoke BBQ in Nyhamsläge
- Mölle krukmakeri in Mölle
- Mandelmansträdgårdar in Österlen
To see more of Johanna visit her website: AprillAprill
Follow on Instagram: @aprillaprilljohanna