Before he took the helm at renowned Scandinavian brand Muuto as CEO in 2015, Anders Cleeman worked for IC Group, one of the largest fashion companies in northern Europe. We sat down with him and discussed the mechanisms behind Muuto as well as his own approach to design.
See more: Hotel 11 Howard is a masterpiece in Scandinavian design
Describe Muuto in a few words.
Muuto is an affordable luxury brand seeking to add new perspectives to Scandinavian design while staying true to its values: aesthetics, craftsmanship, functionality, honesty and the highest quality, at a democratic price.
What is Muuto’s claim to fame?
We believe that an important factor during this first decade of Muuto’s existence has been our consistency in terms of our mindset as much as our design language. We have worked together with a multitude of upcoming and established designers from Scandinavia and all over the world. This diversity has enriched our collection tremendously, but at the same time,you will always be able to recognise our designs as Muuto designs. This strong base allows us to continuously move forward.
Which are your most iconic products?
Our UNFOLD Pendant by Form Us With Love and the FIBER Chair by Iskos-Berlin. UNFOLD has an industrial appearance and looks firm from afar – however, once you get closer you will notice that it is made of soft and flexible silicon rubber that allows the lamp to “unfold”. The FIBER Chair series embraces a clear sculptural language, combining minimal space and maximum comfort and using a recyclable bio-composite containing up to 25 per cent pinewood fibre.
The UNFOLD Pendant lamp and other Muuto furnishings
Is there any difference in terms of your own approach to fashion and design – two different markets that are maybe not so different, in the end?
Although both industries share certain characteristics – craftsmanship, aesthetics, cultural reflections – there are quite a few differences at a closer look. One of them is the velocity. While fashion brands move very fast from one collection to the next, design is primarily about longevity and quality. We create products that are meant to last, that become part of people’s lives. This does not only provide a different degree of depth, but is also a huge factor when it comes to sustainability. This long-term directed perspective is something I really appreciate.
What has Muuto been working on recently?
We just opened two new spaces in Paris and London. Not only will they work as offices for our UK and France teams, they are a great opportunity to make ourselves more of a home in these two metropolises.
What has Muuto not yet done, but would like to?
A segment we haven’t tapped into yet is outdoor furniture, but many ideas are circulating through the Muuto universe all the time, and there are a lot of them we would like to put into action in the future.
Various kinds of FIBER Chairs
Peruse our Design section for more inspiration and exclusive interviews with design experts.
Maria Chiara Antonini