Chang & Biorck, a Northern European brand, opened its first store in Sanlitun last week, featuring simple and functional designs.
Though the shop is only 20 sq m, it sells a good range of products, all of which are designed by Swedes, including Marie-Louise Hellgren, Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg and Sara Odman.
The three female designers all have some relationship with China, so they combine the beauty of Chinese elements and the function ality of Swedish products.
Hellgren's bone teapots and teacups are named Ao and Tu (凹凸, meaning concave and convex) and their shapes were inspired by a visit to the altar at the Temple of Heaven. The saucers are sun and moon shaped.
Ullberg creates fabrics with traditional Chinese materials. She uses silk lattice patterns to make her cushions, called Kao, featuring imperial dragon designs. Flowers with stripes, squares with stars and flies with dots deliver her idea of mixing and matching.
Odman spent half a year studying at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She was inspired by the parks and trees in the city and then created a kids' wear range. The line has low-impact dye printed on organic cotton.
Chang & Biorck was named after its Chinese and Swedish founders, India Chang and Eva Biorck.
"We intended to combine elements of two cultures in our products," Chang says.
"As you can see, some traditional Chinese designs are simple and functional, which is the core spirit of Swedish designs."
There has been some media criticism that the product line is too feminine, as the team members and designers are all women, but Biorck says there are also ties and other accessories for men.
2-19A, F1, Building 2, The Village at Sanlitun, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang district. 8400-2296