Ann-Sofie designed these stunning home accessories
Independent Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back has applied her disruptive approach to fashion to interior design, with a new collection of quirky homeware.
Preserving the status quo never held any charm for Back, who over the course of her fashion career constantly explored what she called “foreign to me” themes like pornography, car culture and God in a work otherwise based on feminism and personal experience. A graduate of Beckmans College of Design and Central Saint Martins who launched her label in 2001, she has walked a path forged by 1990s women’s labels like Bless and Susan Cianciolo. His deconstructions of the status quo were intimate and often humorous. (See: his “ass hoodie” pants and three-lens sunglasses.) “I don’t think you take yourself completely seriously if you like my brand,” Back told me in 2016; although it should be noted that she is indeed meticulous in matters of patronage and construction.
In addition to design, Back also worked as a stylist (often teaming up with photographer Anders Edström) and served as Cheap Monday’s creative director for nearly a decade. After closing her company in 2018, Back freelanced with Swedish electronics company Teenage Engineering, where she met marketing maestro Mattias Dymling, who is her collaborator on this project. “He approached me and asked, ‘How would you like to do interior design? Back said. “I never really thought about it [and] I was a little lost; my father died when I left Teenage Engineering, and everything was upside down.
Shortly after the formation of Gnilmyd Kcab (the unpronounceable name combines the founders’ surnames spelled backwards), Back was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment. But she seems to be starting a new chapter this year. “It’s less personal for me when I’m doing interior design than when I’m doing fashion, because with fashion it was so tied to my own insecurities about femininity, my body, my appearance and perfection,” she says. “When I do interior design, it’s no longer a problem. What’s different is that I’m naive when it comes to interior design; I don’t know the story and I don’t know who the designers are, so I can be more free. It reminds me of my beginnings in fashion, when it seemed like anything was possible and you didn’t really know the limits.
The off-ness that defined some aspects of Back’s work in fashion shifted to the surreal with his pieces for the home. The first Gnilmyd Kcab line features emerald and lilac wig shades with an “Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction” vibe; a draped lampshade and pillow, called Gala, and faux fur “coats,” i.e. rugs, for floors and chairs. “I think about [the rugs] like a bit sexual, like you meet someone and throw your fur on the floor and have sex in front of the fire… That was kind of the idea behind it all. Color us intrigued.