The World of SEB Design | Interview

Sigríður Edda Bergsteinsdóttir has made her mark in the jewelling scene in Iceland, designing delicate yet bold pieces of jewellery under the name SEB. She just recently launched a new line in her collection called SEB Fly that coincides well with her 2014 debut collection: SEB Animals.

Why did you become a goldsmith?

Designing has always been a big part of my life. As a child, I was constantly drawing pictures and I was always determined to become an architect when I grew up. However, after my first year in architecture school, I knew I wanted to do design on a smaller scale, and it’s safe to say that I went from macro to micro! When designing jewellery you go through the same process as designing a building because in both designs the structures and ratios have to add up so the end product makes sense and looks good. In the end, these two professions have more in common than you would think even though the proportions and materials are very different.

What can you tell us about SEB Jewellery?

I created the SEB brand in 2014 when my first item, The SEB Cat from the SEB Animals collection, went on the market. The name: SEB are merely my initials and I like that it has a nice ring to it. The SEB Animals collection includes five separate geometrical animal heads; a cat, a ram, a dog, a horse and a bull. From its launch, the SEB Cat has been very popular.

 

seb_cat

During Design March in Reykjavík 2015, I introduced the second item from the SEB Animals collection: The SEB Ram. A year later during Design March I had an exhibition at GK Reykjavík store where I premiered the SEB Dog, the SEB Horse and the SEB Bull.

seb_ram

seb_dog

seb_horse

seb_bull

 

What inspires your design?

I draw inspiration from the environment and the people around me. I study shapes and structures of ordinary things and simplifying complex objects fascinates me. For example, I would never have started working with the animal form if it weren’t for my children. They are a huge inspiration to me. My son loves cats, so unsurprisingly his interest in cats was the spark that led to the SEB Cat necklace, which I designed while still at school. From there the cat evolved to a geometrical 3D drawing and then to the first SEB Animal of five.

I would describe my design as loaded with the paradox of simplicity and powerful structure. They ooze a rough but cool look and carry a statement. They are independent and there is nothing corny about them, simply raw geometrical forms.

From the get go I wanted to be thorough about everything related to the client’s experience towards SEB Animals. With that in mind, I started working with the talented photographer Íris Stefánsdóttir who brought the world around the SEB collection to life. When looking for the models in the campaign she wanted the animals in the photos to be alive and to have a certain spark in their eyes. So began the extensive search for the right models and somehow it seemed to arouse curiosity in people, I guess mainly because it doesn’t happen every day that you walk into a stable and want to photograph a farmers animal in relation to a jewel collection. All in all, it has been a very fun project and it’s amazing to work with Íris.

What are SEB’s next steps?

I launched a new accessory collection named SEB Fly on Reykjavík Cultural Night last August in GK Reykjavík. Íris and I have continued our successful partnership and just like with the SEB Animals, we wanted to create a visual world around my most recent collection. Our partnership is very important to me and it’s thanks to her that I’ve been able to create this world around my products. It is my belief that it’s not enough just to create beautiful jewellery, you have to create an experience around it so people connect to the brand on an emotional level.

 

SEB Fly necklace

 

How would you describe your new line, SEB Fly? 

The neutral structures in the design of the SEB Fly collection match well with the SEB Animals but can also stand well on their own. Unlike the SEB Animals collection, which only holds necklaces, the SEB Fly collection includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Íris and I were determined to create powerful images built up with the contrast of light and shadows. We also agreed that we wanted the model in the pictures to be dark skinned and we were so lucky when I literally bumped into Theresa Mba on the streets of Reykjavík only two weeks before the launch of SEB Fly. By that time Íris and I had lost all hope in finding the right model for our show, as it turned out, it’s not easy to find a dark skinned model here in Iceland. Theresa is born in the African country Equatorial Guinea but was raised in Barcelona and has lived in Iceland for the past five years. She is wonderful and we are very happy with the outcome: the world around SEB Fly. The brand is doing very well and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

 

SEB Fly earrings

SEB Fly ring

Photography by Íris Stefánsdóttir 

For more information about SEB visit www.seb.is or SEB’s Facebook page