Insights from our Head of design for h&m home - Evelina Kravaev Soderberg
Can you explain your role as head designer of H&M Home?
The head of design role is a creative leader role. It is about encouraging and inspiring other designers and securing that our visions are clear and that our collections are inspiring for our customers. As head of design I lead the overall vision and help secure that the vision is kept all the way through to our products. At H&M it is all about team work and we love creating trends, colours, prints and materials together.
How does it feel to be in charge of the overall vision as opposed to designing the actual products?
What drives you to become a designer is the love of design and product. When you have been doing product design for some time, it feels natural to take a step to work more with the bigger picture conceptually and lead other creators to evolve and develop.
Where do you find inspiration?
By being curious, I love art and books. I love to explore other artists and designers. Travel is probably our major source of inspiration and meeting people from different cultures. I am watching and observing different surroundings.
What are your thoughts on the future of interior design?
I think that interior design is in a very interesting phase today. Customers are more interested in having modern and inspiring home decor. We see a great interest in personal lifestyle living. It is about living, eating and travelling. We notice that the importance of expressing yourself and your personality is not only about how you look but it is about the whole concept of you and the home is a very important part of this concept.
Would you say that H&M Home has a Scandinavian design or touch?
I think Scandinavia might be in our creative DNA but we work with H&M Home as a global brand with collections inspired by the world.
How would you describe H&M Home to a new customer?
It is a modern, inspiring and diverse interior decor brand. Making it possible for the many people to update and decorate their home with well made interior products that are value for money.
What is the design process like at H&M?
There is a lot of creative collaboration. We start every season with the design team getting together for a brainstorming session where we discuss trends and share ideas. We come up with trend directions, new colours, materials and prints. When the overall vision is ready the product designers start to develop the products. The designers have a close collaboration with the buyers. As designers we are also very interested in the sales, this is how we get to know our customer and what they are looking for.
What are your future plans for the H&M Home collection and how far ahead do you look?
We design for the following season so one year in advance. It gets easier with experience, you have designed for so many seasons that you start to see patterns. Of course, there is always the element of the crystal ball in this job. To be successful you need to be sensitive to the outside world and to see how it is moving. We have a lot of great plans for the development of H&M Home, it is still just a baby.
What opportunities do you see with the growth of online shopping?
Time is getting more and more limited, online shopping is and will continue to be very important. Our home decor products are very easy to buy online because you don´t have to try them on to know if they will fit.
How does H&M Home differ from other brands within the same segment?
We are fast moving and we want to be on trend. Our goal is always offering what the customer wants at the right time. We like to be trend sensitive and we want to have a twinkle in the eye approach to the design. For example “it is only a cushion cover let’s have some fun with it”. We try to have humour and quirkiness within our collections.
What are the key trends for home decor next year?
The more digital we get the stronger need we will have for tactility. When we live in an environment where we are always connected, we need the contrast of touching and feeling and that will become visible in our design. Nature is a source of inspiration that is still very strong so we will see even more natural materials like wood and ceramics. A feeling of comfort and luxury is also something that we will explore through quality and details in the coming collections.