A gentleman, an international model, a music production professional, and an outdoor enthusiast. Knut Berggren is a man with many talents and a lot of charm! We had the privilege to sit down with this Stockholm based multi-talent and trade some thoughts. Knut is also this charismatic man seen in House of Wilow´s shots taken in Mallorca last autumn.
How did you end up for modelling career? And how long have you been working as a model?
I was scouted by Sixten Herrgård, founder of Stockholmsgruppen, when I was 17 years old, but didn´t take the proposal seriously. Second time around I got scouted after my military service. This was 1991, and I started working at once.
Based on the insights and experience you have - do you think modeling in general has changed somehow?
Yes, for sure! During my 30yrs+ in business ideals have come, gone, and come back again, but in a different context. Some core values, like a healthy lifestyle, exercise in some form, and the strive for a happy life are practically constant but are maybe given more or less space in fashion. But I believe they are values we always return to. Some of the fitness ideals of the 90´s are back for sure, but in a sounder way. There´s also a strong and mindful outdoor trend, which I really like.
Could you mention some of the highlights during your career as a model?
Oh, what to say…For me the highlights are most often the travels and the people I get to meet, rather than brands I´ve worked for. I´ve had the privilege of working with some of the legends in business, before they retired, and some before they even became legendary. I´ve come to see pieces of nature and cultures that I would never have seen else wise.
You have an impressive background in music scene as well. Would you like to tell more about your relationship with music and how you ended up working with music field?
I was always in Music, one way or the other, since I was a little boy in the local Boys´Choir, via music schools and upper secondary back home in Stockholm. I also educated myself in production and sound engineering to get a wider platform. It makes it more fun!
It was always a world to dream away into, a source of inspiration, and sometimes a way to put up with the pleasure and pain of adolescence, and of life in general. That´s the way it still is, up until today.
Do you have new music projects coming up?
Yes I do, but a secret one - ha ha. For the first time related to Modeling, and we´re having good fun!
We know that you have very special relationship to outdoors and nature as well. Regarding sustainability – what sustainability means to you and what are your thoughts within?
It´s wonderful to see how much is being done around sustainability. I mean we as humanity, wether we can grasp it or not, are having a Final Warning regarding our Global Climate. I believe in every individual doing whatever they can, and every business contributing in whichever way they can for a positive change. But we are by far not doing enough. On a personal level I am close to attaining a Non-Consumption goal when it comes to clothes this year, with exception for a wedding suit. I don´t eat either red meat or chicken, and I try to pass on some kind of awareness about good choices to my children. Always choose train before car, renewable energy, waste-smart groceries etc, without becoming a dooms day preacher. But ultimately it´s our elected politicians who need to put severe pressure on industry and finances behind it to achieve real change, both regionally and globally.
How do you see fashion and sustainability? As you have seen lot of during your modeling career do you have any interesting insider insights? Does sustainability have a role when you validate your personal fashion choices?
Yes there´s been a huge impact on fashion and the way garments are being made, especially outdoor stuff. Maybe for the reason that the outdoor consumers are thought to be more aware than others, but also for the reason that it´s practically doable with fabrics. Producers are doing a great job out there.
At time to time I can get the feeling from recycled fabrics that they are not nearly as durable or functional as first generation fabrics. In that case I believe more in simple old fashioned good quality, fewer garments, and in wearing them for longer, as a contribution to sustainability. My late Stepfather had his winter anorak for 40yrs+ and remained super cool all the way. Ultimately, I believe in pure natural materials with a long life span, and personal selectivity, rather than Easy come Easy go - dressing.
photographer: Olga Poppius