It was a natural move for the impressive duo to start their own company, as the magazine covered a broad range of subjects with interviewees like linguist Noam Chomsky, hotelier André Balazs, artist Marina Abramovic and actress Tilda Swinton, they felt they wanted to expand this eclectic approach into more diverse media and the consultancy works as an extended expression of this. Working on a hotel development for instance, she explains, covers everything from the food, the interiors, the art and design objects, the branding, the guest experience and the programming etc, which resembles the many conversations involved in a magazine. With clients ranging from Bentley to 1stdibs, and their first furniture collection launching at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in April, we are lucky to say they also are the creative consultants for KITRI - so thanks guys.
Charlotte herself has the unique talent to discover the people who have mastered their craft and present them in a modern way. Describing herself as “quite magpie-like and tactile”, she comes across as modest and perceptive, which all adds to the charm of this multi-talented Swede. We managed to catch up with her before she headed to Miami, then Hong Kong before Milan - and weren’t the slightest bit jealous of her travels, honest.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To train yourself to be interested in topics other than the most common or readily available, so that in order to be original, try to go out of your way to find new paths, open new books, walk down the library aisles you wouldn’t usually. And of course to work hard, be nice to people, keep your friends close, it’s quite simple like that.
Could you sum up your wardrobe in three words?
Never something that needs ironing (laughter), often dark blue and black together in textured materials, and always comfortable.
What’s your secret talent?
I make really good pancakes. Secret trick is a pinch of cinnamon just before it goes into the pan.
How would you describe the Campbell-Rey aesthetic?
Playful and colourful with a deep appreciation of natural materials, craftsmanship and cultural context.
Is there something you never leave the house without?
Clothes! Keys! Apart from the obvious I would say my rings. I wear a Cartier trinity ring, given to me by an old boyfriend, he is fully healthy now but he went through an illness that changed my way of thinking about life. It’s a reminder to me of what is important; to be patient and let things take their time. The other ring I always wear is the B.Zero1 in dark green and black marble from Bulgari - my mum gave it to me for a birthday, as cheesy as it sounds, I find it important to have something family related close by.
What is your one top work tip?
I’ve taken away social media from my phone and hidden Instagram from the main screen. I feel a bit calmer without it, it certainly doesn’t help your attention span or relaxation, so it helps to make you look out the window and get lost in thought rather than scrolling scrolling scrolling...
Describe your ideal Sunday?
Reading the Sunday papers on the floor with a delicious coffee and new flowers. Plus maybe something tasty cooking in the oven.
What is the first thing you do each morning?
Drink a glass of water - it’s supposed to wake up your organs, but I’m not sure if it actually works! Sometimes I wake up with some random thought or idea, I think I absorb quite well during the day and process at night, so I often text Duncan my early morning thought - often it’s a terrible idea but sometimes its worked out.
What country would you most like to visit?
I would love to go to Burma next - my former housemate Caroline just came back from there and was enthralled, I think it’s time to go and explore.
What is the one book you recommend everyone should read?
There is not one book, but I am currently reading about the philosophy of the Stoics. It’s a Greek school of thought, and centres around how to find happiness, contentment or calm in worrying or turbulent times, I find it very interesting. I think reading in general is very important, as a human being you can feel isolated from the world and then you read texts that is a thousand years old and you realise we are all still the same, our feelings the same, we think in similar manners. I find it quite soothing.
How does your average work week look? What is the most enjoyable part?
I don’t really have a schedule and that’s one of the things that I love about what I do. I’m usually travelling two or so days a week, to an art fair, auction house or a visit to a supplier and we usually have one day when we are with clients, maybe in their workplace or in meetings. It’s fun, we can go from an event dinner on a Tuesday and in the morning the day after, we find ourselves knee deep in mud in a field looking at a bricklaying technique for a new project.
What is your dream project?To create something that people will look back at in one hundred years time and think ‘that was one the most beautiful spaces or buildings made at that time. And useful, it changed something in people’s perception, made for a more open society.’ Like how we think of architects like Oscar Niemeyer now. I love the idea of creating a place for people to come together as a society, it’s so important to have exposure to other people early, to be made to understand and to find connection.