20 May 2014
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize 2014 is awarded the Swedish fashion designer Ann-Sofie Back.
The Röhsska Museum prize committee for the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize, with funds from the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, has decided to award Ann-Sofie Back this year’s prize of SEK 1 million.
This is the first time the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize has been awarded to a Swedish fashion designer.
After completing her studies at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm and Central St. Martins in London she started her own brand Ann-Sofie Back in 2001, and in 2005 she launched BACK.Since 2009 Ann-Sofie Back now divides her time between being Creative Director for her own company BACK and the H&M-owned brand Cheap Monday. BACK is internationally renowned for its distinctive avant-garde design, worn for example by Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Robyn, Rihanna, Icona Pop, Titiyo and HRH Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden.
In spring 2014 Ann-Sofie Back can be seen at the Swedish Fashion 2000-2015 exhibition at Sven Harry’s Art Museum in Stockholm. During the autumn, Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television will be showing a design portrait of the prize winner in an episode of the weekly culture show K-Special.
“Ann-Sofie Back is a unique representative of the acclaimed Swedish fashion scene, which has grown in strength over the past 15 years and which today is of an international quality. From initially being seen as too narrow in her expression, over time Ann-Sofie Back has proved that her design ideas work both for the particularly picky fashion consumer and for the mass market,” says Museum Director Tom Hedqvist.
The prize committee’s comments:
Ann-Sofie Back’s artistry is characterised by intuition and paradox. In an ongoing battle with the fashion system she herself is a part of, she has with unerring integrity explored the everyday and the socially stereotypical. With continuity, while maintaining distance, she has over time been able to prove that having faith in the aesthetics of resistance makes it possible to create fashion that is both commercial and expressive.
The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Gothenburg on 4 November, when an exhibition by and about the prize winner will also open at the Röhsska Museum.
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize was inaugurated by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations to commemorate the centenary of Torsten Söderberg’s birth. It was awarded for the first time on that centenary in 1994.
The SEK 1,000,000 prize is the highest amount for a design prize in the world where the winner is chosen by a jury and awarded annually.
The purpose of the prize is to promote arts, crafts and design in the Nordic countries.
The jury consists of representatives from the five Nordic countries: Museum Director adj. professor Anne-Louise Sommer, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; Director of design and decorative arts Widar Halén, National Museum, Oslo, Norway; Museum Director Jukka Savolainen, Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Museum Director Harpa Þórsdóttir, Hönnunarsafn Íslands Museum of Design and Applied Art, Reykjavik, Iceland; Ph.D. Tomas Söderberg, chairman of Torsten Söderberg Foundation; and the jury’s chairman, Museum Director Tom Hedqvist, Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden.