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‘Glorifying the urban landscape’

Think Ikea is Sweden’s most stylish export? Think again.

Think Ikea is Sweden’s most stylish export? Think again. In November, Urbanista — the Swedish lifestyle brand devoted to offering ways for city-dwellers to get around in an efficient, eco-friendly and healthy manner — will be arriving stateside at Urbanista.com. Founded by entrepreneur Johan Wahlback in 2009, Urbanista’s goal is to make solution-based products that are designed from an environmental perspective. “I wanted to develop a brand that would target one specific audience: the modern urban person,” says Wahlback. “And I wanted to offer products that I actually want to use myself.”

As the former owner of Kronan bicycle company, it’s not surprising the first product Wahlback introduced under the Urbanista brand was a foldable bike (available in two styles and three colors) to promote swift –– and green –– city transit. The brand’s second product was the handy DraMaten shopping cart (see left). What’s next? Six or so other problem-solving products including an innovative carry-on travel bag due out in March and a headphone-microphone hybrid.

There won’t be anything lost in translation when the brand — which Wahlback thinks speaks a global language — lands. “I feel like I have more in common with the urban person in Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro or New York than I do with my fellow countrymen who live in rural Sweden,” says Wahlback. “Urbanista is about glorifying the urban landscape around the world.”

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