Emelie Törling

Name: Emelie Törling

Profession: Designer
Background: Has lived in London, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, LA, and most recently New York. Worked as a singer and is the founder of Leontine, which sells vintage cowboy boots and jewelry made from recycled materials. Also works as an artist.
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Family: Husband Gustaf, daughters Anaïs and Aymeline
Currently: Designer of Boob Chari-Tee AW19, on maternity leave and painting
Instagram: @emelietorling

You are the founder and designer at Leontine, tell us more about the idea behind the company and where you are today?

I lived in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles for a period in 2011 and decorated my own vintage boots with unique vintage details that I found at the markets there, for myself. When I then went out in public, sixteen people stopped me and asked where they could buy the boots, so I came up with the idea on the spot and wrote down contact information on a piece of paper, and that's how I started Leontine. I began making boots to order, and also started making jewelry by hand in recycled silver. Artist Cat Power, Kate Moss, stylists Katy England and Claire Richardson are some of my customers, and most recently, I did a collaboration with Leontine for Alberta Ferretti's sub-brand Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. I handmade all the boots for the SS18 runway models, and we released a collection at Barneys New York, which sold out. It was absolutely fantastic. Now I am on maternity leave and, of course, thinking about what the next step is, but I also want to focus on my children now that I am at home; it is such an incredibly important time. We will see what's next!


You have designed this fall's new Chari-Tee. What were your thoughts behind the model and the print?

A white t-shirt is my favorite. I only wear clothes that are unashamedly comfortable; they must be soft, not chafe, and be of good quality so that I can keep the garment for years! My wish is that the t-shirt I designed becomes the garment that the breastfeeding mother chooses over and over again when she looks in her wardrobe in the morning. The t-shirt that she wants to wear every day, with jeans, tights, just underwear when she is at home, or when she goes out, simply because it is so soft, gets more comfortable the more it is worn, and also looks good. I painted the print by hand with a brush and oil paint because I wanted it to feel human. When things are not perfect, the color is not completely filled in, or something is missing, that is what is beautiful.

You are also a singer. What songs do you prefer to sing for your children?

I sing a Brazilian song when they are going to sleep called "Undiú" by João Gilberto. I heard it in Rio several years before I had children, but I decided that I would sing it as a lullaby for my future children because it was so beautiful. My husband and I have been doing that since both children were born, and both children love it.

After living as a parent of young children in both New York and Stockholm, what do you think is the biggest difference?

Oh, everything is a big difference, but the biggest difference is that everything is so clean, fresh, calm, and child-friendly in Sweden. Every restaurant has a changing table! Having the freedom to do what you did before, even though you have children, works well in Sweden because of the accessibility, and it is wonderful.

You became a mother for the second time in July last year. Has the journey been different with your two daughters?

Anaïs was born by emergency C-section in New York at 31 weeks in the darkest December. She stayed in the hospital for two months, and I couldn't stay there with her. I got post-traumatic stress and postpartum depression that lasted for almost two years. It is impossible to describe how tough it was, but I managed it, and I pumped milk around the clock for two months and took it to the hospital so that she would survive and grow. Today she is a wonderful four-year-old who is healthy, and I am doing well. Now Aymeline has also been born. She came in the middle of summer in Sweden, and we took it very easy and were just with each other and the family for five weeks. In the first month, I lived according to an Ayurvedic book for new mothers that was invaluable to me. I went into the bubble that I never had the chance to enter after Anaïs's birth and early days and felt that everything became good. I am so grateful to be where I am today, both children healthy and all of us doing well. It is such a joy.


Name three things you don't want to be without in life as a parent of young children?

Baby carrier in organic cotton, coconut oil, and yoga. All three are indispensable!

What does sustainability mean to you?

To appreciate what you have and take care of it. Buy clothes and things second-hand whenever possible. Take responsibility for the things you buy new as much as you can, by only shopping where the products are made in a good way without harmful chemicals and poor working conditions.

Do you have any special places you long to show your children?

I want to show my children the world. Other cultures and how magnificent and beautiful nature is, and that we must take good care of it. If you understand how big the world is and get to see how other people live, you gain humility towards life and a broader perspective on existence.

What do you hope to pass on to your children?

I have two girls, and I want nothing more than for them to understand their self-worth and never doubt it. I hope to give them inner strength, the courage to do what they want, the courage to say no, and a determination not to give up.

How do you wish the world to look like for your children to grow up in?

Such a tough question... Right now, it looks like the children will grow up in a catastrophic world with the environmental threat, nuclear weapons, and the rising wave of right-wing extremism, terrorism, and populism. But I hope and believe that humanity will take responsibility in time. I want the children to grow up and be able to enjoy a healthy nature and that there is compassion and community that extends across countries and borders. Dream world.

What is at the top of your wish list?

More time to paint, perhaps? But at the same time, I also long enormously to have a long summer vacation with the whole family. Always the combination that rocks. The balance.