The Aesthete: Øivind Slaatto talks more personal taste

The Danish designer concludes his list of likes with Tuscany, “rock star” porridge and the poetic structure of snail shells

Øivind Slaatto at home in Copenhagen
Øivind Slaatto at home in Copenhagen | Image: Irina Boersma

My style icon is no one person – not because I believe I have nothing to learn from other people, but rather because I know I can learn from everyone. 

My favourite room in my house is the balcony, or rather balconies – we have a morning one where I watch the sunrise, and an evening one where we can have a cup of tea as the sun sets. There’s only just room for the two of us but it’s lovely to sit there listening to the birds singing.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s an extremely well-written examination of our present and our future. 

An object I would never part with has yet to find me. There’s nothing wrong with buying products – I make a living creating them, after all – but I won’t ever let an object become my identity.

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An unforgettable place I have travelled to in the past year is the mountains around the Tuscan village of Roccatederighi. My girlfriend Camilla and I were staying with friends and, as we love walking, we’d gone off into the mountains. We managed to get ourselves lost, but just as we were starting to worry, a family of wild boar appeared with their young. They came really close to us, which felt amazing.

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a tiny black and yellow snail shell that I found in Italy. The geometry and mathematics of a snail’s shell never cease to fascinate me – it’s a minimalistic structure that is also extremely clever and poetic. I find the simple colours of this one particularly beautiful. 

The mountain village of Roccatederighi, Tuscany
The mountain village of Roccatederighi, Tuscany | Image: Alamy

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Jægersborggade in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. This street used to be the centre of a gang war, but now it’s one of the most exciting parts of the city. It’s full of restaurants. Grød, which serves mostly porridge, is one of my favourites. The owner has become a kind of rock star – he does porridge demonstrations at music festivals. Manfreds is good for relaxed, rustic dishes, and for a treat there’s Relæ, where the food is all about maximum flavour and minimal ingredients. There are about 40 art galleries in the street too, as well as more independent design shops than I can name, but that’s the joy of it – every shop there is interesting. Grød, Jægersborggade 50, 2200 (+4550-585 579; groed.com). Manfreds, Jægersborggade 40, 2200 (+4536-966 593; manfreds.dk). Relæ, Jægersborggade 41, 2200 (+4536-966 609; restaurant-relae.dk). 

The last meal that truly impressed me was a breakfast Camilla made for me recently. We ate fruit, bread, avocado, eggs and asparagus. It was delicious, of course, but what made it special was that it was just an ordinary day and she had taken such care over each element.

A black and yellow snail shell Slaatto found in Italy
A black and yellow snail shell Slaatto found in Italy

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were two pairs of Biom Fjuel shoes. They’re like slip-on trainers so they’re incredibly comfortable, but they can look smart too. From £130; eccoshoesuk.com.

The last music I downloaded was my brother Jonathan’s new album Ydun, released in September He’s a classically trained cellist but on this he’s playing with the jazz pianist Carsten Dahl and they’re improvising a new style of music

Porridge at Grød, Jægersborggade, Copenhagen
Porridge at Grød, Jægersborggade, Copenhagen

In my fridge you will always find free-range organic eggs and oat milk. I love boiled eggs, cooked for five minutes and 40 seconds, and I always start the day with a bowl of oat-milk porridge. Bananas are another staple, although I don’t keep them in the fridge – I eat so many that my doctor has told me it’s not healthy.

The grooming staple I’m never without is a toothbrush. I don’t care what brand or colour it is, but the head must be soft.

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If I weren’t doing what I’m doing now I would be a professional musician. I used to be one, so I am already in my alternate career.

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