Nicolai Bergmann

by Catherine Shaw
Nicolai Bergmann Tokyo has become home-from-home for Danish-born floral artist Nicolai Bergmann whose newly unveiled Aoyama flagship outlet—an über chic combination of café, florist and chic exhibition and event space—opened to acclaim in late 2010. The designer, aged 34, is renowned for his inspired approach to contemporary floral creations ranging from lacquer boxes tightly packed with exquisite miniature roses to vast statement pieces that blur the line between artwork and flowers.

My personal style I try to keep it simple. I really like a good pair of designer jeans, especially from Louis Vuitton because of their cut. I also love shoes; I have many, especially sneakers. Japan is a great place for finding those. For more formal wear I prefer a black suit preferably from Armani or Tom Ford and I wear it with a simple black shirt and tie. I try to avoid a stereotypical Danish look; I prefer a more Italian or international style.

Inspiration for my work 20I take inspiration from many different things but funnily enough, very rarely from flowers themselves. Quiet time is very important for creativity. If I take off a whole weekend I find my thinking is very different on the Monday morning. I should probably put relaxing on my agenda! More often I find myself inspired and energized by art, architecture, travel and things I see in my daily life. I particularly like interior designers Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall and Tokujin Yoshioka’s works for their shapes and colors. My Danish background is also important, especially for its traditional clean uncluttered aesthetic.

Favorite weekend escape I enjoy escaping to the Mt. Fuji region for its open space, mountains and to play golf. It’s close enough to Tokyo to visit even for a day and it allows me to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, driving. This year I am hoping to buy a weekend house, but so far it’s been quite difficult to find the perfect place.

My favorite place in Japan That would be Tokyo. I love the way it is such a big city, but how one can find a smaller world just one block away from the busiest street. It is not like that in other cities such as New York. Here I constantly discover smaller interesting places.

Personal Grooming Routine For the past 10 years I’ve had my hair cut by Kaz at Dude, a very interesting small salon in Harajuku. I tend to use Clinique Skin Supplies For Men, especially their face and shaving creams. My favorite aftershave is Marc Jacobs. Sometimes I go to the Roppongi Hills Spa in Tokyo for a relaxing massage.

The luxury I cannot do without 21My cars … I have two, but that is only because of the limits of parking in Tokyo! I currently have a Porsche Tagra and an Audi Q7. If I had another space I would definitely also buy a late 1976 Porsche, the same style as I have now. I’ve always loved cars; I rebuilt one for two years before I could even get my driver’s license.

Where I feel most at home Obviously Denmark is where I was born, but when I go there now I have a strange mixed feeling about being at home, probably because I no longer have a house there. I feel very happy in our Roppongi Hills apartment. It’s warm and comfortable and we have all our things there.

The best gift I have ever received That would have to be Jack, my two-year-old son. He is at the age where I can relate to him and I really enjoy being with him. We want him to spend time with us in the shop so we try to involve him as much as possible. He is allowed to play with things, but already understands to be careful with items.

My favorite website and apps I don’t spend much time on websites and don’t enjoy surfing the net. I keep up to date with Danish news; there is something enjoyable about reading in your own language. I don’t shop online. The only site I really spend time on is www.gooworld.jp, an internet site for used cars. I can spend hours on it. On my iPhone are the musical search engine Shazam, a very useful currency converter which I use daily, and the Tokyo Art Beat app. I am currently building my own app.

Favorite Meal 22My favorite restaurant is Piccolo Grande in Azabu Juban. It is very popular, but we are such regulars the owner is very good about finding us a spot. The atmosphere is very homely and the Italian food is simple but very good. I don’t even need to order my drink, he just brings me what he knows I like. The comfortable, friendly atmosphere is something we have adopted with our own café: fresh, simple and natural ingredients nicely presented.

Twitter or not Not for me personally, although the business has one. I don’t really have the time, which is why I also don’t do Facebook.

Future plans We have some exciting events coming up at the new store like the launch of Jo Malone products. The space is very flexible so is great for private parties and major media or art launches. Our new chef is also planning to expand the menu at the café. And, of course, the flowers change constantly, reflecting the seasons and new inspirations. I feel as if 2011 is going to be an exciting year for us.

www.nicolaibergmann.com