Christopher Östlund was born in Uppsala, in 1966. He is the son of sculptor and painter Staffan Östlund and Kärsti born Cederblad who was a writer. He showed interest in design, photography, architecture and economics at an early age. At the age of 15 he got a job at the Swedish Bank "Upplandsbanken" and it's investment department, after having a successful position there as an intern the year before. This created internal opposition in the bank, as to whether it was suitable for such a young person to work in a fund department which made recommendations on buying and selling stocks.
During high school he was awarded a scholarship for an exchange program in Denmark. As the only Swede in Tuborg he showed good results within marketing and finance, which created some important contacts. After he started military service to become an officer, he was offered a position at Tuborg once again. After a year he was offered one of the older staff member's duties, however he felt this was morally wrong, and quit the company to begin studies at the University of Uppsala and Stockholm. His studies were interrupted by an opportunity to start working for the newly started television channel Nordic Channel, which by the way was owned by one of his relatives, Matts Carlgren. There he was responsible for creating income for the channel and became a member of the programme board for the channel. Another career was started in 1990 when he bought 33% of the recently started student magazine Vägvisaren. Under his command, it later became one of the biggest student magazines in Europe. He also launched the idea of giving away free postcards on postcard racks to all students in Sweden, an idea that was exported throughout the world. In 1994 he started with magazines, Plaza Magazine became his first and since then it has been followed by many other publications. He also introduced bungy jumping to Sweden in the early 90s.
"Bungy Jump is a crazy idea and challenge for the human psyche. I never thought I would get to meet so many who have the guts to jump from 90 meters and so many you think have the guts yet who fail. My first big lesson in psychology." Christopher is very interested in psychology, but also in philosophy. He often says the business leaders of the future have to master this area. He also has an interest in star signs and how they effect the personality, but is not interested in horoscopes. He is interested in the human being behind the surface, as he puts it himself.
Privately, he is also interested in art (he owned the magazine Konstvärlden 1995 to 1998), photography, books, vintage cars, vintage boats (his uncle was the famous boat constructor Ruben Östlund) and architecture. It's the details that make up the whole picture, according to Christopher.