Inclusivity has always been an important topic for emerging Norwegian brand Moirè. Their catwalks and campaigns know no boundaries when it comes to ethnicity, age or identity. For this digital edition of Oslo Runway, they have decided to not present a collection, and instead use their platform to emphasize the important topic of inclusivity and social responsibility within the fashion industry. I got the opportunity to talk to creative director Charlotte Fische about inclusivity and diversity in anticipation of their talk and their collaboration with online retailer Luisaviaroma Sustainable. (And as it’s fashion week, we did talk a little about the fashion as well)
Tell me about the collaboration you are presenting at this year’s Oslo Runway
We are presenting our collaboration with Luisaviaroma Sustainable. This is a campaign focusing on common values regarding sustainability, people, diversity and inclusivity. In March, this collaboration was supposed to be displayed in a gallery in New York for international press and meant to be a big salute and a celebration of inclusion and diversity. But, as we all know, Covid-19 happened and everything got postponed.
Why did you start Moirè?
Moirè started with a wish to create slow, unexpected and sustainable fashion. We wanted to create a brand with a strong DNA, and to be a platform where we could decide the phase and content regardless of the rules.
What does Oslo Runway mean to you?
Moirè started up in 2017 with the first collection – not long after Oslo Runway was started - so it has been important to have this arena to show, test and present for the Norwegian market and the international press. They have always been a great support for us. And for the Norwegian fashion industry as a whole, it's critical that an institution like Oslo Runway is working toward an international arena.
So Moirè and Oslo Runway have kind of grown uptogether in the industry, which makes it even more special to see your name onthe program. This also means that you are a quite young brand. Do you rememberthe biggest challenge as a new designer entering the industry?
The biggest challenge has without a doubt been to tryto do things our way and be understood and accepted on those terms. TheNorwegian fashion industry is quite small, so to be a new brand and having adesire to communicate differently, and to have a different vision for castinghas been a long and quite hard journey.
What is something you wish you knew before beginning theprocess of starting your own brand?
Maybe that the market is not always ready. So to bepatient, hold on to your core values at all times and introduce little bylittle. Always keep in mind what your essential goal with the brand is – notwhat other people’s goals are. And last but not least, connect to and withpeople who make you strong and who understands your values.
Your style can be described as maximalist minimalism,with clean lines and simplistic design, yet loads of volume and colour. Whatinspires you to create clothing that speaks loud and clear? How do you want thepeople wearing Moirè to feel?
By making small collections, few items that can beused over and over again as well as re-introducing old patterns in differentfabrics, each item needs to be strong - like a strong character. Ournever-ending fascination for strong personalities is the baseline for everythingwe design and communicate. These clothes don't hide in a corner of yourwardrobe and neither does our customers. Moirè wants you to feel and radiateconfidence - regardless of gender, colour and sexual orientation.
Your fascination for strong personalities is veryevident in your casting. I've always been so impressed and inspired by thevariety of faces, ages and backgrounds in your shows and campaigns. It trulypromotes a sense of Moirè as a brand that cares about personalities, not justbodies. How important is inclusivity and diversity to you?
We are so happy to get this question as this has beensuch an important nerve in Moirè from the beginning; to portrait all peopletrough clothes. As a commercial brand, we want now more than ever to give ourstage to someone who doesn’t always get to have a voice.
If you could only dress one person for the rest ofyour career, who would it be?
We would like to dress the waves of all the bravepeople who fight and push the rest of us forward. If we have to pick someonetoday it would be someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Indya Moore.
Another important aspect of your brand issustainability. As you mentioned, your clothing is made by fabrics that aremade to last, in factories that promote welfare and sustainability. Whenlooking at and feeling a Moirè garment, it’s evident that they are meant tostay in your closet for a lifetime. When designing clothes one doesn’t have torepurchase or change every season, do you have to think differently? Do youcompletely disregard current trends, or merely work around them?
Because fashion always reflects society, we can’tignore trends, but work with them. We use our archive of patterns and experimentwith the story and quality of garments. Being curious keeps us inspired whichoften leads to digging into old ideas that suddenly feels relevant again. Thisis probably why our clothes can last a lifetime and never goes off fashion.
The world is in a weird place right now, to say the least. The pandemicalready postponed your project, but has it influenced the way you work in anyother way?
Thru this chaotic time, we had to stop everything. Itwas a painful and hard process but now Moirè feels stronger than ever. It ishard to stand up for your values and responsibility when everything fallsapart. We had a crash course in how to handle different reactions in crises.The beautiful part is that we got the chance to get to the core of our valuesand what we want to be and how we like to work from now on.
Coming out of this difficult time, what lessons areyou bringing with you into the rest of your career?
Always trust your gut, have a high moral and don’tpanic. Take the time to calm down before any big decision making. For thefashion industry, it's a healthy change, that we all have to reset, reflect andre-invent.
Finally - if Norwegian fashion was a meal, whatingredient is Moirè?
Hm, tricky one, but we would like to be the fly in thesoup and stir up some conventional «rules» in the fashion industry carefullyand respectfully, hehe…