The fact that Norway actually still has a textile industry - weaving mills, knitting factories, spinners, and even great wool, is unique. With new technology and new thinking when it comes to design and production, this is a very interesting time to work with fashion in Norway.
Sustainable practices are important to many designers, but I don't think the Norwegian fashion scene perhaps has as much focus on sustainability as it could. From small to big fashion brands, we need to work with sustainability in a creative, innovative and ambitious way to keep up with what is happening in the fashion scene internationally.
Norwegian fashion hasn't had its big breakthrough yet, which sometimes makes it harder to reach out internationally. But at the same time, we still have the chance to create our own strong niche, which is a good thing!
Oleana's own production was key; a well established factory making exquisite knitwear locally, and the possibility to work closely with production and the technical side of knits. Also, Oleana was going through an exciting generation shift with a lot of energy and openness to new ideas and influences.
The day starts with a cup of coffee in our cantina on the bottom floor of the factory, then a walk through the production floors up to the design studio on the 4th floor. On my way up I meet the knitters, product developers and programmers, linkers and seamstresses. If there are questions or something to discuss, the walk could take a while... When working on new collections I usually sample a lot, experiment with structures or try out colourways, with the luxury of often having swatches back within a few hours.
Most days the 4th floor office team meets about sales, marketing, upcoming research projects or technical development to the production. Keeping an eye on the fjord outside the factory windows helps me concentrate.