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Studio visit Livid

What is it like to work as a creative in Norway, today? 

It’s exciting because a lot is happening right now. Not only within clothing design but also within art, architecture, and in the restaurant and music scene. Within our line of business Norway still has a young design history and I feel many creatives seek to be part of the opportunities that lie within creating something Norwegian designers might be recognized for. Scandinavian design is becoming more and more relevant and recognized, but there hasn't been that many Norwegian labels on the scene. This is rapidly changing as more and more brands are paving the way. Which is super inspiring and certainly makes the design scene more attractive for creatives that might see a future within the clothing industry.

For us it's a good place to be. But being able to travel certainly ignites creativity in a different way. Especially when travelling to cities with a larger design legacy where one might find other creatives, and be confronted with challenging and inspiring design.

Why are sustainable practices so important to Norwegian designers?

I am not sure if this is particularly important to Norwegian designers compared to designers elsewhere. But I would dare to say that it isn't difficult to see that what becomes important in a market is important for a company that strives to succeed.

Being sustainable is practically impossible in our line of business, but doing better is an entirely different thing. Sustainability is also very complex, and it takes a lot of education in order to make the right choices. Therefore, if it is not enforced by the government, I think the motivation of doing what is right when conducting your business must come from within each company's culture, rather than as a result of market demand. That way it will be implemented in a way that is more correct, long term, progressive and honest instead of something that has a good pitch-value.

As designers we work ahead of the market. So, often I wonder; why weren't more of us ahead of becoming more transparent? Or moving our production into areas where workers were treated fairly? Environmental- and workers' rights- issues have been on the scene for decades, so why have we only now assumed it as an important factor in our business strategy?

With that being said, things are happening. And also, in our market designers and brands are stepping up their game. If we together could be a driving force for a better way of doing things, I think that will inspire the market in a positive way.

What is your view of Norwegian design in a global perspective?

As an independent label focusing on ready-to-wear, we are very product driven and therefore find many aspects within product design interesting. Both commercially driven design, as well as clothing design with a more directional approach.

In a progressive perspective, I'd say we still have a long way to go. Our market is still very commercially driven and a bit conservative. Norway consists of a lot of districts and small cities which might limit how much we are confronted with different design perspectives. That does something with us as designers, as well as many of us needing to have an approach that is also somewhat sales driven.

More platforms to showcase labels and young creatives might enable Norwegian designers with an unique and directional approach to reach out to a larger customer base, which might result in more recognition and create a better livelihood for Norwegian creatives.

What motivated you to found Livid?

Livid started out as a one-man-denim-brand in 2010. We originated simply from an interest in the vast history of denim as a hardwearing and long-lasting product. Our first years were spent customizing bench made jeans to customers in- and out- of Norway through our own factory floor in Trondheim. Starting out making everything ourselves has resulted in us working from a manufacturing point of view where the origin of every product, and how they are made, is a central aspect in our design process.

Denim as a fabric also has an astounding way of telling stories through a natural fade. The development- and wearing process can be quite unique and individual, and different fabrics will age differently depending on the characteristics of the fabric and how often you wear it. Being able to dig deeper and deeper into denim as a fabric has definitely made us very material driven when launching different products and fabrics into our growing collection line.

What does a day in the studio look like for you?

As a small company driven by a very small team, we all have very dynamic working days, and within a week we often work with a lot of things that do not necessarily have anything to do with creating something. Depending on the period we're in naturally determines our focus, but it is all very dynamic.

Normally we start our days catching up, getting through our emails and then working through today's to-do-lists while drinking vast amounts of coffee. We also spend a lot of time discussing how to do things better, both on a finishing scale of a particular product, which material we want and should use for our packaging, or bigger questions rooted in environmental challenges that we want to figure out.

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