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Studio visit Diawéne

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

We feel very blessed to be able to keep working with Diawéne despite the circumstances that the world is still in. We have had the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on our future and who we want to be in this world.

For Diawéne the biggest inspiration has been the values and traditions of cultures that have been surrounding us since we were young. We have learned to use this inspiration in our brand as we believe Diawéne is a reflection of the people around us. Creativity for us comes in many forms and, therefore, we try our best to mix the best of the cultures we know, and use this as an opportunity to show people the beauty in it.

Why are sustainable practices so important to Norwegian designers?

Norwegians have a close relationship to nature and are raised with taking care of society, and each other, in a unique way. We all do our part, individually and collectively, that makes a difference. We believe that this practice might transfer to Norwegian brands. If each brand does its part, we collectively make the world a better place.

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

We have understood that Norwegian design is considered to be simple, but of high quality. We are a country that values minimalism and clothes that are practical. In Diawéne our jewelry is influenced by the simplicity of the Scandinavian expression, but mixed with the details and finishes of the traditional West African look. We also believe that Norwegian design is exotic to countries and cultures outside of Scandinavia as we find inspiration in our unique environments like fjords, the woods, water, purity, the sky, cabins, Norwegian summer, architecture, and such. 

What motivated you to found Diawéne?

Our motivation comes mostly from our childhood. Ever since we can remember we have been decorated with jewelry from Senegal and The Gambia. It has been an important part of our journey, therefore, it is also one of our most valuable motivations for expressing our appreciation for traditional Senegalese and Gambian design. Our brand is about more than our products. We embrace our opportunity to give back and create a positive change in our society. We want to make sure that we run a business that is both socially and environmentally sustainable. Our brand philosophy is to embrace sustainability and help smaller economies in developing nations. We produce our products in Senegal, because they have a long history of beautiful craftsmanship within various segments. More importantly we produce there in an effort to create jobs in our community, and ensure our partners receive fair pay. We believe that this is a more sustainable way of lifting the local community, and helps create positive ripple effects on society.


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

A regular day for us is a day filled with different types of locations, people, online meetings, coffee, physical meetings and other elements. We love to work from home, but we value being able to work from wherever we are. Therefore, we like to say that the world is our office. We find motivation and inspiration in our surroundings and we use that to get the results we need. Diawéne is lucky enough to have been built up by creative, intelligent, hardworking, and exceptional people. Together we inspire each other through conversation and experiences. We meet a lot of different individuals on our way as we move a lot around not only in our hometown Oslo, but also in the world. We discuss quite a bit, listen, agree and disagree. We learn from others and our team.

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