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Oslo Runway program committee 2023

Introducing this year's program committee.

The program committee consists of eight dedicated industry leaders with different expertise and experience from the fashion scene; Andreas Melbostad, Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir, Mia Mariaux de Serres, Alexander Marthinsen, Patrick Stangbye, Elin Carlsen, Ali Gallefoss and Sunniva Hartgen. The committee has assessed all of this year's applications, and carefully selected which designers will showcase during Oslo Runway 2023.

Alexander Marthinsen is the co-founder of F5 Concept Store. With more than 10 years of experience within retail, mainly working with Norwegian fashion brands, as well as starting his own brand, Alexander is great at identifying new design talents. He has also previously been a board member of the Norwegian Fashion Hub.

– Of all the applicants, many had a strong identity, were visually on point, driven by a strong mission, or had great commercial appeal and potential. The secret sauce is of course to be as well rounded as possible; strong design, a mission and a strategy to achieve it, the right values and to not be afraid to actually manufacture products that will sell to the audience. I expect to see interesting and possibly great things from some of these brands and designers, both the ones chosen to present this season, and from the ones that did not make the cut this time, but will remain on my radar for the future, says Alexander Marthinsen.

Ali Shah Gallefoss is an artist with a background from both fashion and art, and has worked on multiple projects where the two meet. Ali create wall art, functional art and interior architecture, and recently debuted with solo exhibitions in Milan and Firenze. As the Head of Art for Oslo Runway, Ali appreciate the various creative expressions from the jewellery designers this season.

– I am very interested in jewellery. In fact, I was close to start my own jewelry brand 10 years ago (and I might still do it someday.) I have seen that the jewellery scene has developed immensely over the past 10 years. Norwegian fashion brands and jewellery brands are making a name for themselves internationally, and this might be why we see so many new, young jewellery designers surfacing lately. It makes me very excited to see the rise of a jewellery design culture, and I am happy to be contributing to their visibility to the Norwegian audience, but also outside of Norway, through international press, says Ali Shah Gallefoss.

Andreas Melbostad has extensive design experience, from holding top positions for renowned international fashion brands over the past 20 years, namely; Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and more. Melbostad now runs his own namesake brand, and is expressing great excitement for what is unfolding within the Norwegian fashion industry.

– Coming from the outside and being a part of the Oslo Runway Committee has been a great introduction into today's Norwegian fashion field. I look forward to seeing a diverse range of presentations, products and expressions, from established brands to new up-and-coming designers, says Andreas Melbostad.

Elin Carlsen has 20 years of experience in fashion and lifestyle from the Nordic retail industry, holding top positions within product and retail management, with an emphasis on strategic and sustainable development. Elin is now the CEO of Oslo Runway and runs her own sustainability agency Reform Projects.  

– Seeing the momentum Norwegian design is having right now is truly inspiring. The press covering the brands showcasing at Oslo Runway last year attracted over 60 million unique monthly readers. This shows a massive interest in Norwegian fashion and design, and I can't wait to show of an even tighter schedule with exciting new talents, and established brands taking it to the next level, says Elin Carlsen.

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Top, left to right: Alexander Marthinsen, Ali Shah Gallefoss, Andreas Melbostad and Elin Carlsen.
Bottom, left to right: Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir, Mia Mariaux de Serres, Patrick Stangbye and Sunniva Hartgen.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir works as Fashion Editor for KK – Norway’s biggest women’s magazine. She has been an industry figure for years, working as editor-in-chief for online fashion news site Melk & Honning as well as a fashion writer for over a decade. Ida is also a part of the Copenhagen Fashion Week Show Committee for AW23/SS24 and has been invested in Oslo Runway right from the start.

– Norwegian fashion has taken such an extensive leap these past years making their mark on the international fashion scene. I really feel that this year's line-up is a really strong mix of well established as well as up and coming designers and brands ready to take it to the next level, says Ida Einarsdottir.

– I’m really invested in Norwegian fashion and design, and I believe that it is my prerogative as a member of the industry to lift and support the flourishing Norwegian fashion scene going forward

Mia Mariaux de Serres is currently the Head Buyer for Villoid, Norway’s biggest online store for women. She entered her position here recently, after working for a long time as Head Buyer at Høyer. Mia has an eye for the commercial side of the fashion industry, and highlights presentation and a clear visual identity, as an essential part of setting up for success in a saturated market.

– The Jewellery segment is a tough market with great competition, because of the small and delicate products that are prone to be less visible. This year, we have seen forward-leaning, young jewellery designers presenting exciting new expressions, who I believe can challenge established players to renew themselves. From a commercial perspective, in-store presentation is essential to stand out among other brands in the same category. I am looking forward to seeing how the jewellery designers will solve this challenge when they are presenting their collections during the Jewellery Exhibition, says Mia Mariaux de Serres.

Patrick Stangbye is a Creative Director and multidisciplinary creative strategist, currently working with ROA Hiking and Blæst. His creative nature ables him to differentiate good from great, as well as he is able to see the challenges of being a young designer today.

– Most of the candidates have a specific perspective when it comes to relating to and understanding the current zeitgeist and their desire to both comment on and contribute to it. I believe this is among the most important qualities of a young designer, understanding what you would like to communicate and how. Several have a strong focus on craft and progression in terms of utilization of resources (or "sustainability" if you will), echoing sentiments shared by a growing part of the population. Others are taking a stance when it comes to belonging, and outsiderness is also given focus while keeping in mind the times we are living in which seems increasingly complex to navigate, says Patrick Stangbye.

Sunniva Hartgen is a stylist and fashion consultant and works closely with Norwegian designers and brands. She also works with Norwegian artists, such as Susanne Sundfør and Metteson, and magazines such as D2 and Vogue Scandinavia. Sunniva is passionate about Norwegian design and she is more than often bringing this into her creative projects. Her mind is shaped to spot what stands out, and she is always on the lookout for new, fresh perspectives to bring into her work. Sunniva is the Head of Fashion for Oslo Runway and is very excited to reveal the new, ambitious program Oslo Runway NEXT.

– The process of selecting the final candidates posed a real challenge for the program committee due to an overall high level among the applicants. All three candidates already possess an international appeal and a unique DNA, and it will be interesting to see how they will continue to grow and set their marks. The excitement for the first ever Oslo Runway NEXT is huge, and I can’t wait to get it all out there, says Sunniva Hartgen.