Meet the men behind Norwegian Rain
Tell us about each other and your team?
AH is an economist with a functionalistic approach to creativity, TM is a tailor with artistic values. As a duo we have a created a living out of our life in the rain. Along us, we also have a photographer, three graphic designers, a programmer turned financial advisor, and an Antwerp intellectual with background from Damir Doma.
How the idea of hi-tech raincoats was born?
AH: Born and raised in the rainiest city in Europe… we’re doomed think functional in our daily life. Our task is to make this an inspirational strength that not only protects, but also gives an edge to how people dress worldwide.
T-M: Fusing Alex's initial idea with my tailoring and stylistic approach and a dash of Japanese sensibilty all transferred to 100% waterproof Japanese high tech fabrics.
AH:Bergen, is a small, creative city with 250 000 inhabitants on the West coast of Norway. Thanks to 7 surrounding mountains it has a unique ability to attract every cloud drifting in from the North Sea. We are all trapped together with the rain, the nature and the city streets and Norwegian Rain is our attempt to make this a life in harmony.
What is the fabric specialty?
AH:The Japanese hi-tech and recycled fabrics are made for the most harsh weather conditions you’ll find, like offshore and extreme mountaining. Highly water repellant on the surface and a waterproof, yet breathable membrane on the inside. The last point is essential as our aim is not to only make a raincoat, but a coat that is just as comfortable in sun. Then ventilation optimization is crucial. And just as important for the versatility of it, the look and feel of the fabric gives associations to tailoring rather than synthetic raincoats. It is hidden functional.
Describe type of a person who wears Norwegian Rain?
AH:Like tailoring, the aim is not to attract a specific kind of person, but to enhance the look and experience of any man or woman that wear or look at our creations.
T-M: A person that would like to maintain their chosen style and swag even under harsh weather conditions. The no-compromise kinda person.
Variety of awards and recognition around the fashion capitals. How did you start putting yourself out there?
AH:First of all, this is a long walk that starts with making a relevant product. You gotta walk the walk. We used 2,5 years on the product and how to present it, before we launched it. I guess you can say that we did our homework of being ready when opportunities arise. A journalist from Dazed & Confused visited, by chance, our pop-up in Bergen and made a good story about it. Then we were invited to showcase our debut collection at WHITE show during Milan Fashion Week after they had checked out our website based on a tip from a friend from my exchange in Milan. Then showcasing at Tranoi in Paris. We believe in presence where and when the fashion industry meets. -For the networking, for the PR, sales, energy, motivation… This (usually) never comes to Bergen. We need to be out there.
T-M: Hardwork, dedication, hardwork, great team players, hardwork, the ability to stay motivated even during adversities and , you've guessed it, hardwork!!
Were you get supported by your family and friends?
AH: Initially, no one believed in it. They all wanted me to choose something safer and get more experience before going all in. Which is not a bad advice at all. It forces you to reflect on it. And being 200 % sure that this is mountains you wanna climb for a long, long time. That said, when the decision was taken they have been more or less supportive. Now they’re all happy.
TM: I suppose they did
Who daily inspires you?
AH: People that dare to push boundaries are for me very inspirational, most people are followers. If enough people dare to try then the world would be a much more interesting and better place to be.
Within fashion… Yamomoto for the volumes and edge. Margiela for the universe. Acne for their windows, Art Comes First for their creative energy.
T-M: Everything around me really. There is no set format that inspiration comes in. It hits you when you least expect it. One should be receptive though.
What daily inspires you?
AH: Getting away from daily life as it gets me in an inspirational and creative mood. And surreal art and architecture as it kicks the mind out of routine mode.
T-M: The answer is the same really as in the question above. You know, the thing is our lives are usually based on how we want to live it. Consciously or unconsciously, so by being slightly inclined towards being a receptacle for inspiration usually enhances our perceptions and attitudes. That in itself is inspirational enough.
What is you next step?
AH:This is a so much more relevant question than where we are in 5 years as 5 years is impossible and hence not relevant to predict. Thank you. Product wise, it is collabs with two iconic, British labels of shoes and bags. But we are also chewing on a retail concept that we believe will have an interesting and inspiring impact on our future.
T-M: Baby steps, having the same naiveness, motivation, youthful attitude towards our work is what makes us achieve what we have so far. So in effect we just need to have the same traits to keep our world spinning.
Can you tell us something about your new collections that your consumers necessarily wouldn't know?
AH:Truly waterproof leather shoes based on traditional menswear is on the steps.
T-M: Our fabrics are 100% recyled polyesters and we reduce co2 emissions by 80% through our fabric production techniques.
What is the story around this new collection?
AH: Green is the warmest colour... The green is the colour we are bombarded with every day from our surrounding mountains. Associations leads to eco and nature. The title refer to kult movie and this reflects how we endeavour to balance the organic with street culture.
T-M: Rebirth, refresh and eco!
How would you describe an average working day at Norwegian Rain. From morning to evening.
T-M: Everyday presents new challenges. It's either fire fighting, fabric sourcing, finishing designs, fairs.... It's everything really. Which is the beauty of it!
AH: oui oui
Tell us your favorite media publications, online or offline
A: Zoo Magazine and FRAME for print. Online… guess instagram is the only thing I really use
T-M: no faves...
If there was one advice each of you can give to the young creative designers, what would you say?
AH: Search for a real need in the market that can be joined with something that is truly your expertise and inner values and motivation – as going this route will be your life, not just your work.
T-M: Your only true asset is being yourself. You are unique, don't abandon that to playing catch up on someone else's groove!
What would be your favorite sentence that would END with; "And...That´s it!"
AH: "That’s it! but on the other hand…"
TM: That's it really!
Let it rain!
Alexander & T
Check out their website here