Designerkollektivet, which means “designer collective”, currently brings together 21 Norwegian fashion designers and operates as a showroom, as well as a shop and studio. The association's story begins in 2009, with an advertisement in the Norwegian Dagens Næringsliv newspaper that encouraged designers to take part in a competition – the prize being two months of free retail space in a shopping centre. It was too big for the winner, who then invited eight other finalists to join in. The rest is already history – the aim of the association is to strengthen collaboration and solidarity among local designers, while at the same time, to promote local design and serve as a sustainable alternative to global mass fashion. In August, Designerkollektivet opened a pop-up shop, GlasMagasinet - in Oslo's oldest and most legendary department store.
Designerkollektivet defines Scandinavian fashion design as “pure, clean, with a dash of tradition and high quality”. Even it's difficult to draw up a straight and defined line of what this is, and what it could be, they believe that culture, nature and history affect Scandinavian designers, and therefore, their expressions are different from those of designers living in, for instance, a warmer climate.
Concerning different guidelines and criteria, Designerkollektivet always searches for designers and brands that have a strong identity, an ethical and ecological philosophy, and products that represent handcraft and high quality. And, of course, communication with our already existing brands is also important.
This means that they constantly strive to maintain a good balance between the interesting, traditional and well-established, and the new and up and coming brands, clothes, accessories, etc.
How did you come up with the idea to make the Designerkollektivet pop-up shop?
In the autumn of 2009, Anne Cecilie Rinde - founder and creative director at Vera & William, had discussed and thought of possible ways to gather different colleagues together. So, when the Aker Brygge Shopping Centre made an open-call for interesting projects, she didn't hesitate to contact them and suggest a Pop Up - Designer Shop. The rest is history, and we can consider the whole idea as being a grand success.
Despite Designerkollektivet having started as a Pop Up Shop, after four years it's still running, growing and developing. After several different locations, and a most fertile co-operation with Aker Brygge, Designerkollektivet closed and moved from there in May 2013 – due to the shopping centre's total refurbishing.
Designerkollektivet then re-opened this summer in a beautiful location on GlasMagasinet's 3rd floor – during Oslo Fashion Week in August 2013.
Since 2009, we have housed around 50 different Norwegian brands, for shorter and longer periods. One of our main missions is to be a designers' nest – a pool of inspiration where we can all grow, share and help each other, as well as meet our customers face to face – and this was really fulfilled.
How has the concept and image of the pop-up shop changed, if it even has changed at all...?
After moving so many times at Aker Brygge, and then this summer to GlasMagasinet, we have decided to re-design our whole retail concept/image step by step, making it cleaner and more monochrome; allowing each brand to be seen without them "killing" each other...
We see this as an ongoing process, and we work on adapting to our specific location whenever we see it as being necessary.
If the Designerkollektivet pop-up shop was a journey, how would you describe it?
A most exciting journey, full of several interesting, unique and most beautiful impressions, which are then followed by certain unknown, and sometimes quite demanding, challenges... I also see it as a road that was made by by the members of Designerkollektivet, for the members – as we walk it together, step by step..
Are there any special activities planned besides the shop's everyday work?
We constantly work on our activity plan, and we also invite our members to take the initiative to arrange special events.
In addition to that, we have close communication with GlasMagasinet's own activity plan.
We can mention our next event – “Fashion Walk About”, on the 19th of September; all of the main shopping centres in Oslo will be participating, such as GlasMagasinet Stortorvet, EGER Karl Johan, Steen & Strøm Magasin, Byporten, Arkaden and Oslo City.