Designer ambitions

While designers like Nora Farah are striving to bring their collections outside Norway, others like success story Siv Støldal, a former collaborator with Fred Perry, is leaving London to come back home to roost.

 Nora Farah is by definition a measure of success in the Norwegian fashion industry. Prior to designing her own collection in 1992, the French-Norwegian designer worked for couture houses in Paris such as Azzedine Alaia and fashion apparel companies in Oslo, gaining renommé for her elegant evening gowns for music and film stars. In 2004, she started producing her own prêt a porter line. She sells to around three dozen stores all over Norway and has a showroom in Majorstuen, Oslo’s trendy western shopping district.

But Farah has bigger ambitions. She is working on breaking into the Scandinavian and European market and has sights for Japan. That is not easy without economic help for small designers, she said. In England, for example, designers are reimbursed for bringing their collections to international fashion weeks as a way of stimulating UK export. Keep an eye on Nora Farah in the future as she and her design talent continue to make waves in Norway and beyond.


Siv Støldal collection AW0809.
© Sveinung Skaalnes

Coming Back Home
Siv Stoldal has already made it big on the international scene with her menswear line. But she is giving up her East London lifestyle to settle back in her hometown of Tyssøy, a small island community of 50 just outside of Bergen.

It was both a personal decision and a business one. She has lived in London for nearly 10 year and was loathe for her three-year-old daughter Matilde to grow up as an East London teenager. She fondly recalls taking the boat to school in Tyssøy when she was just seven. Now with the internet, she could work anywhere she wanted. Her production is in Hong Kong, her press office in London, and her collection is in around 20 stores world-wide, from Scandinavia, Moscow, and London to Korea.

“I don’t see it as really that much different from being in London than on the island at Tyssøy,” said Støldal. “In daily life, you don’t actually need to meet people face to face. My friends are envious.”

Støldal believes there is an absolute potential for Norwegian designers to break out in the international scene. She herself has collaborated on clothes with Fred Perry, shoes with Kickers and jewellery with Husam El Odeh. One of the biggest impediments is mentality, she said. Designers need to show their collection at the international trade show.

Success stories like Siv Støldal are important to the ever-expanding Norwegian design environment, a success story that is far from completed.

Related articles

Latest articles

Ship Energy Efficiency: The Fourth Wave

Shipping has seen three waves of energy efficiency trends since 2007. The latest buzz is the Big Data revolution.

Sustainable Fish Farming Solutions: From Feed to Egg

The challenge of rising fish feed and sea lice costs is stimulating new sustainable technology solutions in Norwegian aquaculture. In the future, producers might raise salmon in egg-shaped offshore farms.

Standardization Key During Low Oil Price

The Norwegian petroleum industry is focusing on standardized solutions, inspired by Formula One and Lego, to help tackle rising field development costs.

Blue Growth for a Green Future

The Norwegian government recently launched its new maritime strategy “Blue Growth for a Green Future” aimed at keeping the country’s second largest export industry competitive and sustainable.

New Development Licenses Spur Ocean Farming

Norway has initiated free development licenses to spur new technology concepts to tackle the aquaculture industry’s acreage and environmental challenges. Many of the applicants are innovative ocean farms.

Bucking the trend: Norwegian Shelf Still Attractive

The Norwegian Continental Shelf continues to be attractive even amidst the low oil price environment. Statoil’s giant Johan Sverdrup oil field development is just the latest example.

British Showing Great Interest in “Frozen at sea”

The British are the world’s largest consumers of cod. 70 percent is used in the “fish and chips” market. Lately several Norwegian owners of trawlers have discovered the British market for the “frozen at sea” concept.

The many reasons to choose Norwegian seafood

There is an ongoing debate regarding the pros and cons of eating wild or farmed fish, or, in fact, eating seafood at all. In this article we look at the arguments for and against wild and farmed fish. Seafood is not just a...

New Ways to Enhance Oil Recovery

Norwegian companies are testing more advanced ways to enhance oil recovery, everything from converting shuttle tankers to stimulate wells and springing titanium needs inside liner holes to open up tight formations.