Arriving in Norway in blistering cold, minus degrees and under-dressed, you ask yourself what kind of clothes you will see on the catwalk of the event you are invited to. It’s not bikini season that’s for sure and during this trip we learned more about how Norwegians dress up for the cold. We were incredibly happy to be invited by Fashion Conventions International to come to Oslo for a fashion event focusing on Norwegian fashion as a preview of the upcoming fashion week in February.
After defrosting a bit we made our way to the first venue for the fashion shows and it was laid out on two floors. We arrived during mid-rehersal and it was quite fun to see “THE SELECTIST” logo on the wall behind the models as we entered. What a warm welcome! The space chosen was Gamle Museet, meaning “Old Museum”, a large space with the catwalk on the bottom floor, a big room for the concerts of the night as well as an art exposition and a space for a cocktail to mingle.
It might be that you don’t know many Norwegian designers, but Jhan-Carlo David Herrera Ferrando, founder of Fashion Conventions International, is on a mission to change that. Having originally studied at both Central Saint Martins and ESMOD to become a fashion designer himself, Ferrando noticed there was a lack of competition in Norwegian fashion, a lack of promotion which left Norway outside much of the international fashion market. Hence Fashion Conventions International was created, to give a platform to Norwegian designers, distancing themselves from fashion shows who’s target are celebrities and focusing more on the buyers as the VIPs of the event.
“We don’t make a fashion show for the celebrities, we make a fashion show for the fashion brand’s perspective, to market and to find out what stores are interested.” – Jhan-Carlo David Herrera Ferrando
Through self-instructed market analysis, Ferrando gained a crucial insight into why Norwegian designers have been largely left behind by the industry. It is through his keen focus on buyers and retail brands that he has begun to increase interest in Norwegian designers and what they have to offer. By engaging a professional jury, accepted both by the top fashion brands and the exclusive fashion stores, the brands represented will gain the recognition they deserve and need to succeed in the fiercely competition fashion market. It is precisely the market analysis conducted by Ferrando that has pointed out that this type of event was previously non-existent in Norway.
As having been engaged in Norwegian fashion being brought to a global audience, I found this trip very inspiring. I have always tried to promote Norwegian fashion designers because of their unique work. We will be glad to come back in February to see more of the talent that Norwegian fashion designers have.
Co-written by Anna Deutsch and Maiken Lorentz