Slowly and steadily, in the rainiest city of Europe, a rain project has evolved into a small rainwear company based on the concept of dugnad[1. ”Dugnad ” is an old Norwegian term for people getting together and voluntarily working towards a common goal that benefits the community , NEIGHBOURHOOD or an individual . Originally this term expressed the friendly spirit of people helping each other out when a foundation, barn or fence needed to be built.]. Ape to Gentleman first encountered Norwegian Rain earlier this year with their 350 limited piece collection, but since then the technical collection has been lauded and developed one of the most sought after Men’s wear pieces. Recently picked out as one of the “Vogue Talents”, today we take a look at Norwegian Rain’s Collection II, and get to know a bit more about the men behind the brand.
The hi-tech Collection II continues the draping and stylistic expressions from Collection I inspired by Japanese simplicity and traditional men’s tailoring. Yet, including extreme rainwear technology the styles are cut, shaped and designed to look everything but rainwear – suited to a life in ‘urbanity’. The men’s collection also includes a unisex Raincho model. Throughout their works you can see the commitment to philanthropy, for example;
In Oslo you get a discount of €120 off the new collection if you trade in a warm coat/jacket that you no longer use as part of Project winter coat.
Those coats will be donated to the people who need them the most this winter – a collaboration with various charity organisations in Oslo. Now the story behind the brand…
The 28 year old founder and creative director Alexander Helle was born and raised in Bergen; a city in Norway known for its heavy rain, underground music scene and the encapsulating 7 mountains that brings wild nature all the way to your front door. Living in Bergen means a life in rain. With dry living as motivation, he went home to join forces with local expertise; including the bespoke tailor/designer, T Michael, and the graphic design studio, Grandpeople. Drop by drop, the rain project has evolved into a small design company named Norwegian Rain -based on the joined workmanship between raindrenched creatives of Bergen with Alexander Helle as the creative director and T Michael as bespoke tailor/designer.
Teaming up with specialists in rainwear making and leading eco-conscious suppliers in the industry, Norwegian Rain aims to pursue the most environmentally friendly solutions throughout the production process. Embracing every drop of inspiration, the collective hopes to excite and positively surprise enthusiasts with their sartorial eco take on contemporary rain gear.
Norwegian Rain’s garments conceal some of the highest level of weather protection available. Each garment consists of three layers; a highly water-repellent outer shell, a hi-tech waterproof and breathable membrane laminated to the inside of the garment and a satin lining that keeps the technical, high-performance aspects visually understated. A heat sealing film is applied to each seam to eliminate water penetration in the tiny holes made by the stitches. Additionally each garment has a subtle functional construction that escalates ventilation of air without water entering.
The hi-tech fabrics (including the membrane) from Japan is made of 100% recycled fibers and organic cotton. No solvents are used in the production of the membrane, waste is eliminated, oil and energy consumption are decreased, while CO2 emissions are reduced by approximately 80% compared to normal production.
Above is a video interview of Norwegian Rain founder Alexander Helle, at the Milan fair WHITE, where Norwegian Rain recently made a special installation together with artists, designers and musicians with roots from the rainiest city on the European continent.