As a 17-year-old, Bror August Vestbø juggled the sewing line at Kuben Videregående skole with an internship with the Norwegian design collective Haik W. As an 18-year-old, his debut collection «Orange» was hailed in international online magazines and ended up at the fashion week in New York. Learn more about the interesting up and coming Norwegian fashion designer.
His debut collection from 2016 presented at the New York Fashion Week consisted of sheer garments in nuances of orange worn by dancing models and immortalized on screen by Ori Hay Bachke.
His Spring 2022 collection consists of a series of Cinderella-like transformations and Bror August in collaboration with Benjamin Barron have made new looks from existing materials. Bror August and Benjamin Barron spent the Covid-19 lockdown in Bror August’s hometown of Oslo to look for existing materials with which they could assemble their new collection. Their mantra was to see potential in something that to begin with they didn’t really like, or in other words, seemingly a bit ugly at first and then something they liked.
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Moving to New York
In 2015, Brother August was on a plane to New York where his mother had landed a job at the Norwegian embassy. He has been interested in clothing from an early age and recalls having the aim to be a designer since he was eight years old. Taking subway rides in New York, he always analyzed every detail of what people were wearing, all the way from the shape and the materials of the garments, down to every stitching detail.
Vestbø describes the Spring 2022 collection as “having the spirit of a little girl trying on her blanket and imagining it is a fancy gown”. The duo has been looking at the work of the great couturiers, which has inspired the pair to “create new structures and silhouettes.”
“The fact that mom got a job in New York is the best coincidence that has happened to me and I am so grateful,” says Bror August. When he started out in New York it was important to him to let the brand develop with him personally. He didn’t want to force the concepts and the clothing to be beyond his age. “That’s why my clothing is going to be about things that obviously concerns me as a young person,” he said back then.
Vestbø was accepted as an intern at Eckhaus Latta, a designer who is at the forefront of innovative American fashion with leading stores such as Opening Ceremony, Assembly New York and LN-CC on his customer list.
The Spring 2022 Collection
According to the designer, he has in his latest collection tried to create dresses that will be elegant although they’re made from just a bunch of pieces from flea markets and pieces left behind. This approach was put into practice on a color-blocked dress with an asymmetric hem, sheer front, and deeply draped back that played with the way Cristóbal Balenciaga worked “creating shape in between the body.”
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Hard to make it as a designer in Norway
“There is a lot of good talent in Norway, but there is too much of old thinking, especially related to casting and models. I’m shocked that it’s always the same girl – tall, white and thin. It’s weird, we’re so forward thinking at a lot of other things», he says.
He adds that he really wants to be based in Oslo as well as New York. “I think it’s important to create our own platform and industry in Norway, which seems to be happening slowly. It’s very hard to make it as designer in Norway tough, especially because the Norwegian custumer has a very specific taste,” he explains.
The new collection, All-In, a collaboratin between Bror August and Benjamin Barron, is not only challenging the system but making us reevaluate what glamour and taste—good or bad—are.
Interesting Up And Coming Norwegian Fashion Designer, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Debut collection ‘Orange’. Photo by Jacob Landvik
All Spring 2022 images © All-In