A collaboration that's been years in the making; We+Storm is finally a reality! A sophisticated, clean capsule of wardrobe staples for men with an unparalleled focus on detail and sustainable production. We sat down with the man behind our newest collab - Storm Pedersen - to get his insight and thoughts on the collection.
You didn’t grow up in the big city, tell us more about your background and how you ended up as a well-known fashion personality and stylist?
I grew up in a small fishing village in the north of Norway, called Bø i Vesterålen. When I grew up there it was about 4000 people living there, so it was a very small community spread out on a pretty big area. I was a lonely child and didn’t have many on my same age in the neighbourhood, so I had to find my own ways to keep me entertained. I think that stimulated my creativity on a large scale and I was a very artistic child.
I was always interested in looks and how I dressed - I had very strong opinions about that, haha, and thanks to my mother, she let me play around with clothing and took an interest in that with me, which has been super helpful growing up. Fashion (and dance) just got to be my biggest interests growing up, and I actually applied to a fashion School, Esmod, when I was 12. I heard it was very hard to get into that school, so I just wanted to be in advance. Of course, I didn’t get in, haha.
From there I had learned I had to get a proper degree, but I kind of died inside at high school, where I was studying business. I don’t remember much of those years, other than I was not happy when I was not creating, so I became a dancer instead. The road from dancing to styling, was actually not so long - because I see things as a whole. Styling is more than just putting clothes on people, balancing out a pear-shaped body. It is a feeling for me, and that feeling might frighten some people who like to put things in a familiar box. That's why I had to move to New York after years of doing styling in Norway, for TV, magazines, celebs, red carpet, commercials lookbooks, runway, musicals etc. I found my home there and didn’t have the same limitations as I did in Norway. You can say the limitations I had growing up in a small town moving to the capital of Norway, Oslo, became equal to moving from Oslo to New York, just in a bigger scale. In New York, I felt alive, and people appreciated my work more than anyone had done before. So I moved up pretty quickly there, and styled for some major celebrities and ended up doing work for big magazines like Elle and Vogue. I guess it was my work in the states that drew attention to me as a personality, and I was headhunted for tv shows in Norway and got a major contract with Loreal Paris as their spokesperson. Good times.
We are obviously super excited to work with you on this project, tell us a little more about how this collab with We Norwegians/ Tove came about?
I actually met Tove on a small island in Greece, where we got super excited about each other's work. We connected really well, and also shared the same values when it came to sustainability and how to buy and wear clothing. This was some years ago, but that holiday was the seed of We+Storm.
As a stylist and fashion blogger you have a lot of experience with high-quality garments and fabrics, fits etc – what is your experience and familiarity with merino wool and what would you say makes We + Storm stand out from other lines out there?
I’ve learned a lot through the years, with all the different people I’ve styled and the needs to each personality, also I had to deal with very low budgets. So I’ve grown up with the idea of “how can I make the most of very little”. This is also an idea I’ve brought into this collaboration. I do think good quality and basic pieces are the essentials of any wardrobe, and when it comes to men, less is more. So we made a great deal out of the fitting of the products to make the most out of it, and make men actually look good. For instance; our t-shirts are draped to give the illusion of broader shoulders and a narrower waistline, which is basically what any man wants. I think that is whats lacking in other wool brands, a fashionable approach that also will look good for years. Also, working with the finest quality of merino wool gives another perspective of great comfort, which especially men wants. If a man doesn’t feel comfortable - he would never wear it, easy as that.
What was your biggest inspiration for this line?
To get back to my roots, bigtime! With all the madness going on around in the world, a hysterical shopping culture, the pollution and the idea of you can’t wear the same outfit twice, takes us away from what’s important in life. I treasure friendship, family and a love for good food and quality time - and that shouldn’t come 2nd and looks first. So I had to look back to where I grew up, and the simplicity of it all, but in the same time bring my knowledge of what I’ve learned in my 15 years in the fashion industry into the collection with the quality of the fabrics and a very good cut, so you don’t have to think more about it. It’s kind of honouring my legacy - I just need a say in it, hehe.
What were the most important elements for you to incorporate when creating the WE + Storm line with We Norwegians?
Tove already brought her impeccable knowledge of the merino wool and how the fabrics works, so I didn’t have to give that so much thought. What was important to me personally, was to make any man look good with a fashionable, but not intimidating, cut. It’s all classical garments with a contemporary feel that fits anyone - something I think makes We+Storm one of a kind. Remember, this is wool we are talking about, not cotton, so I can say one of a kind.
What would you like to say to the person who’s considering buying one or several of the WE + Storm garments, either for themselves or as a gift, but they are not 100% convinced yet?
Hehe - be careful, you might not want to try out anything else.
Photo: Simon Skreddernes
Video: Finn Burrows