Up and coming

Up is an independent fashion arena for newly established designers in Norway. The very first Up fashion show was held in Oslo, on the 29th of January at the UKS (The Society for Young Artists). Six talented designers were represented on this event, inside the “white cube” gallery space of the UKS. Upon entering the room, the audience found themselves in an environment filled with woodchip, and a center piece wooden box, that surprisingly opened up to become the catwalk! The vibe was inspiring and exciting. Now, the second edition is coming up in August, and you need to stay tuned!

After several years abroad, the founders of Up noticed that the Norwegian fashion scene was suffering from a missing link. There was no arena for young designers to show off their work, without having to pay for it – with money they couldn’t possibly have. The founders of Up felt a social, and creative, responsibility to fill this gap. They established Up; a fashion show for Up-and-coming Norwegian designers, with their own hands and without any financial support from the government. The idea was simply to state once and for all, that Oslo must have a fashion arena that promotes artistic innovation, opposed to commercial ideas about fashion as well as a commercial arena. With only the latter, it will be death of the scene.

In other words, Up’s main focus is to be supportive of emerging Norwegian designers, promoting their work by offering them a chance to exhibit it. There is a tremendous audience just waiting for it to happen, and the Up event will continue to be innovative, and always have the highest standards for how they showcase it. It is essential to highlight newcomers through different channels, and this is given priority in other cities, such as London, Stockholm and Copenhagen (the list continues). In the case of Norway, it should not be any different.

There are plenty of talents, but they don’t get the attention they deserve. We often hear ”there is a potential in Norwegian design” while we rarely see this potential promoted in the media. Where are they, where do they all go? When Up started in 2012, there was no such thing as a fashion show for newcomers. Up will continue to inspire the scene, and make the industry better, by representing a niche. Diversity is essential, and organizations like Up, are essential supplements for the growth of the scene and the fashion industry.

Up wants to put the spotlight on the creative part of the industry, and the vast amount of talented people that work together to make a show happen. Up introduces edginess through exciting collaborations with other artistic forces. It’s not only the designers that are emerging in the making of Up. The people backstage, the artists and the engineers of the show, are also up and coming in their respective fields. This is done intentionally to make the whole concept complete. Everyone involved will emerge through Up.

The criteria to present a collection at Up is: quality, professionalism in every way, and creative visualization. The designers can be both graduated and in studies. It is Up’s greatest intention to represent quality in every way of the word. The first Up fashion show was quality assured by Marina Spadafora (former senior designer at Prada and Ferragamo). This year, a new professional committee has been established locally in Oslo. The committee consists of different top-notch professionals from the industry.

Additionally, Up is working towards strengthening the term “fashion”, as the term is used almost exclusively as an expression of shopping, superficiality and celebrities. The word Fashion should be associated with craftsmanship, a trained skill, history and aesthetics. Not to mention its important role for the global business and industry, and all the subsection that is part of this industry. Sadly Fashion is often a misunderstood concept.

Having a creative arena like Up in Oslo shows that we are going towards the right direction and give the term fashion the respect it deserves.
– Andrea Johannesen and Julie L. Parisi, Founders
www.updesign.no // www.facebook/updesign.com



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