Interview: SERAC Outerwear is All About Technicality

Award-winning Industrial Designer Tore Mortvedt, is the mastermind behind the newly established exceptional outwear brand SERACHere he tells us more about his latest, wearable t-line collection, influences and why you won’t need to buy any other outdoor clothing.


First of all, I absolutely love the SERAC, collection, please tell us more?

Thank you for this great compliment! I feel that when developing a brand from scratch your persona is naturally connected to the brands DNA, and therefore I care deeply for the result with an obligation to deliver responsible products. SERAC was on my mind for quite a few years before our official start in 2016. The project has had many different names along the way, and hundreds if not a thousand of sketches with multiple prototypes before the design language felt right, and reflected the right set of values.

I’ve always liked to ‘start on the top’, aiming at the best achievable result, and I guess this attitude has directly led to our collection strategy. The T line is the core collection of SERAC. After a soft launch for A/W17 testing the collection nationally, we officially launched in December at The Shop at Bluebird in Covent Garden, London for A/W18.

The down insulated winter products T1, T2, and T3 are fully developed in Norway and produced in Italy. They are designed to be versatile in multiple ways, with an intention to give the wearer the comfort, style and functionality needed to have for a long time. The T-line uses a weather proof 3L waxed cotton from British Millerain, this fabric will wear over time, and create a patina individually moulding to the wearer. Despite a lean body, the styles allow for full freedom of movement thanks to the unique DEM™ Construction (Designed for Enhanced Mobility™). You will move with no restrictions, but look the part for your urban every day!

 

SERAC Norwegian OuterwearSERAC T1 Down Parka £2,100

 

Why is your collection different to any other line out there?

I think that the short answer to that would be that with a different design approach comes different results. I am an educated industrial designer with a background from corporate companies that allowed me to work with a single product over time, before going to market. Some of these working with a principle stating that we ‘never go to market’ if our product is not delivering higher value then exciting products in the market. I guess nothing really reached the level of perfection, but it should be the better alternative. This (design thinking) refinement process draws parallels to engineering and takes in to consideration a number of aspects of a product besides trend, style and aesthetics.

Together with experience from Helly Hansen’s technical sailing and skiing apparel, I’ve accumulated a distinct idea of how the ultimate apparel should function, feel and look like. The T-line reflects this and is specked with details that are designed to feel like a natural part of your body. But, most importantly it also has to look amazing! Think of it as a car, where the engine is half the product and more, and each year you see an updated improved model. That is the T-line.

Where did you get the inspiration for designing this collection?

I tend to look as much ‘inwards for inspiration’ as outwards, thinking more about core values, then boundaries, focusing a lot on our anatomy and garment construction. As long as we are true to our core, there’s no such thing as breaking boundaries. The T-line is inspired by the way we move and our body’s anatomy. The second prototype is inspired by the first, the third by the second and so on. I love the process and the discovery when working in 3D, and how it could potentially never stop improving and exploring with one single style.

 

 

Why should everyone have one of these outwear staple jackets/coats?

If these jackets are received the way they are intended, you will be sure to have a go to winter jacket for a very long time. There are no external logos on this jacket, and in a way each jacket will wear to fit the wearers body. It will become their SERAC. Surely the shell will wear into an ‘authentic look’, but the comfort, function and style is benchmarked.

Would you consider them as an investment piece and why?

Yes, I would. SERAC is not made to represent something new in itself. SERAC is made to offer something great, regardless if that is to look backwards sometimes to find the better answers. It is a very complete product with an extremely versatile style. You’ll find it perfect with sneakers and a hoodie as well as with a white shirt and black tie. It’s always a great option no matter where you will go and what you will wear.

SERAC is designed with an interchangeable collar system, and we are planning to develop seasonal collar updates you can buy into to ‘update your jacket’ when the urge is at its worst. I hope to be able to say that a SERAC increases in value over time.

What item of clothing are you most proud of?

That would be our current T-line. I haven’t done anything like this before. I’ve done some fun projects, but nothing like this, SERAC is definitely what I am most proud of!

 

SERAC Norwegian OuterwearSERAC® T3 Bomber Jacket £1,750

 

Can you share any plans/ambitions for the future?

Sure. For the next couple of years, we will focus purely on outerwear. The T-line, produced in Italy will evolve, and we are planning to expand it to a total of 9 styles over time – Currently it is a limited production of a 100 pieces per style, and additionally, we will develop the contemporary line that we initiated this season. It will be our creative playground where we try out new things and take some risks!

Other categories will become natural as we move forward, but even more importantly, a brand cannot be purely about the physicality of its products. There are quite specific plans on customer experience, brand content and digital products. I vision SERAC becoming much more then great outerwear.

What is your biggest achievement in your career so far? 

Well, besides SERAC and some fun work for STOKKE in my early days as a designer, I guess the ULLR freeride (skiing) concept I did in my last year at Helly Hansen is a nice achievement. The flagship product ‘Elevation Jacket’ became the most award-winning product in the history of the brand!

The current production of the three styles T1, T2 and T3 has a limited-edition run of 100 units per style, each garment identified with its own unique serial number and prices start from £1,750.


Want to know more about SERAC T-line collection? We found out more why this is not only an outwear experience >>>