Norwegian sustainable luxury brand, Søster Studio, was founded in 2017 by Pernille Nadine. Committed to creating transparent, social and environmentally responsible designs, Søster Studio is a seasonless brand, deliberately crafted in small quantities. The creative mind behind the brand, Pernille, is a passionate, self-taught designer who isn’t afraid of stepping into the unknown, resulting in the creation of raw, yet beautiful and timeless designs. I had a conversation with Pernille, discussing everything from the beginning of her fashion journey, to the core values of Søster Studio, and the challenges she has encountered along the way.
How was your journey entering the fashion industry?
I started freelancing in London as a makeup artist and stylist, building my network and learning about different aspects of the industry. The industry is quite small and there is a lot of talented people, so you have to be someone that people want to work with, if you want to build a sustainable career. To me, it’s been important to support others, be nice to everyone and work hard no matter what. I think that pays off later!
Did you have any background in design when you first started?
I’m completely self-taught. I’m still learning and growing, so I embrace things that are uncomfortable and not always perfect, and I make sure to put myself in places and situations that I can learn from. Sharing ideas, collaborating and creating no matter what, and I always ask questions. I think the mystery of not knowing sometimes is more exciting than knowing. You make mistakes and you learn.
What are the values behind the brand Søster Studio?
Creating a more sustainable industry and being mindful throughout the whole process, working towards a more inclusive and diverse industry as well as empowering women. And of course, to inspire and excite you.
What drew you into sustainability? Was that your vision from the beginning?
I think it’s common sense if you’re starting a business and a fashion brand now. It was one of the core values from the very beginning. I have always been pulled towards change and what’s exciting and transformative. I’m not really interested in what’s safe and traditional.
Why do you think it is important to place focus on sustainability in fashion today?
There is no choice, there won’t be anything around to make fashion with, if we don’t take responsibility and move towards a circular economy and more sustainable system. Good design, is sustainable design.
Has your perception of the fashion industry changed since you first entered it?
It may look cold from the outside, but it is filled with some of the kindest and most supportive people. It’s an amazing multi-cultural platform to create change, and convey important stories!
What inspires you?
People who are passionate about something and work hard. Art, music, travel, sex, movies, imperfection. I also find inspiration in the weirdest things, so I keep my eyes open, and take in whatever and whoever is surrounding me.
You come from a Nordic country. Does that influence your design in any way? If so, how?
For sure. Coming from a country that values minimalism and practicality, it influences my design practice through focusing on durability, timeless design and only creating pieces with meaning.
Being a vegetarian brand, what kind of materials you use?
Instead of using leather, I work with alternatives such as apple leather. I also work a lot with tencel and recycled materials.
Who are you designing for?
Anyone who wants to feel good, who are free, and who cares about the story behind the garment.
What makes your brand unique and important?
The fact that I’m building a sustainable brand from scratch, and everything I’m putting out there has a reason to exist, and an important story behind it. I’m not afraid of challenging the status quo.
What kind of challenges has Søster Studio faced along the way and how do you encounter them?
As anyone who wants to do things in new ways, you will get criticised for that and it might take some time for everyone to get it. I try to find the balance of following the rules in some aspects, and not compromising on any of my values. However, I have to work from within the system to be able to challenge the system.
As of now, being a one woman show and self-funded has a lot of obvious challenges. I work for other brands on the side, wishing I had more time to focus on this. Nevertheless, I would rather take my time and do it right than to rush anything.
Looking into the future, what can we expect to see from Søster Studio?
Collections, photos and videos that make you feel something and that hopefully are a part of a bigger conversation. I want to grow this into a lifestyle brand and have the collections available in concept stores worldwide. Hopefully you’ll see some exciting collaborations too!
For more inspiration on sustainability and female empowerment, check out our interview with Julie Brøgger from Brøgger >>>
Tags: fashion interview, Norwegian fashion, søster studio, sustainable fashion
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