- Nobody is looking for a new brand, but everyone is ready for it, if you do it right, says Christian Scharning. The Creative Director of the new Norwegian TV-series "THIS IS IT", followed 7 different talented young clothing designers for more than a year. The series shows the real side behind the hard industry and we get to know 7 of the most promising designer students from the prestigious school, Oslo National Academy of Arts (KHiO). 

ENVELOPE by Selina Ekra Sei 




Norwegian fashion is on slowly, but surely getting established on the international map. The “Scandi style”, have over the past years been getting recognition by the fashion industry, and been featured in a various number of fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar. While the general style is getting the attention, Norgewian designers are fighting for being recognized by their own designs. It is a though business and only a few remains in the game.  

In the TV-series we follow; Aleksander Sahr, Alva Brosten, Eldbjørg Sved Skottvoll, Elnaz Gargari, Lars Terje Gudem Hansen, Sigurd Braathen Dalen and Thalia Steffensen. "THIS IS IT", shows the real side behind the hard industry, and we get the honour of following their journey. To get closer to the drive behind the series, we have talked to the man who took the creative initiative, Christian Scharning.


Christian Scharning - Journalist and creative director of "THIS IS IT". 

What do you think it has to take to become a well-established designer in Norway? Good question. For sure, talent isn't enough. There is a surplus of new brands popping up everywhere, and the classic luxury brands, such as Balenciaga, Dior and Gucci do a pretty good job at keeping their position on top. On the other side, fashion conscious people are always eager to fall in love with something new. I believe that the world is thirsting for something more local, with a story, and preferably sustainability. Norway is considered the underdog on the Scandinavian fashion scene, and if you work that angel right, with a solid business strategy and great social media skills, the timing is pretty good. In a way, you can say that nobody is looking for a new brand, but everyone is ready for it if you do it right.

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Any personal tips you gave to the participating designers along the way? I find that when you get to know people, if you're not a complete dick, you always want them to succeed in their life and career. Personally, I am sort of in love with all of the 7 designers we have followed, and I admire them so for what they have achieved over the last year. Occasionally we have thrown around ideas, but I also wanted the series to be realistic. So, I have tried not to get too involved with how they do things. But I do think that our conversations have pushed them the extra mile, having continuous meetings with me, where I have asked them questions about their life, goals and motivations. It is very hard to do things on your own. Often it helps just to have someone watching you try.

What triggered you to make this TV-series? As a journalist I love working with young people, and I adore being included in a world that would have otherwise been closed off to me. The world of fashion is extremely beautiful and seductive, but also quite ugly and extremely driven by hard profit. The superficial side of things, like what's this seasons "it color" is to me tiresome and meaningless. It's the creative process behind it all, using the clothes as a language - wanting to say something new, that triggers me.

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What’s next – any acceptations from the outcome of the series? Working on "THIS IS IT" has consumed me completely for a year and a half. Now I need space for my mind to grow. I have already given my employer NRK notice that I am taking 3 months off. I have no idea what I'm going to do. That's kind of the point.


Designer: Elnaz Gargari. We were present in Copenhagen Fashion Week last year where she showed her collection in the Designer’s Nest competition, and were the first Norwegian to ever win the price.  View her runway photos from the Designer’s Nest competition here.

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"THIS IS IT" can be seen on NRK-net, and on NRK1.