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Solveig - Aoi Project

My name is Solveig, pronounced sol-vay in Norwegian, I'm 29 years old and currently live in Oslo with my husband and our dog. "On the side" of Aoi Project I work as a web developer, yet I prefer a non computerised sewing machine!


How did you get started?

I've always been creative and had an entrepreneur state of mind. So when I inherited a sewing machine from my mother in law and started sewing, I eventually decided to create a brand around my makes. I taught myself to sew as well as attending workshops, and I also learnt a lot from watching my mother sew when I was little. I have always been interested in style and fashion, and when moving to Oslo I took a small degree in fashion while working as a photographer and stylist assistant. This gave me an in site to the fashion industry, and I learnt a lot about it's impact on the environment. Since my teens I've been very passionate about the environment and sustainability, and have always wanted to do something meaningful around the topic in order to learn more and share knowledge.

As I've previously worked as a photographer and was currently studying web development at the time, I was able to do most work creating Aoi myself, with big help from my husband who is a graphic designer and art director.


Can you describe your creative practice and processes?

I very easily get inspired, and an idea can spark from watching a series or a movie, walking to work, or by trawling the internet of course. I particularly get inspired by historic imagery, old movies and period pieces.

When an idea arise I usually sketch on paper and get a mood board down in Photoshop and see how it fits with the rest of the collection. Then I either order some fabric samples or look through my stash, to find a suitable fit for the project. If it's a completely new piece I'll draft a pattern and make a toile first or a sample from the chosen fabric. Very often I also get inspired by the fabric itself – when getting samples for a particular piece, I might get a few extra that seem interesting, and that will often initiate a new piece.


What have been your most exciting projects? 

It's really hard to pinpoint what has been most exciting. I get excited about everything I am able to make and every opportunity. If I'm allowed I would say that Aoi Project in itself is the most exciting project, as it makes me excited every single day.


What do your materials mean to you?

For me, the materials are everything. When designing a new piece, it always comes down to the material in which it is going to be made. When initially starting Aoi Project I spent the first months solely researching materials, as I did not want to make something in anything that was not up to standard. Standard being - the most sustainable option available and suitable for each piece, no synthetics, ethically made and of high quality. The right material can be so inspiring too, so it often happens that the material is chosen before the piece is even designed.


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