We came across Kjersti Vatle Toreson on IQONS and just had to ask her about her work, what influences her and, of course, whether she knows how to run in heels!
Have you always wanted to be an fashion designer?
I was into fashion from the moment I borrowed my Mother’s dresses and lipstick when I was four years old. I was really taken with everything glamorous and glittery! So yes – definitely!
How did you get to where you are today and would you do anything differently?
I grew up in a village on the South coast of Norway and because of this I didn’t have many education opportunities at the beginning. I studied Art & Design at High School and then tailoring for 2 years to obtain an “Advanced Craft Certificate in Tailor-Made Womens Wear”. I decided to go all the way and that’s when I moved to Denmark to study at TEKO Center Denmark. In my opinion it’s one of the best schools in the world when it comes to design and textiles. I finished at the top of the class 3 and a half years.
After finishing school I decided to go back to Norway. I worked as a freelance designer a couple of years and then wanted to make my own collection and my own brand. At the moment I’m working as head designer for the brand Spitzbergen (Launching summer 2009 ). I think its very important to learn production before you run your own business. And I would recommend working for a brand or another designer before doing things on your own.
Who helped you along the way?
My parents have always been very supportive -and all my friends have been adorable in encouraging me to reach my goals.
Who inspires you?
My boyfriend, my family and my friends.
What do you think is the biggest problem in Norwegian society today and what is the most positive thing?
I don’t think its the biggest problem, but I think its a sad fact that its extremely difficult to build up a business as a independent designer. I think Norway needs to learn from Denmark and Sweden. Norway has a tendency to stay still and doesn’t seem to take risks in any way. I think that this is a problem – Norway is missing out at building up industries its industries at a grass roots level.
The most positive thing is that its so easy to have a good life for the most of the inhabitants.
Do you feel Norwegian or European?
Norwegian – I’m a Viking!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I’m listening to the Kills and always my friends; Bermuda Triangle.
What couldn’t you live without?
My boyfriend, family, friends, my job and my Macbook Pro
Christian Louboutin pumps….
“Some Like It Hot”
Favourite European city and why?
I always change my opinion about my favourite cities. But at the moment its Barcelona. I was there recently visiting Bread & Butter. Barcelona’s got everything – the beach, urban exciting shops, Gaudi’s fantastic buildings, art history, great people and the best seafood and Cava in the world..
Desert island book?
Arne Næss, “Life’s Philosophy: Reason and Feeling in a Deeper World”. Or anything by Nietzsche.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
At the top of my career – with a loving family and a killer business!
Can you run in heels?
Yes I’m always running in heels. I think I was born with high heels!