My Wife and Kicks talks with Tobia Sloth from Norse Projects

A brand of few words, they prefer to let their products speak for themselves, it's not often you have the chance to speak to Norse Projects and I count it a great privilege. I recently spoke to Tobia Sloth about their Danish Weather Pack collaboration with New Balance. Check it out below.

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How did you end up collaborating with New Balance, who approached who?

When we were thinking about possible collaborative partners, we immediately thought of New Balance as they really embody much of what we like about good products and great design. New Balance has always stood for the balance between technical innovation, simplicity and understated design which comes across as both stylish and rugged - New Balance products in general withstand daily use much longer than other sports brands simply because of the high quality materials, and the way they are put together. So we approached the local New Balance agency whom are friends of ours and were really kind to help hook us up, with an idea which they liked and next step was a visit to New Balance in Flimby  - which was a great experience.

Not many get the chance to do a second collaboration let alone a pack, was there pressure to live up to the success of the 670?

Yes there definitely was - we wanted to create something new, while still embodying the essence of the first shoe, minimal clean design with a technical edge.

How did you end up choosing the 1500 silhouette?

The 1500 have always been a favorite model of Norse Projects. It represents both the classic New Balance shades with a twist of a more modern runner.

When first discussing models for the second collab, we quickly decided that doing a NB1500 made in the UK would be the perfect choise for a new collaborative project.

Norse Projects is know for simple sophisticated products which carried on to the collab, was there any pressure to do something more bold like other collabs?

No, we never let ourselves be influenced by what other companies or  " trends” per se.we feel our customers and those whom appreciate clean simple design with a utilitarian approach, know what they like and want, and we are designing primarily with them in mind, including our own sensibilities,  as all our products inherently come from a viewpoint of what we would want for ourselves, this is where the inspiration comes from when we do products there are plenty of brands working and living for the "trend" and they should just continue doing that..! :-)

What makes Norse Projects unique as a brand and how do you bring that to collaborations you do with brands?

As mentioned above I think the freedom of being able to design exactly the products we appreciate , and would want for ourselves is a key aspect for the motivation, and being able to share sensibilities with like minded people is a huge joy, seeing people respond with enthusiasm to a project that may have taken a lot of time and care to create is the ultimate reward.

Also the fact that our team, while having a common background from within the arts, skateboarding, architecture, music  and design, all have a slightly different sensibility -

so when we design we design for each of us in mind and try to work out the best slutions , and this comes across in the collections and makes it “norse”.

Can you tell me more about the concept and inspiration behind the Danish Weather Pack?

When living in Denmark the fall season is a big part of daily life, , its when the summer ends, the colors are changing and the days are slowly getting shorter and darker, in anticipation of winter.
In a way a large part of Nordic sensibility comes from the long spring and fall periods periods between winter and summer.
Around may peoples mood completely changes from the  winter melancholy to an energetic excitedness in anticipation of summer to come..
During high summer we have nearly 16 hours of sun, from 5 Am , to 9:30 Pm..daysl are long and happy and the Danes come out of their winter hideouts  and gloomy mood.'

When fall starts to set in, anticipation of the long, protracted winter sets the mood for another long winter about to come. Perhaps Its these seasonal changes that influence the nordic penchant for simplicity and subtlety in general.

The original idea was borne out of these seasonal changes and to make 2 colourways , the launch was a fall launch and while we love and ways work with blue colors we wanted the pack to embody a feeling of Denmark during the fall period, so we decided that the typical Danish forest and its leaves turning orangey and brown and  the nordic sea with its blue  & greys would be good inspirations for the colour for the two shoes - while also conveying the mood and providing great imagery as well for the launch.

How long did it take you to finalise the released version, were there many early samples that differed to the ones released?

It took a few sample revisions, among them due to various changes on our part, but the team in Flimby is really great and quickly understood where we wanted to go, and the shoes came together rather easily actually.

As a brand you are known for attention to detail which is something you brought to the project, what was the inspiration behind changing details such as using the N logo from the 991?

Yes we like our details, but we also like things to be slightly subtle -and somewhat  different from the norm if possible. Using a smaller reflective N logo seemed to fit the 1500 rather well, as it made the style at once sportier and yet also looking a bit more refined and simple. Also it referred design-wise to the classic 991 and 574`s which we wanted to honour.

Any last words?

We are never really big on words, but just a shoutout to all the people whom have supported us and followed us until now, we are really grateful that we are able to do these things and find a community out there whom seem to like and support what we do-its hugely rewarding to be able to work like this and without compromising what we want to do, and especially the new balance community whom seem to share a lot of our values and aesthetic sense are always great to work with.

Hopefully  we can continue to work with great companies and communities like the NB community and keep pushing for new and interesting projects in the future.

Thanks again for this rare opportunity!
A great thanks from Denmark!