Jetsetting designers/owners Simen Staalnacke, Peder Børresen and Stefan Dahlkvist of the Scandinavian company Moods of Norway recently opened their first US flagship, choosing Robertson Boulevard in our very own City of Angels as its first camp on American soil. Aside from amassing a gaggle of celebrity fans who've fallen for the bold patterns and bright colors that Moods is known for, its the sunshine, quirk and the regular supply of apple martinis at the Mondrian that put LA on the map for these Norwegians. With that in mind, we had to know how our local color will affect the color their future designs.
1. Considering how your world travels have been such an influence on Moods of Norway, how do you think having an LA location (and spending time here!) will affect your future collections?
"We are super excited about spending more time in LA. We love the sunshine, the food, the people and the overall pop culture here. We have always made happy and colorful collections and they will certainly not be less vibrant and poppy after the California affect/inspiration."
2. How much have you explored LA? Favorite neighborhood to shop in? Favorite LA-based store?
"We have been around the block a time or two. Robertson Blvd is our favorite shopping street since it offers an unusual and charming walking environment sprinkled with beautiful stores and cute restaurants. We also really fell in love with Fred Segal on Melrose and they happened to be our first US customer."
3. Favorite LA bar? If you were to live here permanently, what would become your regular stomping ground?
"Ever since Moods of Norway has been in the USA, we have been staying at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset and the SKY Bar there has a magical feel to it. Our favorite time is any weekday right when the sun is setting. Very soothing and we like to keep the Apple Martinis coming regularly."
4. Favorite restaurant?
"LA is just incredible with so many great restaurants to choose from. We are attracted to originality and one of our favorite places is Yamashiro up on the hillside in Hollywood. The view is spectacular and the sake flow is well balanced. Another Moods of Norway favorite is PACE in Laurel Canyon. The sheltered canyon is a perfect setting for a few glasses of red wine and amazing Italian cusine."
5. Most appropriate LA landmark/location to wear a Moods of Norway ensemble?
"We have a wide range in our collection but the Moods of Norway cocktail collection is definitely designed with a few LA landmarks in mind. We think the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica and the Mondrian Hotel/SKY Bar are two optimal locations to truly enjoy the Moods of Norway attire"
6. Being appreciators of the quirky, what do you think is the quirkiest thing about LA?
"Hmmm, the Scandinavian Irony is hard to find in the US but we try to bring our own. At the moods of norway store opening we brought in one ton of snow and had various LA celebs cross country ski in the back lot. That is pretty fun and quirky. Please let me know where in LA you can find similar extravaganzas. I guess that all the panhandlers dressed like different movie stars on Hollywood/Highland is pretty quirky or is it just random? They would be much more 'Moods of Norway quirky' if they were just chilling on the beach in Malibu not asking for money That is how we think."
7. Since Moods of Norway's tagline is 'happy clothes for happy people,' have you visited the 'happiest place on earth'?
"We love Disney land and amusement parks in general. Simen Staalnacke (Designer/co-founder) grew up on a traveling Tivoli in Norway. Some of the Moods of Norway designs can absolutely be traced to those early childhood festivities."
8. Other than your travels, what influences your designs?
"Moods of norway is strong, fast, happy and clever .don't blink cause you might miss an essential detail We design with different moods/setting in mind. Some of the designs are inspired from the Norwegian country side and then given a modern twist. In our designs we combine a strong Norwegian heritage with International fashion trends. Our early fans were movie producers, musicians and artists, who appreciate that we are telling a story through our clothing. You have to look at the full collection and the setting in which it is presented in order to get the full picture/storyline."
9. What's your favorite (or least favorite) thing about LA?
"We love the rhythm of the city and the beautiful clear blue skies. It is also very liberating to work in a completely international city. We meet people from all over the world everyday and the European connection here is never far away. We choose not to focus on the lease favorite thing."
10. Are there any LA-based designers you admire?
"Absolutely, LA has very talented designers that we admire. One of the first designers that we met from LA was Daren Dainee with Initium eyewear. We got blown away by his amazing eyewear designs and we were wearing Initium up until we got our own line of Moods of Norway eyewear. There is a great Moods of Norway picture of all of us in Anna Nicole Smith's old bed in Las Vegas all wearing Initium. We would love for more LA based designers to contact us and see if we can play together in the future "