July 28, 2017
From the start it has been our main focus to mix minimalist design with Norwegian heritage. It is about telling a story about Norway through time. Like with our first collection, Ulriken. It is inspired by the raw nature of Norway, but also has a story. Our founder, Paal Friele Grung has a grandmother that used salmon leather for her shoes during World War 2. Our design is a mix of modern and old materials. Salmon leather was lost in time, but we are bringing it back to life.
The other day Paal showed his BERG watch to a 95 year old man that had Berg as his last name. He also used salmon leather for his shoes during World War 2. He said that they used wood for the soles and leather around and up the ankles. Mr. Berg also said that the shoes didn't last long, as the soles wore out quickly, but emphasized that the salmon leather was still intact and looked great. Today you can find shoe brands that use salmon leather, like Danish sneaker brand, Woden.
The reason for Norwegians using salmon leather during the war was that it was hard to import products from other countries, so we had to get creative about our clothing. And in Norway it is no scarcity of salmon. Also Norway was a pretty poor country back then as most of its industry was fishing and shipping.
Now that we have told a little back story about salmon leather and why we chose to work with it. It is time to talk about how we got inspired by the raw nature of Norway. As Norway is a long country with many different landscapes and climates it is easy to get inspired by it.
BERG is from Bergen which is known as the gateway to the fjords, it is surrounded by 7 mountains and in 2015 it rained 278 days. The highest out of these seven mountains is Ulriken that rise up 643 meters above sea level. It is a popular tourist attraction and it's cable cars are usually packed in the summer with Norwegian and international tourists. At the top you will be able to find our Ulriken collection as well in the mountain store. Berg also means mountain in Norwegian, so it was natural to use the highest one in the first collection.
Bergen has gorgeous landscape and architecture, but it is a reason for it being called the gateway to the fjords, because this is where all the tourists land before they start exploring the true fjords of Norway which you find in Sogn & Fjordane and Møre & Romsdal. The roughness of the mountains that rise up from the fjords and were the tree line all of a sudden stops and it becomes just grey rocks, that is what our straps symbolize with it's rough pattern. But then you have the clean and elegant design of the watch itself and that is the beautiful and majestic fjords that can be clear and reflective and like nothing you will ever see elsewhere, that is why Norway is so popular, because of it's strong contrasts and that is what BERG is.
If you wonder what a fjord is, then here is the definition in the words of dictionary.com, "a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs: usually formedby glacial erosion."
Instagram famous is not just people, it is also for brands and destinations. Lofoten is one of those destinations. It is everywhere on travelers accounts and travel inspiration accounts along with destinations like Iceland, Singapore and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
Lofoten is originally a small group of islands known for it's great fishing traditions and have also been a popular tourist attraction, but since Instagram came around it has been booming, everything from people wanting to see the northern lights, surfing under the midnight sun or just the magical landscape of it's many mountain tops.
In the start of July our team traveled to Stokmarknes to deliver 11 watches to a our biggest private customer yet. So we flew from Bergen up to Narvik and rented a car and stayed in a tent for 3 days. He was overwhelmed by us coming all they way up to deliver the watches in person. We just thought it was awesome.
The photos themselves describe the beauty of Lofoten, the landscape is totally different than the one on the west coast, but it still has the rough contrast towards the elegant and beautiful. It is no wonder it is easy to get inspired by the raw nature of Norway.
April 10, 2017