Four Norwegian friends came together in Copenhagen to launch Aure: A studio whose passion for timeless pieces and slow living isn’t part of a clichéd marketing plan but sits instead at the very heart of their design ethos.
Filip Aurebekk, Johanne Aurebekk, Sjur Østlien and Fredrik Egeland Aartun are a dynamic team: two siblings and one couple, whose backgrounds in fashion, interior design, photography have come together seamlessly in Aure Studio. Like the multi-hyphenate members of the team, Aure is also difficult to categorize—the studio’s work spans art, object, and fashion design. “We are very diverse in our strengths,” Fredrik explains, “but we all share a lot of the same basic principles within design and life.” We sat down with Filip, Johanne, Sjur, and Fredrik to talk about the progression of their studio, the push for slow living and the inspiration they have drawn from their grandmothers’ fabric and work.
What are your backgrounds, and how did you come to work together?
Sjur worked as a clothing designer in Oslo for several years before moving to Copenhagen, and Filip, Johanne, and Fredrik all have backgrounds in interior design. The only ones with a technical education (luckily) within the field are Sjur [fashion design] and Filip [graphic design], while most other skills we have acquired through passion and interest.
Filip and Johanne are siblings, and since they were kids had dreamt of having their own brand. Six years ago the two of them moved to Oslo with Johanne’s boyfriend, Fredrik, who was studying business and communication. A couple of years later Sjur came into the picture and quickly became the perfect fourth member of our future company, as he was finishing his last year in fashion school. Then we all moved to Copenhagen, which became the perfect place to begin Aure Studio, surrounded by people willing to help, inspiring buildings and beautiful surroundings.
Aure Studio produces work across art, object and fashion design—do you each have a specific area that you work on, or is it more a collaborative process?
We are very diverse in our strengths, but we all share a lot of the same basic principles within design and life. As much as possible we try to put things into a collaborative process, and always discuss bigger ideas and the overall direction of the company together. But we also trust each other enough to make solo decisions. Actually, we don’t really have one kind of creative process. It usually starts with us meeting up at the local wine bar and just talking, and then after a while, an idea comes to life.
“Actually, we don’t really have one kind of creative process. It usually starts with us meeting up at the local wine bar and just talking, and then after a while, an idea comes to life.”
You seem to be a part of a push for slow living: ethical production and intelligent design that lasts. Could you tell us a bit about the ethos behind Aure?
The increased focus on sustainability in the fashion industry (and everywhere else) is definitely impacting people working in the field as well as the consumers. At Aure this is an important factor. It’s important for business, and—let’s face it—the right thing to do for the planet at this point. Producing garments of higher quality and in smaller quantities makes a lot more sense to us both ethically and business-wise. We could never compete with the trend-driven high street brands and have no interest in trying.
What do you think has prompted a return to this kind of living style?
We believe it is a natural response to the high-speed things are moving in, more and more people want to live slower—being more aware of what they buy and where they buy it, particularly when it comes to food, interior and For Aure this became a natural way of working. Both the design industry and the world, in general, seem to have reached a point where things are just too fast and thoughtless, driven by short-lived trends. This, of course, affects both the quality and the lifespan of a product. There is even architecture that is being built to last for only a couple of years, which is completely mad! A slower process allows us to spend more time and energy on the final outcome, which will hopefully last for years to come. fashion.
I read recently that some of the paintings were based on the drawings of Johanne’s grandmother—do you always draw from such personal experience when creating, or from elsewhere entirely?
That is true, the print collection is based on Johanne and Filip’s grandmother’s drawings. She went to art school in Oslo in 1941, and during this period she made some really inspiring works. These have been hanging in their childhood home since they were children, so the inspiration came quite naturally. The print collection was later a strong inspiration for the garment collection that came shortly after. We wanted to create garments that give you the same feeling; timeless and easy. Hopefully, when we’re old we can look back and feel the same about our designs. We’re also very inspired by painters, sculptors, and creatives we meet on our way. Not only by people’s work, but also by how they wear clothes. We love to look in old art books and see portraits of sculptors in the early 1900s. Side note: We actually made a limited edition jacket, that was handmade using Sjur’s grandmother’s vintage furniture fabric, so we were joking about Aure being strongly inspired by grandmothers.
“We try not to be defined by any of the areas we work within. We don’t see ourselves as fashion company, nor an interior company.”
What can we expect next from Aure?
We try not to be defined by any of the areas we work within. We don’t see ourselves as fashion company, nor an interior company. We attempt to stay as open as possible, and not to put any boundaries to what we do. We also try to bring this mindset with us when collaborating. For example, we are now launching our clothing pieces at the concept store Frama Kollekted by in Oslo, that haven’t carried clothing before. As long as what we do and who we work with fits the Aure universe, approach and aesthetic, we’d love to try it. We would also like to try and hope to next year to open up an Aure Store, a space where people can explore our artworks and objects, try on and feel the garments, and to watch our creative process up close. We’re starting up in Copenhagen, and hopefully, we’ll be able to open in other countries within the coming years
All images © Joakim Heltne