In a swanky office at ad agency Jónsson & Le’macks, we sit down with Sigurður Oddsson. We’re there to talk to him about Holster, a joint venture between three young men from various creative fields who came together to form a fashion company called Fur Trade, which is actually not a fashion company at all.
What led the three of you to collaborate on Holster?
Well, we all are good friends. I had been working with Bóas Kristjánsson, a fashion designer who has his own label called 8045. The idea was that I would work on some accessories, not fashion per se, but more product-orientated stuff.
Then when Jökull Sólberg, the third member of the group, came into work wearing an actual shoulder gun-holster, though he wasn’t armed or anything, I came up with the idea for a more practical application, and that got me sketching. So that’s where the idea comes from. My reasoning being that in the summertime men like to wear shorts and a T-shirt but where do you put your keys, change and wallet? The Holster is a solution. That was what I presented to Bóas and funnily enough he had been working on something similar, but it was more a classical vest so we merged these two ideas into what is now the Holster.
It’s a bit like the Swiss army knife of clothing?
That’s true. We tried to integrate as much function as we could into the design. Take your phone for instance, often you‘ll have earphones plugged in and they just get tangled up in everything. That’s why we put a handy cord slit high on the shoulder where you can fasten it and it won’t get in the way. All the pockets are designed for their individual tasks, for your phone, sunglasses and wallet so that it doesn’t bulge but blends seamlessly into the design. All the material used—black caribou, lamb, salmon and rosefish leather—comes from a leather factory here in Iceland, from the north to be specific, but everything is sewed in Reykjavík.
Do you think there is a growing need for men to accessorise?
Men just have more stuff now, and when you’ve grown accustomed to trudging everything around with you, it’s pretty hard to do without it. When kept in the Holster, your stuff blends seamlessly into your attire. It looks good on its own as well as under a jacket, and it takes from the shoulder holster the idea of using dead space under the arms so that you don’t really notice it if concealed, and doesn’t get in the way. I mean if you can have a gun there and no one notices it, then a phone is a piece of cake.
You launched the company in March?
Yes, that’s when we launched the website and the product. Two weeks ago Sævar Karl started selling the product so we are really excited about that. It’s always good to have a place where people can drop into when they’re unsure about the size or the material. At first the sales were to friends and through the site—when it went live at around five in the morning, the night before DesignMarch, we got an order from Sweden within the first hour. We had posted a link on Facebook and a friend of a friend of a friend ordered the first one; it really is a small world!