Kari Traa's bestselling thermal underwear, Rose, has become an icon for the Nordic winter. The adventure started at Kari's family cabin in the Norwegian town of Voss.
- One day I brought my friend, who also was our designer, to the cabin. As we sat down in the living room, where my mums traditional Norwegian wall tapestry was hanging, a thought struck us: Imagine having a pattern like this on our wool underwear!
"Nothing like it had ever been seen before – and people loved it"
At the time, the sporting goods industry was, in many ways, very masculine, with few colors and patterns offered in the existing thermal underwear collections. In addition, the shapes were straightforward and not very flattering for women, according to Kari, who wanted to create something new.
So, Kari and the design team used the wall tapestry pattern, spiced it up with nice colors and sewed it according to the female body, with a side cut and space for the bust.
- Nothing like it had ever been seen before – and people loved it, says Kari.
She believes the success was due to the fact that women now could feel feminine, even when they were active: both in the slopes and, of course, at the aprés ski – where the florescent seams that eventually were included, often was seen on the dance floor.
The tapestry still hangs safely on the wall of the Traa family cabin.
- It will be here for at least a hundred years to come, adds Kari.