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At the age of 18, most of us are on an inner search for independence and yearning for adulthood. We’re trapped in a bubble of school, friends and social media, waiting for life to actually start. Not August Vestbø. The Norwegian designer held his NYFW debut at that tender age earlier this year with his brand Bror August – the theme of not being in love was his central focus. Although his hopes of being a dolphin trainer may not have panned out, he spoke to us about today’s youth-obsessed society, his Harry Potter references and how he likes things to just be slightly off.
Had you wanted to be a fashion designer from a young age?
The only other job I can recall being interested in was dolphin trainer. Ever since I put that on the shelf at a very young age, I have wanted to make clothing for a living.
Who is your favourite designer at the moment?
I think Andre Walker is a genius.

What thoughts were running through your mind when you saw the models walking in your clothes during your NYFW debut earlier this year?
It’s really sad but I didn’t see anyone walk because I was backstage the entire time.
Can you talk us through the ingenious Harry Potter references in the collection and what inspired them?
The collection is sort of a revealing process. The looks are placed in order to reveal more and more of a character and parts of myself. The Harry Potter reference is the point in the collection where I reveal a “guilty pleasure.”
Presenting at 18 years old, did you feel like age was any kind of barrier in being taken seriously in the industry?
We live in a youth-obsessed society, where not only youth appearance but also voices are idealized. It seems like we want to see a lot of young people as more experienced and talented than they actually are. In one way, it’s easier to be taken seriously because people want to see the good in young people. So no, my age has never been a clear obstacle for me.

“We live in a youth-obsessed society, where not only youth appearance but also voices are idealised.”
What advice would you give to other young people looking to design their own collections?
If you want to be heard and seen with your work, you should really know what you’re trying to say.
I read that you customize your pieces with details like painted zippers and hand-stitched sequins, why is the personal factor important for you?
It makes me feel something more about the object if I can see the amount of work and thought that is put into it. It creates a feeling of more life. And I enjoy the process of creating something, especially because a lot of my projects are so personal. It wouldn’t make sense to let it just be something you ship of to production.

How would you describe the aesthetic of Bror August?
It’s quite crafty. I also work a lot with this idea of imperfection. I like things to just be slightly off.
Where would you like your brand to be in 5 years time?
It would be amazing to be established enough to live off it.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on now?
What I’m working on now is a sort of tribute to things that bring different people together, and also New York.

Aildih MacLean

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