Today’s interview is with the beautiful Camilla, from Norway. I wanted to interview Camilla because I really adore her style – it’s very comfortable but still very chic at the same time, and perfect for the weather in Norway. I had a lot of fun getting to know Camilla – she was incredibly charming and I’m sure you’ll find her so as well. Enjoy!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
I am a 36 year old woman, living and working in the picturesque city center of Bergen, Norway. I was born and raised here, and after having spent a few years here and there abroad in order to learn about the world, I came home to the city where I belong and where I have my family and my heart.
I lived in the United States for four years while getting my bachelors degree in journalism, and spent a while working in Switzerland at a news agency before taking up work at a national broadcaster in Norway, where I have now been for ten years. I travel quite a lot for work as a rights manager and logistics operator, but the more I see and love about other places, the more I realize that, yes, I am in the right place.
What do you love most about where you live? What are some unique fashions/trends in Norway that you see see out and about?
Norway is quite cold, and as a result, we are bundled up for large parts of the year. For the colder months, I am favoring a soft yet stylish look of layering wools, cottons and cashmere blends in a manner that keeps you warm by retaining body heat- when wearing many layers it is important to me that they “feel” me and do not restrict movement – soft, form fitting but not tights or clingy – think chalet, soft browns, light earth tones and blacks for a natural, soft, feminine look.
As for the short weeks of summer each year, it seems anything goes – on the first warm day of the year you will see more skin in Norway than on German TV at midnight – people are just so desperate to feel the sun on their skin that all inhibitions are overlooked. Norwegian women are not very shy, and will lay scattered in their bikinis in any park in the city!
What’s a lesson about succeeding in the workplace that you’ve learned over time? Any tips for the specific industry you are in?
For ANY workplace, as in life in general – never sell yourself short. Women in particular sometimes have a tendency to play “second fiddle”, but rest assured that you have JUST as much to offer as any of your colleagues. Do not be afraid to speak your mind, to take initiatives, to throw yourself into the mix. Everyone has their problems – you just can’t always see them – but everyone also has something to offer. Trust that your contributions matter!
For working in the media – remember that any broadcast is a team effort, and does not come down to the anchor seated in the presenters chair. The cameraman usually hardly gets any acclaim compared to the reporter he works with – so be sure to praise all, thank all, support all, no matter what their role is. A strong team is built by everyone from the mailman and up; so do your best to ensure everyone feel part of the team, and you will have a more dynamic group of people all willing to pull the extra weight when push comes to shove.
I know you are an Louis Vuitton fan. What attracts you to the brand? And how do you feel about recent developments (the outsourcing of production to other countries other than France/Italy, etc)?
I have been an Louis Vuitton girl since the summer of my 18th birthday. I still remember the first piece I recognized as LV – an Ellipse Monogram Shopper carried by an impeccably stylish Italian woman – and it was instant love. I saved and saved and got that exact bag as my first Louis Vuitton! My mother carries it now, 18 years later, and it still looks amazing! Louis Vuitton bags can be costly, sure, but how many other bags can you carry with SUCH style twenty years down the line?
I have followed the discussion on outsourcing some production, but I have to say that I am not worried or concerned. We have to remember that the leathers and exotics will still be gathered from the same sources, Asnières will still take care of the higher end pieces and the canvas will still be made where it’s made. I don’t think Vuitton would license a manufacturer that does not live up to the company’s standards 100% – and I sincerely doubt that the nationality or geographic location of a worker has anything to say on his or her talent to assemble.
I know some are particular on having the “Made in France” on their pieces, but for me, I makes no difference. Some are really taking the debate a bit far though, and I read a comment from an American woman, stating she did not want to pay that much for something made in a foreign country – she wanted hers made in France!
Because of your passion for the brand, you recently had the opportunity to create some custom Louis Vuitton bags. Can you share about the experience?
One of my best friends and I have been good customers of Louis Vuitton in Oslo since the store opened here in 2006, and have built up a friendship with some of the sales associates over time. Our interest in the brand has ensured that we have well above the average knowledge of the brand and the collections, and we have both enjoyed talks of new and past trends with the sales associates, always inquiring what’s next – sometimes even telling THEM after having seen spy pics revealed on sites like The Purse Forum! And, all in all genuinely revering and living the brand instead of just treating it like “just another brand store on Bond Street”.
It was this passion, I imagine, that got us both invited to visit the private salon in LV on Champs Elysees in May of this year. We were taken there for a long weekend, were escorted by the beautiful Store Manager of Louis Vuitton in Oslo, stayed at the Ritz, were chauffeured around, taken to the Marc Jacobs exhibit in the Louvre as well as on a tour of the LV atelier in Asnières where the trunks, special orders and show pieces are crafted, and at last – were able to custom make our own piece from the Haute Maroquinerie line!
The Haute Maroquinerie line is a rather new one, and only available in a few salons across the world so far. You can choose between five shapes – Lockit, Noé, Milaris, Néo Steamer and Trapeze – in different sizes, leather combinations, and colours – you even get to pick the hardware! As a final piece, the artisans at Asnières makes a name patch inside the bag with the customer’s name – no mistaking your bag for one belonging to the woman next to you, in other words! The bag is estimated to take 5-7 months to craft, and I couldn’t wait until it was finished! You have to pick it up in the store where you ordered it, though, so back to Paris I went!
Can you share some of your style? What are some day looks and night looks for you?
Although it is not a conscious choice always, I seem to be drawn to the colour black. I have blond hair and green eyes and usually find that black clothing works best for my colouring – I try to mix it up with browns and earth tones and the occasional pop of colour, but my base always seems to be black, weather it being a Louis Vuitton monogram scarf and my boots, my accessories, my leather jacket or my dress. I also favor strong eyeliner, and have done the “60s Twiggy-liner” since my early 20s. Probably time for a change, but whenever I try to mix up that part, I just feel… naked. We’ll see how that feels when I’m 60, ha.
My particular style does, like for most, depend on mood, too – sometimes one feels sweet, sometimes strong, sometimes sexy, sometime all business – and sometimes a mix of it all – but the one thing I will never, ever do, is sell myself cheap by being vulgar. I will never have my breasts in anyone’s face, I will never flash my underwear or in any manner dress in a way that takes away the focus from ME – my prime assets are my intelligence, my sense of humor, my wit and my demeanor, and the way I dress will always be to accentuate that, not distract and take the focus off of it.
What are some the most often used items in your wardrobe?
I have a small selection of Louis Vuitton monogram shawls in various colours – black, chocholate, flamme, cassis and bleu nuit – and I rotate these practically on a daily basis. One of them always goes with my outfit, and the feel of the silk/wool blend framing my face is simply unbeatable. Even if I am having a rough day I can just close my eyes and be encapsulated in the ultimate luxury – what a treat! And, apart from that – they look amazing! What’s NOT to love?
What are some of your all-time favorite items in your wardrobe?
A super soft leather jacket and a crisp suit jacket will ALWAYS be a part of my wardrobe! You can go from casual to business simply by switching the two over pretty much any given outfit! Look for a leather that is durable, smooth and soft like butter – lambskin will most definitely tick all boxes – and a suit jacket with the absolute best cut and material you can afford. If you go for classic, timeless pieces these two will take you through years and years to come!
What is a piece of advice about style that you’ve learned over the years that you could share?
I’ve learned to dress to suit ME, not fashion. Although I can see the fun in following the trends, I cannot envision doing in myself. Sure; I do pay attention and sometimes pick up a thing of two a season, but all in all I know what cuts, lengths and colours that suit me, and I never stray too much. It takes years for most to grow comfortable with one’s own style, and some never do – I know what I like and I know what looks best on me, so I can shop quickly – you’ll never see me trying on each piece in the store! In the long run, keeping to that rule of thumb also saves me from big misses – I use pretty much ALL the clothes in my closet on a regular basis!
Finally…please share something surprising about yourself!
I do have the ability to down a pint in about 2.5 seconds. Normally I do not drink beer as I much prefer wine, but if push comes to shove, and I am presented with a challenge, I can actually do it.
Imagine the looks on the faces of the toughest guys in the bar, bragging and bantering, when an impeccably dressed and put together woman seizes a full pint, downs it in 2.5 seconds flat, turns and walks away…. I save that one for special occasions!
That last bit is priceless! I only wish I could witness such a scene at the bar with Camilla, I really admire how confident she is. I also loved hearing about Camilla’s experience ordering a specially made bag at Louis Vuitton, and learning more about the process. And doesn’t she wear that Louis Vuitton shawl in the most gorgeous fashion? I hope you all enjoyed meeting Camilla, and thank you to the lady herself for taking the time to share some of her life here today!