Oleana returns to tradition with its new spring line

Good news for Norwegian sweater lovers

oleana

The Nordic Shop in Rochester, Minn., is one of the largest Oleana purveyors outside of Norway, with both a brick-and-mortar and online presence.

Louise Lysne Hanson
Rochester, Minn.

Good news for all Norwegian sweater lovers: Oleana of Norway has introduced a new heritage collection for spring 2023.

The popular Norwegian knit brand was established outside of Bergen, Norway, in 1992. It was opened when knitting factories were either closing or they were sending all production to far off countries. Outside competition was forcing these changes.

Recently, a worldwide launch of the brand was hosted by The Nordic Shop of Rochester, Minn., working with The Norwegian American as a cosponsor. This mid-May event was the first public showing of the brand in the world.

The Facebook Live event was viewed by a large audience from all over the United States, with a few attendees from abroad as well. The owners of Oleana, Gerda Sørhus Fuglerud and Steffen Fuglerud, were able to log on from Bergen to talk to the audience directly. This was the very first time a presentation of this scale was attempted.

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With many pastel colors, the sweaters in the new spring collection are perfect garments for a cool spring or summer evening.

Behind the speakers was a physical panel piece, which was dropped at the beginning of the show.  There were also two tulle-wrapped mannequins, which were uncovered, revealing the new sweaters, during the event. The cameras were very active, as they scanned through the store, focusing on the new sweaters and the presentation.

As one of the owners of The Nordic Shop, it was exciting to present the collection with the U.S. representative of Oleana, Lori Anderson. We gave a short history of the brand and talked of the inspirations for the designs. Similar colors where shown in a sweater and a 100-year-old box painted with rosemaling. Blue floral patterns were similar in a sweater when shown with a Royal Copenhagen Mega porcelain mug.

Nordic Shop

Louise Lysne Hanson of The Nordic Shop and Lori Anderson, U.S. representative for Oleana, presented the new spring collection.

The Oleana brand has been inspired by nature and folk art of the past. This is true of the new Heritage Collection now released. Many of the patterns feature floral tapestries and artistic images of familiar northern flower patterns. The details of the sweaters feature curated designer buttons from France and Austria. A crystal button fastened to a sweater gives a touch of luxury. The neckline is hand linked and many of the side vents have intricate knit details. The longer coat style cardigans feature perfectly placed and seamed pockets.

Sustainability is key for this brand. The new Primary Palette short sleeve is knit by a 3-D printer. There is no wasted yarn knitting this top. There are also no seams in this piece. The piece is made to last and made to be very comfortable on the body.

The new Left Turn Scarf and coordinating gloves and hat are made using leftover yarns. Yarn inventory that can not be used in another way finds its way in these colorful pieces. The Left Turn Scarf is more of a wrap, perfect for colder days or cooler indoors.

The Facebook Live presentation is a new way of presenting a product to a large audience. The Nordic Shop is happy they can share their iconic curated collection to their customers in this way. So many of their customers are from far away, and it is now a new way to connect. The response was overwhelming, and they are still seeing that people watching the video saved on Facebook, which can be viewed at: thenordicshop.net.

All photos courtesy of The Nordic Shop.

This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Louise Lysne Hanson

Louise Lysne Hanson is the co-owner of The Nordic Shop in Rochester, Minn., with her husband, Walter. She is also on the board of directors of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Learn more at thenordicshop.net.