Rains published an article on Hypebeast’s webpage in August 2020, highlighting how its latest collection represents modern consumers. In their article, Rains revealed how their primary focus lies in material innovation, functionality, and contemporary silhouettes with “minimalistic connotations of Scandinavian design” (Arulrajah, 2020). Rains’ innovative presentation supported the styles of the Never Lost SS21 collection in an overgrown, abandoned public swimming pool, which was described by the international press as “the immersive digital experience Copenhagen FashionWeek needed” (Ferere, 2020).
It has been more than a year since Rains opened their first store in Oslo. I became interested in their innovative, minimalistic, clean and monochromatic approach to design, as well as whether it could be evolving into a microtrend engulfed in the macrotrend ofScandinavian cool. In their Never Lost SS21 collection, their style was interpreted as “[…] a future that involves taking on the elements in an armored aesthetic while living functionally within the design” (Ferere, 2020). I was curious as to whether the trends that I can detect in Oslo will support – and could possibly help to develop – the design approach taken by Rains.
I used several complementary methodologies for investigating the trends for the target group. Members of this group are characterised by their youth and vibrancy, and their activities as explorers in touch with both nature and the modern urban environment. I have observed them on the streets of Oslo and scanned their most popular social media platforms, such as Instagram. Members of the target group generally request design products characterised by quality, functionality and visual“uniqueness”. They value lightweight and weatherproof products to such a high degree that their choice might depend on the product possessing these qualities.
I recall seeing Rains’ products for the first time almost two years ago, worn by people I would define as innovators. They informed me that Rains have moved past their initial trendiness and are becoming adopted by a broader group. This might mean thatRains have moved past the innovators and may have started a journey towards the early majority segment. The analysis is further corroborated by my observations on social media: crucial Instagram posts manifesting the qualities of Rains’ design philosophy, and even their actual products in versatile settings in urban and natural environments. The posts can be seen displaying activity, style and harmony in one’s being.
There are indeed signs that the current environment has inspired a greater degree of focus on being in harmony and exploring urban life and nature close to one’s home. The target group is still occupied with the cutting edge, but this is expressed by converging functionality and minimalism. The armour of the target group is designed to tackle the elements of both urban life and surrounding nature while keeping a crisp look through the clean lines of the design. This trend transverses different social and cultural groups, which positions it as a possible macrotrend in line with Scandinavian cool.