A sneak peak into our RD&D Department

How does a product developer work? Check out Ann Sofie's daily work routine at Norrøna.

Hey Guys!
I’m Ann-Sofie and I work as a Product Developer at Norrøna. I’m here to give you a sneak peak of the RD&D department at Norrøna and also to show you some of my favorites from the upcoming fall winter 2020/2021 collection!

But first, I wanted to give a short introduction of myself. I’m from the lovely Swedish city Östersund also known as the “Winter City”. It is located in the middle of Sweden. Most people know about the city since it’s on the way to the ski resort Åre (Scandiavias biggest ski resort). I studied Textile product development at the Swedish school of textiles and was one of few that took the direction into outdoor apparel. Since I grew up in a winter city, I pretty much didn’t have any other option than growing up to love the outdoors, so choosing a career within the outdoor industry wasn’t really a tough decision.

But why Norrøna, one might ask? That’s also kind of a “no brainer”. Norrøna is a brand that stands for both quality and sustainability, two qualities that I highly value. But what actually interested me the most was the Norrøna HQ facility. What not everyone may know is that Norrøna makes all prototypes in-house, which is quite rare in this industry. At the Norrøna HQ, we have a sewing area (where we make all prototypes), a material lab (where we test all materials and garments) and a repair area (where our consumers can send in their loved garments to be repaired).

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I’m thinking that there are some of you reading this who are interested in how the RD&D department at Norrøna works.

RD&D stands for Research, Design and Development. RD&D is the biggest department at Norrøna HQ and we consist of several smaller teams, design (apparel and hardwear), Material, Product Specialists, Product Technicians and Product Developers. The last team, Product Development, that’s my team and we are a team of eight people. We are managing all communication with the factories we work with as well as managing the sampling and costing process from CS to PP (I will tell you more about this further down).

So I’m gonna show you a bit of what I’m working with right now! We are just about to approve the last samples for the fall winter 2020/2021 season.

First, we have the prototypes, these samples are made in house at Norrøna HQ and are the first samples that we make of the new style. When we have the final approved fitting and construction. We send that sample to the factory. The second type of sample is called the Counter Sample, these are the first samples that the factories make after receiving our prototype. The factory replicates our approved prototype sample and makes sure that our requested sample works in a bulk production.
The third sample is called SMS, short for “salesman sample”. And that sample works as it sounds, these are the samples our sales department uses when selling in our new collections. The SMS are usually only made in one size. At Norrøna our base sizes are men size large and women size medium. We also have all the SMS in every colour, so this is the first time we can see the full complete collection.
The fourth sample is grading samples (also called “size set”). For all the new styles, we order different sizes of each style, to make sure that all the sizes look equal and fit perfectly. In the pictures are some of my co-workers (Fredrik, Joakim, Joakim & Alexander) that were kind enough to help me with a grading fitting.

"During the product development process, we make several different kinds of samples together with the factories, I'm going to explain shortly about that."

- Ann- Sofie Wiklund

The final sample is the PP-sample which stands for “Pre-production sample”. A PP-sample works as a reference sample for when the factories are starting the bulk production and needs to be top-notch according to our high quality standards. I’m currently working with approving the PP-samples for the Fall Winter collection 20/21, so I thought why not show you some of my favorites?

For Fall Winter 20/21 we have done a BIG update on our classic Lofoten collection. We have tweaked the classics and also added some new styles.

First off, we have the Lofoten Gore-tex Pro plus Jacket.
Pelle is wearing the Lofoten Gore-tex Pro Plus Jacket in color True Red. The perfect color for getting that perfect powder turn picture!
A new feature for this season is that we have incorporated an opening in the front mesh ventilation. Can you guess the reason?

If the unfortunate event of an avalanche, this opening works as a quick way to access your transceiver. It also allows you to keep your jacket closed and at the same time not lose movability for using your transceiver. This feature will be available on the men’s lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Plus jacket and on the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro jackets for both men’s and women’s.

My second sneak peak of Fall Winter 20/21 is this super comfortable fleece called the norrøna warm3 Jacket. It is made in a fluffy pile fleece with one chest pocket, two hand pockets, and best of all, thumb holes! It has definitely become my new Norrøna favorite. It will be made for both men and women in four different colors. I’m wearing a women’s size medium in the color indigo night.

I also want to show you one of my favorites that you don’t have to wait until next winter to get! The Tamok Gore-tex Pro bib. It’s quickly become one of the office favorites. We have both men’s and women’s fit and available in three colors for men and two colors for women. I own a pair of mens pants myself since I like the more baggy look. What one might be concerned about when wearing bibs, is the bathroom situation, but in my opinion, because of the long side zippers, it is even easier to go to the bathroom with the bibs compared to regular ski pants. But the absolute best part with the bibs is you will keep the snow away during those deep power days! The picture is actually of my sister, Liselotte, but we are twins so it’s basically the same thing. She is wearing the women’s bibs in the color indigo night. (I’m also wearing the Tamok Bib in the previous picture, in a men’s size small in color Caviar). She is also wearing the Trollveggen Powerstretch Pro Zip Hood underneath the bib which is a super comfortable, technical fleece. With two chest pockets and thumbholes, also available in stores and online right now!

2 thoughts on “A sneak peak into our RD&D Department”

  1. Du verkligen beskrev vad jag vill byta yrkesbana till!! Målet för mig är att bli antagen till Textilhögskolan i Borås och jobba inom sport/outdoor kläder design och utveckling!! Var det just Textilhögskolan som du pluggade på, eller nån annan? Skulle gärna kunna fråga dig om mer tips om det går!

  2. I’d love to know the new colors for the upcoming season. I fell in love with Rhubarb. Will it be continued? I’d love to see it in a fleece!

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