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Words and Photos by Brandon Van Haeren // Video by Simon Birk
Pas Normal Studios launched its first Mechanism collection in 2015. Co-founder and artistic director Karl-Oskar Olsen's, aka T.K.O. renowned experience from the sub-culture-influenced lifestyle brand Wood Wood into his ardent passion for cycling. Regarded less as a reference to professional cycling's dark past, the defining impetus for developing the Pas Normal Studios brand is the pursuit of creating something new and original. Not only limited to the brand's visual representation but the physical and emotional experiences we encounter when we ride.
We look at what motivates us to go out riding and how we can challenge our patterns to ride more. From the social aspect of riding in a group of friends to the personal reflection one achieves during the solitude of a solo ride. We are all chasing after a different experience when we set out at the beginning of the day. And more often than not, we return home at the end of the day with an experience that exceeded our expectations. The Pas Normal Studios collections occupy this same space - a brand motivated by exceeding all expectations.
When purchasing technical apparel, the price should represent the product's quality. Designed with a commitment to utilitarian minimalism. Pas Normal Studios has adopted a borderless approach to its design processes and production methods. Refusing to operate under the limitations of normality. This has provided an unrestricted avenue towards the development of a brand that exceeds all expectations.
The driving force behind the Pas Normal Studios design process extends far beyond the simple ambition of exceeding what its users may expect from their clothing. Rather, what inspires each collection's development and progressive innovation is the belief that your clothing can help you break beyond the borders of what you expect of yourself. We look at where and how people are riding. And strive to create a product that is capable of changing that individual’s perspective on what can be achieved from cycling with the right gear. This is where the design process starts. From an individual idea of what we want the product to accomplish, the collections begin to grow from there. It is a process that allows for a product to be built from the ground up rather than from the concept down.
Though the technology and materials influence the applications of each collection, it is the creative direction of Karl-Oskar Olsen which drives the aesthetics of each piece. The idea that your subjective perception by visual stimulation of your clothing, whether it be influenced by its colour, style, fit, or fashion compatibility, can affect your motivation to ride is an instrumental component of how we believe our expectations may be overcome. This ability to instil an elevated sense of confidence or comfort through our apparel is strongly related to our close relationship with our manufacturers.
The elements of playfulness that appear throughout select collections, such as Road to Nowhere and T.K.O., are often inspired by various works of music, poetry and art. Implementing these elements into each collection is often impossible through traditional production methods. In these situations, new innovative production methods must be developed to capture artistic expression accurately in the product.
The necessity for a complete kit that is capable of keeping you cool on a challenging climb while preventing chilling on the descent or providing sufficient ventilation on high-paced intervals is a continuous challenge that must be addressed. As a result, it is the functionality of the kit that defines the capabilities of the rider. The challenges faced in the design and production of every Pas Normal Studios piece are addressed and resolved in a manner aimed at improving the user's performance. The products should drive people to change their patterns - to challenge how far they think they can go and what they believe they can accomplish. Only then can we truly break past our borders and set a path towards encountering new experiences.