Alexander Salvesen Adams – born 1988
Sebastian Salvesen Adams – born 1983
Alex – B.S.c in Business Studies from Cass Business School
Sebastian – BA Product Design from Central St. Martins London and Master of Science in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from BI Norwegian Business School.
Half Norwegian – half British, they grew up in Norway.
Alex and Sebastian are two brothers from Norway whose passion for classical baseball caps brought the beautiful VARSITY story to life. Since early childhood they’ve always been “on the hunt” for the perfect cap, but never found the quality and superior fit they were dreaming of. Eventually they decided to take the matter into their own hands and after hours of studying, practicing, testing and failing they finally perfected their skill and today they are proud to offer what we believe to be the best headware in the world.
So if you’re looking for “THE CAP”, then you’re looking for THE VARSITY CAP! (www.varsity.no)
TheShortcutsBubble: What is your actual qualification and what did you do for work before Varsity?
Alex: After completing my Bachelor, I worked for two years for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in London and New York.
Sebastian: After my Master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, I set-up two companies which both focused on packaging innovation and design.
TheShortcutsBubble: When did you decide to start a business on your own and what was the risk in taking this step?
Varsity: Growing up we always loved to pitch each other different inventions or business ideas and this really never stopped, even though we started two completely different careers.
Alex: I decided early that a finance career was not my calling and as Sebastian was already going down the entrepreneurial road, we decided it would be cool to do something together. In terms of risk, we both obviously risked a stable income, however we don’t really think of it in that way. There’s risk in everything you do and for us the opportunity of starting Varsity heavily outweighed the risk.
TheShortcutsBubble: Why caps and what was your knowledge in headware when you started?
Varsity: Both of us had always worn caps since we were young and during summer vacations abroad we would go around searching for rare caps we could bring back home and impress our friends with. This passion never died, and as grown ups the search for the perfect cap intensified. I guess our technical knowledge was limited, however after years of unintentional research we had a clear vision of how we wanted our hats to fit and feel. Sebastian: I had several years experience as a designer, but not with textiles, so the learning curve was steep.
TheShortcutsBubble: For me the term “varsity” has very much to do with American college/university culture. How did you decide on the brandname?
Varsity: The classical curved brim cap we focus on has its roots in American colleges and culture. We therefore wanted a brand name that honored this. We always liked the name «Varsity» as its meaning and use is “top of the class”. Something that echoed well with our constant goal of making the perfect cap.
TheShortcutsBubble: What inspires you?
Varsity: We admire many other brands and products on the market, and its always inspirational to see how they have made their products truly great. It’s also an inspiration when we see our customers embrace the new things we do, and it’s great to see our hats on heads walking around town.
TheShortcutsBubble: What makes Varsity caps superior? Tell us about the fabrics and the techniques used.
Varsity: We focus on two main factors: fit and fabric. We believe that our combination of these two factors is superior to all other caps on the market. All our fabrics are selected from a number of mills in Europe and as the fabric required per cap is not much, we can afford to use some of the best. Our current AW collection is created from virgin merino wool, cashmere and oilskin.
TheShortcutsBubble: Your advertising campaign is really cool. Who did you collaborate with?
Varsity: As our ad-budgets are limited, we plan and organize our ad campaigns by ourselves with the great help of one of Norway’s top fashion photographers, Thomas Qvale, who has shot all three of our campaigns. On our last shoot we worked with our first professional stylist, Line Cartridge, which did a great job creating the different looks we envisioned.
TheShortcutsBubble: People can currently buy Varsity online or in shops around Norway. Do you have any plans to sell in shops abroad anytime soon?
Varsiy: We do sell and ship internationally, but our focus has been Norway for the past year. Our goal for 2016 is to enter new markets and we have already had a number of requests from stores in different countries.
TheShortcutsBubble: Who buys Varsity? Is there a “typical” Varsity customer?
Varsity: Who buys our products is perhaps the one thing that has surprised us the most. Many assume that we sell mostly to men, but we sell 50/50 to men and women. Our main age group is between 25 to 35 years old, but we have customers from a couple months old to 97 years of age. This leads us to believe, that most people, regardless of age, are really looking for the same thing: a hat that fits and feels right.
TheShortcutsBubble: My favourite is the ivy green oilskin low curved, adjustable. Do you have a favourite?
Varsity: Haha! Great question, but for us its like choosing between our children. We have designed and nurtured them all. Interestingly, our latest collection is the first one where all of our hats have sold equally well and there are no clear winners. Some people absolutely love the oilskin, while others think the softness of our cashmere and merino wool hats is second to none.
TheShortcutsBubble: Indeed, choosing between the different models ain’t easy at all! Thanks VARSITY for the lovely collaboration and wish you the best of luck! 😉
Industrigaten 52, 0357 Oslo, Norway
Prof. Dahls Gate 31 G, 0353 Oslo, Norway
Org. number: 912 361 837