Winners for the 2013 Grapevine Design Awards were announced on Friday last week. The Award for best product went to…Holster by  FurTrade!

A unisex vest for carrying small items, Holster is the outcome of a cross-disciplinary collaboration between graphic designer Siggi Odds and fashion designer Bóas Kristjánsson. Made from leftover cuts of local high quality fish leather in Iceland, it promotes recycling and environmental values. It is high quality and genuinely functional—a practical new design solution to add to our work and travel wardrobes. We appreciate that the entire product is well thought-out from the craftsmanship to the retailer choices, brand development and communication. Holster suits many target groups—perhaps more than it is given credit for—men, women, craftsmen for carrying their essential tools as well as hipsters walking down Laugavegur with their iPhones and headsets.

Fur Trade is a collaboration of the young designers Sigurður OddssonBóas Kristjánsson and Jökull Sólberg. Bóas Kristjánsson and Siggi Odds gave us an interview on their collaboration:

What was the starting point to Holster?

Siggi Odds: It stemmed from the hassle having your phone, wallet, change, keys and sunglasses in various pockets in different layers of otherwise redundant clothing. We felt there was a need for a product that stores your everyday carry-on objects in a practical, no-hassle, low-key way.

Bóas Kristjánsson: My idea for it was to be able to keep my money and phone with me, safely when going out. Not having to bother with a vestiaire or worse, having to leave my things unprotected somewhere. Taking care of things like keys is often tricky. I wanted something concealed that I could wear everyday with anything. The holster stays attached to you at all times so nothing goes missing.

What is great design in your opinion?

SO: Simply new solutions to old and new problems. It’s always possible to find a new angle on an old problem and new challenges that require solutions are being created every day.

BK: I like to have a reference, something that people can relate to and understand and then change it to fit a new purpose or look. I want people, who wear something of mine, to feel that they own something that is valuable, useful and inspired. I agree with Siggi when it comes to design in general.

The path to success is rarely direct – did something go wrong or did something funny happen somewhere along the way?

SO: For me, the funniest part was that when I presented my idea to Bóas – turned out he had been thinking of a very similar idea as well, solving the same problem, his being more of a vest and mine more of a buckle holster…

BK: We had been working the whole day on our website with Jökull, our programming partner. We were quite satisfied with our work and decided to launch it that night. It was late so we celebrated with a beer and decided to tell our friends about the site in Facebook. A friend from London shared the story and 5 minutes later a guy from Stockholm replied saying that he had just ordered a Holster. In that case, the path to success was rather direct.

What is your take on the state of Icelandic design and architecture today?

SO: I feel as though Icelandic design is still in its birth phase and everything is just starting to make sense. DesignMarch gives a venue for designers to show their stuff and gives an incentive to innovate. What I think is exciting is when, or if, a unique Icelandic style or esthetic starts to take form. As of now, I can’t really see any defining features that you could call Icelandic design but it would be interesting if we could.


What are your must-see tips for DesignMarch?

SO: I would recommend the Stamp exhibit which will feature examples of Icelandic stamps through the ages. The FÍT show should be pretty nice too, as well as GunMad’s type foundry exhibit in Þoka. I’m also not going to miss our friend Mundi’s show at RFF which is always great.

BK: I have to recommend the Reykjavik Fashion Festival. We have a lot of great talent here that needs a lot of support. I would also advise people who haven’t been yet to our amazing collective fashion boutique ATMO on Laugarvegur to have a look and try on some Icelandic couture.

 Images courtesy of Fur Trade