Worn by

David Kayitana lui & Sameer Tahir

Two friends from Oslo

Photographed by David and Sameer at Nicolai’s apartment in Oslo, Norway

Could you introduce yourselves ?

My name is David, I am 25 years of age, born in South Africa, with origins in Rwanda. Currently residing in Oslo. I grew up in a small city, two hours from the capital of Norway. After high school, relocating to a bigger city was a natural choice for me, to work, study, but most notably experience new things and broaden my perspective. My friend's name is Sameer, and he is 27 years old. He's currently balancing studying and working part-time at a retail store, which he really finds enjoyable.

How do you know each other ?

We first became acquainted by a mutual friend a few years back, but it feels like we’ve known each other since birth. Having friends who’ve got your back makes life’s challenges feel far less arduous.

What does a typical day look like for you in Oslo ?

I usually get up between 6-7, I´ll spend about 30 minutes doing some stretching and meditation. Writing in my journal is vital for clarity, followed by a run, then I head to work. On the weekends I try to slow things down, balance for me is key.

The local library is a place where I spend a lot of time focusing and working on daily assignments. Its ambiance and atmosphere are like no other, at least for me personally. We usually meet up for a little promenade in the city, stop by galleries, grab a book, and usually end the day with a lovely soiree. There are also a few well-run retailers in the city that we love to stop by. We both agree that it is vital to support local shops that make and sell genuine products. It’s evidently more sustainable, long-lasting, and personal. It's also enjoyable to have friendly conversations with individuals who share the same values and principles.

What are your favorite places in Oslo ?

As society slowly recovers, we have been able to stop by our favorite spots, Fuglen being one of them. It's operated as a coffee shop by day and transformed into a cocktail bar by night. The interior consists of collectible pieces, predominantly from the ‘50s and ’60s, creating a smooth atmosphere. It’s also quite cool that the furniture in use is available for purchase.

There are few hidden gems in Oslo and its surroundings, one of them being The Vigeland Museum. The building is regarded as one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Norway. Another place we love is The Henie Onstad Museum, it has a dynamic exhibition, with a permanent showcase of works from the founder. A collection that consists of over 4000 individual pieces, including art by Picasso, Matisse, Beuys, and other prominent artists.

Kunstnernes Hus is always safe. The creative establishment was set up by artists in 1930 to display both Norwegian and international art. It is renowned as one the most influential and independent institutions in Norway. Inside its premises you will find a beautiful gallery, bookshop, and a restaurant. Being close at hand to The Palace Park, pretty much makes it the perfect place to hang out with a friend or bring a date.

    Other places worth checking out:
  • Rouleur
  • Gapet
  • Håndslag
  • Dapper
  • Le Benjamin

What is the role of style in your friendship ?

First and foremost, we seek good-hearted people, regardless of their style. But in terms of mutual interest, I´d say it is a huge bonus. Sameer is one of few I know of who does casual and formal with such ease and elegance, he dislikes anything that is too loud and is quite meticulous about proportion, which essentially is fundamental.

What do you look for in clothing ?

Self-awareness in regards to the way we live our lives, and the daily choices we make are key elements to living a balanced lifestyle. Good items are not created overnight and are subsequently not intended to have a short lifespan. We do not own many garments, but those we have are well made and sufficient in regards to the matter of use, these are traits we both inherited from our parents. Whenever we consider investing in an item, we make sure it is something that expresses emotional resonance. It's all about the way things are created and put together, and equally the values of people who made the clothes. We dislike loud logos and gimmicks. Another crucial thing is passion and integrity. Thankfully, some brands still operate by this ethos.

We find fashion trends kind of strenuous and confusing, and it is easy to get lost in the realm of what's in or not. Perennial items are meant to age with grace and will always remain stylish, so we try to stay in that vein. Some things require careful appreciation, be it art, clothing, furniture, and design. It's hard to appreciate beauty if it's being replaced within a couple of months, all it creates is just a vicious cycle.

Both take inspiration by observation, may it be a handful of designers or individuals we encounter daily or via social media. All having one thing in common, authenticity, quality, and a sense of subtle elegance. The perfect semblance. Equally, we tend to look to historical figures such as Gordon Parks, Francois Catroux, Max Roach, Alain Delon, Miles Davis, and others for fine cues.