From hiking in the world's hottest desert, via freeskiing in Japan's mountains to karaoke-partying in Tokyo's financial district. The brothers, Marius and Petter, have travelled to the world's most extreme places with only six pieces of clothing in their backpacks. It couldn't possibly go well. Could it?
"We probably inherited our madness from Grandfather," says Petter Ianssen.
His brother Marius nods.
"He is one cool dude with his Ray Ban sunglasses and an incredible attitude," continues Marius and shows us a picture of their grandfather standing on a mountain summit - wearing a suit and tie.
After a business meeting in Davos, their grandfather and his colleagues "suddenly" got the urge to go mountain-climbing in the Alps. That taught the brothers something about how much freedom there is in being able to be spontaneous.
"But these days, people drop their run while travelling just because they have forgotten their jogging pants at home. Every little task requires heaps of specialised outfits, while a trip to New York requires two suitcases chock full of clothes. The fact that our closets just keep getting fuller limits us.
Clothes you can live your whole life in
Precisely this is the inspiration for the two Trønder-born brothers who started the Lynx clothing line in 2014 from scratch. Without any experience in the fashion industry, they learned it from the seams and up.
Because the brothers make something no one else has made before: Classic, timeless clothes of sky high quality: A small but complete personal wardrobe that allows you to go straight from work to a tough run in the rain. Then on to a restaurant dinner - without wet pants, sweat stains under your arms or neon green zippers.
"We want to live our entire lives in these clothes. And I mean our whole life and everything that entails. Clothing should not be an issue.
But how to test it, how to know that the clothes function as promised under all potential conditions?
"For us, the answer was simple: We would travel around and experience cool stuff at the world's most extreme and exotic locations, wearing only our chinos, jeans, blazer, shell jacket, shirt and t-shirt.
Up a volcano in 50 degrees Celsius
Erta Ale from Lynx Urban Outdoor on Vimeo.
And the guy's first stop happened to be the world's hottest place (!) - the Danakil desert in Ethiopia where the temperature can reach up to 60 degrees Celsius, and where the sirocco winds blow at a "comfortable" 40 degrees. There, they did a 4-hour hike to a dried up volcano.
"There was a German on the hike who swore by a kind of totally white linen suit. And you might think that linen would keep you cool in the heat, but nope. After an hour, he was drenched with sweat. He looked like a living wash cloth," Petter says and laughs.
"I'll admit that it felt somewhat superior to stand on top of the volcano with our bone-dry chinos."
Salt lakes from Lynx Urban Outdoor on Vimeo.
"The world's most awesome country"
But something every bit as sweaty as being in the desert, is mingling in one of the world's busiest cities: Tokyo.
"We ran, and I mean ran, from business meetings to the karaoke bar to the Ramen shops to sake-parties. Tokyo is just as insane as you would imagine.
But one thing about Tokyo surprised the brothers more than anything else:
"We thought that people would be dressed like cartoon characters and walking around in their own world, but we were wrong! They are extremely helpful, and they are all extremely well-dressed, sharp and detail-oriented. In the mountains, for example, we encountered an 80-year-old woman who would have left every fashion lady in the dirt," says Marius.
"How did you fit in with that crowd?"
"We chose a basic business style with shirt, blazer and jeans, and it worked very well. And that's precisely the aim of our classic design - so that you will blend in perfectly no matter where you are in the world.
And wearing the same jeans that blended in so well in the city, the brothers were then gliding down the snow-covered mountains in Hokkaido. Just as dry and warm.
"Japan is the world's most awesome country, specifically because of the great contrasts. Imagine being on a business trip in Tokyo, and then you get word of powder conditions in the mountains a few hours away from the city. But you can't go, because you don't have your slalom pants with you. That's just sad."
Not just partying and picture postcards
But, the week in Japan was far from over. From the mountains in the north, they headed south to Okinawa where the US Navy does its jungle training.
"When people see us scrambling around in the sun wearing chinos, some would ask why we didn't bring shorts. But I can promise you one thing: With the humidity and everything that crawls around in the jungle, you do not want to have bare legs."
"But, it can't have been all joy and happiness in Japan?"
"Ha-ha, no." After several days of little sleep, an extremely high level of activity and an even higher consumption of sake, we were flying at each other's throats. It was the result of the world's worst hangover. There's a reason why I'm wearing sunglasses in almost all the pictures," Petter says and laughs.
Threw out a closet full of clothes
And after a week of highs and lows, there was only one thing Petter had in mind when he finally got home:
"It was all the crap I had in my closet. When I came in the door, I simply threw out all my clothes, except for those six pieces," he says and continues:
"Now, I don't waste a second thinking about what I'm going to wear, and it's a truly wonderful feeling."
"Yes, and what it is Mark Zuckerberg, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs have in common? They're all extremely successful thinkers - and they wear exactly the same thing every single day."
And although the guys are not keen on talking about the environmental benefits of swearing by few and timeless clothes, we have to discuss it a bit anyway:
"We aren't making these clothes to save the world, but there is no denying that we grew up in an environment-oriented family. Sustainable production and consumption is in our DNA. But we think like Tesla: If people are going to choose us because we are environmentally sound, we need to be a better option on all the other points as well."
What about weddings and funerals?
Last but not least, there is one thing we have to ask the guys about:
"But, honestly guys: Can you live in six pieces of clothing all 365 days of the year?"
"I believe one hundred percent that our clothes work for absolutely all activities and occasions. Except for two things: formal weddings and funerals. Then you must have a suit," says Marius.
"We also want to expand the collection in the future. We're playing and experimenting with a casual suit, a sweater and the ultimate: a pair of shoes."
"But," Petter interjects:
"We won't make suits, we won't make shoes and we won't make a sweater if we don't know that they will be better, more stylish and more functional than anything else currently available in the market."
The two brothers look at each other, and say almost scarily synchronously:
"Everything we make must be absolutely perfect."