In September of 2017, I talked my mom into letting me tag along with her to Fashion Week in New York City.  She had been invited to attend a networking event at FFW, hosted by Wells Fargo, for female executives in the healthcare industry. I rummaged through closets in our home to assemble the outfits I would wear in NYC and stumbled across a decades old pair of my mom's Victoria Secret pink slacks, forgotten in a closet in the basement. Wasn’t sure how I would pair it, but definitely needed to smuggle these "vintage" slacks to Fashion Week.

On September 10th, I spent the day outside Off-White’s “EMPTY” gallery on Mercer Street where I met Louis Vuitton’s menswear creative director, Virgil Abloh, No Vacancy Inn’s founder, Tremaine Emory, and two of the fashion industry's biggest influencers, Ian Connor and Luca Sabbat. The next day, I paired a white Gucci logo tee with mom’s old vic secret pink slacks tucked into my white socks. Also wearing pink Pigalle x Nike Air sneakers I bought the day before at Kith. Before hitting the streets, I snapped a photo of myself in the hotel elevator and tagged a bunch of those guys I had met the day before as I posted the picture to NYC fashion week's Instagram story. 

I walked to Dover Street Market on Lexington Ave and spent a few hours exploring the store while mom attended some of the runway shows at Fashion Week.  My uncle also joined us in NYC and we had tried to score some tickets to a taping of the Jimmy Fallon show later that night, but to no avail.  As we were chilling in the hotel room that evening, my uncle started texting us to hurry and turn on Jimmy Fallon's show!  We wondered what awesome guest Jimmy was interviewing that we had missed seeing in person because we hadn't been able to score tickets.

We flipped on the tv and were dumbfounded to see Russell Westbrook walk out to greet Jimmy Fallon wearing an outfit nearly identical to the one I was wearing that day!  Russell also wore a white Gucci logo tee, tucked into pink sweat pants, tucked into his white socks. Albeit, he was wearing Gucci sneakers rather than the limited run Pigalle x Nike Air sneakers I had scored the day before at Kith.  As Jimmy visited with Russell about his love of fashion and the inspiration behind his iconic style, we tried to wrap our brains around how Russell came to be wearing an ensemble so similar to what I was wearing at that very moment.

The following day, mom was chatting with Mark Badgley of  Badgley & Mischka backstage following his runway show and shared the story of what had happened the prior evening on Jimmy Fallon.  She showed him the two photos of me and of Russell and asked how the universe had aligned to coincidentally produce such similar fashion week ensembles. Mark told her that was absolutely without a doubt, no coincidence.  He said either Russell Westbrook or one of Russell’s stylists saw me that day or saw my post on NYC Fashion Week's Instagram story and used my look as the inspiration for his outfit on Jimmy Fallon. 

On the flight back home, my mom said that as she watched people pointing me out on the streets of NYC and complimenting my style, she realized I had a unique gift.  Then when Russell Westbrook took cues from my NYFFW outfit, she knew we had to bring my designs to the market.  She committed right then and there to be the first investor in my clothing company, and the Torbjør brand was born.  

- Torbjør

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