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Fashion forward: Viking adventure takes Norwegian American designer in a new direction

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Seattle designer creates with a uniquely Norwegian inspiration and imagination

Fashion flight of fantasy reaches new heights

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Leiren is also highly sought after for her custom design, which is no wonder given the extraordinary detail and craftsmanship put each creation. She is known for the intricate jeweled details of her evening gowns, which require hours of hand sewing.
— Lori Ann Reinhall, Norwegian American

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Gilded Magazine

I've named this series, Hilde" - a play on words between the great valkyrie shieldmaiden known as Brunhilde and the Scandinavian version of the siren called the "Huldra."I aim to capture the strength of the Valkyries and the mystic properties of forest spirits found throughout Norwegian folk tales into designs fit for a viking queen.

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Promo Magazine, Conde Nast

"Reveur" is a french word, meaning dream, dreamy, and daydream. The feeling of lightness and the ethereal qualities of this shoot made the results of it quite dreamlike.

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Gilded Magazine

"Winter Enchantress" is a gorgeous shoot where we really wanted to capture the beauty and stillness of winter. Winter is such a huge part of Scandinavian culture since it is so cold and dark for a great part of the year. As a Scandinavian, there is a greater sense of embracing winter and finding those precious still moments to connect with the world around us.

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Journal of the San Juan Islands

Friday Harbor High School graduate Madison Leiren, owner and designer of Leiren Designs, will debut her runway show on May 17, which is Norwegian Constitution Day, a largely attended day in Ballard. The fashion show will be held in the main hall of the new Nordic Museum. It is meant to bring attention to the museum’s new location and to create a regeneration of the image of Scandinavian culture in Seattle. In producing a fashion show, Leiren is hoping to share cultural inspiration through the lens of art and design.

In the past, Leiren volunteered with the museum during their Viking Days in August as a viking reenactor and created custom designs for their annual auction. Her future hopes for the partnership are to get more young people interested in culture and to see the rich wisdom that comes from appreciating history. Fashion is a great tool for bringing about such visibility and appreciation from a wider audience.

Leiren’s family has been a strong part of the Scandinavian community in Seattle. They make contributions to the museum and through her uncle Terje Leiren’s 40 years of working and chairing the Scandinavian Department at the University of Washington. Through fashion, Leiren wants to preserve her family’s legacy and the old Norse ways of courage, adventure and bravery. Leiren hopes that these pillars of the old Norse ways will inspire and strengthen future generations."

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