Odd Molly started as a tribute to Molly, a skater girl in Venice Beach in the ‘80s who followed her own path in life and dared to chase her dreams. Our goal is to inspire other girls to do the same. Collection by collection we are paving the way for more Mollys in the world - by helping girls to realize their most impossible, adventurous and “odd” dreams.

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Odd Molly reveals:

ODD PROJECT #1

Watch Emelie Ekenborn fulfill her dream to fly as a Forest Dragon Bird - half woman, half bird.

"All over the world you’ll find myths about magical birds and dragons that guard the forests. They are powerful symbols of freedom, magic, boldness – and a contrast to the way we live today, separated from nature. My dream is to build a Forest Dragon Bird based on various mythological creatures and fly over the forest as half-woman, half-bird/dragon."
Name: Emelie Ekenborn
Age: 33
Lives: In Stockholm, Sweden
Present occupation: Set designer

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Odd molly paves the way for more mollys in the world, by making "odd" dreams come true.

New years 2014. Set designer Emelie Ekenbom a friend are looking back at the past year and decide to write down concrete goals for the future. Her friend lists a bunch of practical, solution oriented points. On her list, Emelie writes just ont thing: "I want to fly." On a bitterly cold February morning less than three months later in the city of Borlänge, Emelie stands armed to the teeth in a heated flight suit and helmet. She's about to embark on a journey to become the first woman ever to fly as a "dragon bird". A mythological creature that is half bird, half woman. A journey that will prove to be quiet challenging.

Where it all started

But let’s back up a little. To Venice Beach in the 1980s. One of Odd Molly’s founders was so inspired by a girl who dared to break with conventions and follow her own dreams, that he decided to start a fashion company in her honor. “Odd Molly has always shared the spirit of the original Molly, her bravery and values,” said CEO Anna Attemark. “We're passionate about giving girls the opportunity to be like her. Now we’re taking it a step further with our ‘Odd Project’ initiative. With every coming collection we’ll turn one girl’s dream into reality, so Odd Project will be paving way for more Mollys around the world.”

The perfect choice

So when Odd Molly ran into Emelie not long after her friends had rolled their eyes at her seemingly impossible list, she was the perfect choice. What better way to launch Odd Project than to literally help a girl build her own wings? “As a kid I used to dream that I really knew how to fly like a bird,” she said. “I’d wake up thinking all I had to do was remember how. I’m extremely stubborn. Stubborn to the point of stupidity. So my dream is to build a ‘dragon bird’ and fly over the forest. I think flying for the first time will be incredibly scary. And then incredibly exciting.”

Which explains why we’re here, in Borlänge. Inside an old military hangar painted the traditional Falu red, and surrounded by a huge field to trick passers-by into believing it’s a farmhouse, the dragon bird is slowly taking shape. At the same time Emelie has to learn to fly an ultralight trike, a stripped-down machine that makes your head spin on first sight. “If you imagine how people would draw something they thought could fly before we actually knew how to, this would be it. It’s like a wing and then there’s a chair…. And that’s it.”

A huge mental challenge

The trike is the best way for Emelie to sense the freedom of soaring above the ground without aggravating a back injury she suffered years ago in an accident. But learning to fly a trike involves another challenge: time. It usually takes about a year to get a license. Emelie is hoping to be ready to fly in a couple of months. Helping her is Robin Fjellström, a flight instructor of few words but years of experience. Something of a national celebrity in aviation circles, he is well aware of the challenge Emelie faces. “To learn how to fly, you need to be very mentally strong. If you get frustrated or panic when you’re driving a car, you can just stop on the side of the road and get out. But when you’re in the air, you don’t have that option. Either you land it or you never fly again.”

The weather challenge

The Swedish weather also proves to be a factor. On days when Robin gives the thumbs-up, Emelie flies from five in the morning until lunch, in short bursts to practice the hardest parts: taking off and landing. And to avoid freezing. Despite the heated suit, it is almost unbearably cold in an open seat high up in the air. After 20 minutes Emelie can’t bend her fingers or utter an understandable word over her radio.

If you imagine how people would draw something they thought could fly before we actually knew how to, this would be it. It's like a wing, and then there is a chair... And that's it.

Her afternoons are spent studying endless books on theory. And of course using her skills as a set designer to craft the dragon bird.

Bringing life to the dragon bird

“I’ve always been fascinated with mythologies around the world of birds with female features. Some of them were bringers of fortune, some of life, but also of death. In many ways they are symbols of how society has viewed strong women. I want my dragon to have a metallic feel, but with dragon skin. And I want to make a costume that makes me an integral part of the creature, so it feels like there is an actual Emelie dragon bird flying around, bringing peace and justice and equality!” Her eyes light up as she describes her vision. But Robin is worried: “If we do too many changes to the wing, the aerodynamics performance will change, and that can be very dangerous.” So will the dragon bird fly? No one will know for sure until the day it is ready to test. Odd Project #1 is mainly about inspiring women to be brave.

Not just Emelie, but all the Mollys out there. And best of all, even HOW Odd Molly works with Odd Project makes a difference. By exclusively using talented female creatives like photographer Anna Bergqvist, whose photos you see in this article; Ulrika Svalling, who is designing the costume; and 3D graffiti painter Ebba Chambert, who will bring the dragon to life, the idea is that each project will simultaneously pave the way for more dreams and more talented women in the world.

Doing the impossible

Back at the air field, shivering slightly but optimistic as dawn breaks against the snow-covered mountains in the background, Emelie summarizes her dream: “Humans can’t fly. We don’t have the capability for it, so of course that’s what we’re gonna do. Do the impossible.”

SPECIAL CREDITS TO...

Graffiti artist EBBA CHAMBERT

By aiming to work exclusively with female artists, photographers, designers and musicians, each Odd Project simultaneously pave the way for other talented women in the world.

Meet the women who interpreted and helped bring Emelies vision, design and sketches of the Forest Dragon Bird and her costume to life!
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Age: 25
Lives: Copenhagen
Background:
”I had problems with all my teachers in school except one, who understood that I could concentrate better when I was drawing. So I did 2 years in Gothenburg art school, but finally realized I don’t need recognition from any school or permission from anyone to do what I want. My first exhibition was at Urban Art room in Gothenburg, and shortly after I got to paint my first wall in Copenhagen. I was so thrilled I painted it non stop for 18 days in a row.”

See more of Ebbas work at www.ebbachambert.com

”What drives and inspires me is the meeting between man and the unknown”

Music by TULA

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Tula is a Swedish art pop project, where each new song reveals an episode in a story. The main character in the adventure has the name Tula.

Led by delicate yet powerful vocals, the Berlin based Swedish quintethas a unique brand of combined organic and electronic pop.

Having formed following each of the members moving to Berlin individually within the space of a week, together the band converted an abandoned warehouse they stumbled upon into a private studio where they spent years perfecting their sound in front of live audiences. Since then TULA has become a steady fixture of Berlins club scene as well as performed live all around Germany and the rest of Europe.

Find out more at tula.nu



Costume by ULRIKA SVALLING

Age: 62
Lives: Stockholm
Background:
”Already as a teenager I began to sew clothes for friends, ”London style” – you couldn’t find much of that in Sweden back then. At the age of 17 I moved to Stockholm to get a proper education in tailoring. For a while, I worked as a model in Paris and in London, before I started my own ideas of fashion together with Vivianne Tvilling at the company “Kläder & Sånt” in Old town in Stockholm. Since, I’ve done everything from costumes for Ingmar Bergmans film ”Fanny and Alexander” to teaching and having examinations and screenings at Central St. Martins and Royal Albert Hall. But still continuously with fashion."

What has been most inspiring?
”It’s hard to tell. I’m 100% passion, and my work motto is ”Never give up”. Something new and interesting is always around the corner."

Photographer ANNA BERGKVIST

Age: 29 

Lives: Stockholm
What inspires you?
I am motivated by the things that provoke me and emotionally move me, such as injustice, prejudice and people that lack empathy. I find inspiration everywhere, from daydreams to everyday realities.
What other projects have you been working with?
I love working on projects! A few years ago, I participated in an exhibition with a photo project I did at an orphanage in Latvia. I have also travelled to Vietnam to photograph a story about women working in factories. I have battled mosquitos while shooting a feature film in the Swedish forest of Dalarna, and I have documented the lives of the people living in a small village in the mountains of Kurdistan.

See more of Annas work at www.annabergkvist.com

ARE YOU THE NEXT MOLLY?

Do you have a wild, grandiose, adventurous or just plain unusual dream that you would like to follow through? If so, you can apply to our grant scheme, "Odd Projects". With every Odd Molly collection we make from now on, we will help one girl to achieve her lifelong dream. Collection by collection, we are paving the way for more Mollys in the world.

Give us a brief run-down of who you are, what you're doing at the moment, and a description of your own dream. Send your application by letter and a photo or a film (e.g. on your computer or mobile phone).

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Watch previous applicants