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PatternLab course's outcomes in Prisma stores

Patterns designed in Aalto University's PatternLab course are now visible in the clothing and home products of the supermarket chain Prisma. The collaboration has enabled students to have experience in building a commercial range and also strengthened Finnish design in Prisma's own brands.
Joukko opiskelijoita kesäisissä asuissa metallisen tornin edessä ja ympärillä
PatternLab course students 2022

PatternLab is an annual course at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture where students design and sell patterns to both domestic and international companies.

The collaboration between S Group and PatterLab course began last year with an exceptionally large selection of patterns. The partnership has grown and it will continue at least until next spring.

"We acquired exclusively more than 30 patterns designed during last year's PatternLab course, especially with clothing products in mind. The patterns are used in products from our own brands, such as House and Actuelle: women's and men's clothing, women's and children's sleepwear, and swimwear. In addition to clothes, patterns also decorate household products, such as various kitchen textiles. The first products went on sale at the beginning of the year, and in April there will be plenty of new products with PatternLab patterns. In addition to Prisma, a few of the products are also available in S-markets," says Anne Hagman, Product Group Director of Clothing at S Group's supermarket store. 

Textile design student Sanna Ahonen, who is majoring in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design, says that the genuine, commercial context interested her in PatternLab. 

"I've also always enjoyed drawing, which is why I wanted to try my wings in the world of commercial pattern design. During the course, I learned a lot about pattern design and related techniques, but also about contacting customers, organizing customer meetings and sales. The best part was working with skilled team members and presenting joint collections to textile industry operators and, of course, the moments when I heard that a pattern of my own had been sold," Ahonen says.

Seeing the patterns designed during the course in Prisma's selection has been an exciting experience for the students.

"I've already spotted the "Cut-out Garden" pattern I designed and many others in Prisma's selection. The 2022 PatternLab group has a common discussion channel where group members share pictures whenever they see a new pattern in stores. It has been exciting to see my own pattern as a concrete piece of clothing, and of course even more exciting to know that the same products are also available, for example, in the Prisma stores of my relatives who live all over Finland," Ahonen rejoices. 

Next year's collections in progress

The new PatternLab course is currently underway at Aalto University under the guidance of Professor Maarit Salolainen. Currently, collections for 2024 are already in progress. The patterns are now designed specifically for Prisma's use. 

"We selected this spring's patterns made during the course, and modified them in cooperation with the students, for example in terms of scaling, colouring and pattern layout," Anne Hagman says. "We work closely with current students from the very beginning. We have ordered patterns from them specifically for us, which will be widely visible in Prisma's clothing and home collections in 2024." 

Ordering patterns from young designers who are studying at a Finnish university is also a value choice for Prisma.

"Traditionally, collections are designed in cooperation with our international partners. We are delighted that through cooperation we will be able to add even more Finnish design to our selection. At the same time, students get to dive deeper into creating a commercial and demand-driven assortment and, for example, what kind of requirements there are for patterns in industrial production. This gives them skills that are very useful for future working life," Hagman says. 

All products are labeled with PatternLab labels. The products are mainly made from sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, Lenzing Ecovero viscose and cotton, sourced through the Better Cotton initiative to promote more sustainable cotton production.

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