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Young Finnish fashion designers work together with famous brands

Adidas, Fiskars and Terinit renew their brands with collections by fashion designers Anna Isoniemi, Maria Korkeila and Rolf Ekroth.
nuori nainen istuu ostoskärryissä maitopullo kädessään, yllään Anna Isoniemen suunnittelema värikäs mekko
Anna Isoniemi designed a collection for Adidas, photo © adidas Originals

Promising young talent from the fashion design department at Aalto University has made the news in Finland and globally.

Anna Isoniemi, who presented her master's thesis last spring, launched her own collection early this year in collaboration with Adidas. Isoniemi’s collection is part of the Adidas Originals product line, which includes collections from many renowned star designers such as Raf Simons, Stella McCartney and Rick Owens.

This is the first time Adidas is collaborating with a student designer on such a large scale. The cooperation started a year and a half ago when the creative management of the company contacted Isoniemi.

‘They liked the strong, individual voice and style of my design’, Isoniemi says.

‘It's great to see that a big company like Adidas has faith in young designers, and gives us the opportunity to use Adidas history and brand, but with the possibility to combine our own visions and thoughts’, Isoniemi says.

Mustiin pukeutunut Anna Isoniemi seisoo mallinuken vieressä, jolla on hänen suunnittelemansa vaate yllään
Anna Isoniemi, photo© adidas Originals

The collection is being sold worldwide and the second part will be released shortly. Isoniemi is pleased with the attention and feedback the collection has received.

Through this collaboration, Isoniemi says she has gained more confidence: no matter where you come from, it is crucial just to go fearlessly into new situations. She says she has an entrepreneurial mindset and love for working and facing new challenges, so even though this collaboration has taken a lot of work, she says it has been worth it.

Isoniemi is also involved in the Superstar 2020 campaign, recently announced by Adidas, whose key message is that change requires extensive collaboration between different types of professionals. The campaign brings together prominent people from various disciplines, such as athletes, entertainment and gaming professionals and artists.

Honoring the visionary

‘Big brands and companies have realised that the ideas of young designers can help build a fresh new angle. It is not just about a single collection, but about the fact that visionary young people are shaping the thinking of big brands on a broader scale’, says professor in fashion Pirjo Hirvonen.

Recently, a similar opening was seen by the garden tool company Fiskars, which unveiled its first clothing collection in Florence during the Pitti Uomo fair. The collection was designed by Hyères awarded Aalto University fashion student Maria Korkeila and consists of gardening and leisure-time unisex clothing and accessories.

The garments are made of organically produced and recycled materials, with elements of street fashion. The collection was noted, among others, by fashion publication Vogue (US).

‘Fiskars was an enormous success and there was a lot of commercial interest in the collection. There was a large group of top international media and buyers present at the Palazzo Pucci’, explains lecturer in fashion Tuomas Laitinen.

Aalto's alumni Rolf Ekroth also introduced his own collection and the the AW20 collection for Terinit, a Finnish heritage sporting brand, in Pitti Uomo in 2019. Ekroth has just signed a distribution contract with major Japanese companies on both collections.

 

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