HFW 2015 was the first Fashion Week ever in Finland. It was also the most successful fashion event in terms of sales and social media hype.
The second Helsinki Fashion Week took place between the 22nd and 26th of July 2016 on the Suomenlinna islands in Helsinki. On the Unesco World Heritage List, Suomenlinna is an historical sea fortress built across 6 islands, a mere 15 minute ferry ride from one of Helsinki’s most popular market squares, the “Kauppatori”.
It’s time for Finnish fashion to take the big leap
Finnish Fashion is increasingly present in the events of Helsinki Design Week and “Pre Helsinki” is a leader on stage with shows and seminars on spring time. With bloggers ans press from different countries, Finnish Fashion is gaining an International awareness.
“Finnish fashion is in a transitional stage,” says fashion designer Tuomas Laitinen, lecturer of fashion design at Aalto University.
“In Finland, we have just started to understand how the fashion world really works. For a long time Finnish fashion was Finlandized and circled around our domestic media, market and demand,” Laitinen says.
Results attract investors
Media visibility may be a good start, but designers should be able to turn it into a profitable business. Stories published in magazines do not convince investors if there are no other results. The lack of investors has been a problem for Finnish fashion. Before its recent success, fashion was thought of as the “rag business” or artistic tinkering
Fashion designers work alone
Clothing designers usually work alone in Finland, and they are expected to be multi-talented. However, designers’ understanding of marketing, for example, is not very good, even though marketing courses have increased, in Aalto University as well.
“We should have people to take care of the boring stuff, so to speak. This includes sourcing for a production system, marketing and sales organization,” Laitinen says.
Finnish fashion differs from other Nordic countries
“We felt that Finnish fashion stood out in China due to its high-quality artistic design. There is a clear difference compared to other Scandinavian lines, which are very commercial,” Louekari says. ”
In recent years, Finnish fashion has taken a major step forward. Our fashion education is in order, as evidenced by the international awards achieved by Aalto University. The rise and success of the Samuji clothing brand have shown that Finnish designers’ lines are of international interest. Firms such as Samuji function as examples to other designers of the opportunities Finnish fashion may have out in the world. At the same time, investors see that financing fashion pays off and brings results.
Helsinki Fashion Week