Finnish design can be seen and heard in the fashion scene at the New York Fashion Week in February. During the Fashion Week Finnish designers showcase their talent in Ivana Helsinki’s runway show, in Paloni’s pop-up shop and at the Capsule fashion and lifestyle trade event.
The Finnish fashion activities start with Ivana Helsinki’s Fall/Winter 2013 runway show “Rotterdam” which will be held on Thursday, February 7th. This year marks the 15th anniversary for Ivana Helsinki company and the sixth time showing their collection at the New York Fashion week. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection is inspired by the pinup girls of Rotterdam in the 1960s, echoing their magical winter nights in the freight port, drinking whiskey in dimly lit pubs as the harbor freeze over outside.
The Ivana Helsinki concept store in New York has evolved from a clothing store to a true cultural hub, having hosted numeral Finnish exhibitions, happenings and even other stores pop-up shops. This time around Finnish store fashion and Design store Paloni will show some 37 exciting new brands at the pop-up during the month of February.
Paloni was established a year and a half ago to represent about 80 independent designers and to bring something new to Finnish design. Before this New York pop-up
Paloni has only attended events and shows in Finland. Paloni’s founder Minna Särelä is not afraid of taking risks, she even sold her family home in order to create Paloni company. And doing a pop-up in New York during a Fashion week is definitely a big step for a young company.
”It felt like the right time to do something like this. It’s the biggest thing we’ve done since Paloni was founded”, says Särelä.
After establishing cooperation with Ivana Helsinki it turned out that the timetable for creating the pop-up store was very tight. “It was too good of an offer to refuse. The designers had only a few weeks to design a new line and they worked hard to rise to the challenge as we wanted to showcase something new.”
The project has attracted a lot of interest. Paloni has a delegation of 20 people coming to New York, among them a filmmaker to document the project. “We are working as a team. Everyone does what they knew best. One of our designers is also performing as a DJ at the pop-up store”, Särelä gives an example.
”We are getting greedier as we go along. We want to done something that no one will expect us to do.”
For Paloni, this event is a big leap. Särelä hopes that this excursion will help to determine the direction of Paloni’s future. “We are hoping for contacts, networking, sales and new ideas as well as for people to find the designers and their products. It is the biggest marketing campaign we’ve done.” The designers that Paloni represents are independent designers interested in ecological and ethical aspects. The designs have to have something unique about them in order to stand out. “We want to offer an experience. In each product we sell we will tell you who made it, where it was made and why.”
When asked what the future will hold for Paloni,Särelä concludes: “I’m open to ideas and suggestions. Sometimes you have to get a name abroad before you’re recognized in Finland.”
The opening party of Paloni on Wednesday February 13th from 6pm to 9 pm is open to everyone interested in design and networking at the Ivana Helsinki concept store. The paloni store will be open until the end of February.
After the official fashion week with runaway shows have closed the serious business starts with the NYC fall market week. One of the whole sale trade shows is Capsule that has been for several years a place to go for Finnish fashion brands. This year Samuji, Daniel Palillo and R/H are showing their fall collections at the Capsule event February 22-24.
Further information on the events