Paola Suhonen

, , , , , , By Catherine Lazure | Nordic Design

We’ve been hooked on IVANAhelsinki’s since we featured the brand in March 2010. Rapidly growing, the Finnish fashion label recently presented another uniquely feminine and exciting collection at the latest Copenhagen Fashion Week. Regularly featured in the pages of International Elle and Vogue. The label also gained celebrity fans such as Helena Christensen, Juliette Lewis, Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldof and Beth Ditto. It will be the first Finnish brand to show in the official IMG MB New York Fashion Week calendar, Sept 2010.

Art Director/Founder of IVANAhelsinki, Paola Suhonen, shares a piece of herself by answering our Profile questions.

How did IVANAhelsinki started?
Oh, it is such a long story..but to make it short. I wanted to do something that would be my personal art project. start my own, independent, art band… create a platform that could be the frame for different creative works, roadtrips, films..and yes..the clothing line became THE most well-known IVANAhelsinki project

What is your business philosophy/brand?
Love first, Live then and the rest will follow. It is in everything.

How would you describe your style?
Vintage 60´s and 70´s mix with folktwist, scandinavian purity meets slavic oddity

Favorite material to work with:
Everything but not fur/ leather..can be 16mm film, cotton, woolknits…

Any special projects at the moment?
Finishing my very first feature narrative film that I shot already last summer in Texas, right now I´m on my way from NYC to LA roadtripping there, so moving to Hollywood…IVANAhelsinki shows in New York Fashion week in 3 weeks..hmm…few music films to edit, working on an firealarm well with the very first magazine dedicated to LOVE….check lovecontemporary…

Best thing about being a designer:
Being able to create your own universe and live there playing and adventuring..

You, in three words:
Hurricane, littlegirl, dark forest

What inspires you?
Love stories, my own lived life

“I’m at my most creative when…”:
I have a hangover

Best thing(s) about Scandinavia:
When living abroad, you start to nostalgize right now here in the middle of the preeria I would easily answer..everything..but´s simple, well organized place, sea, dark forests, quiet, honest people, change of seasons

Favourite designer:
No one from fashion genre..I would say that I admire Jack White..he´s so cool and multitalented

On your wish list:
To travel to Greenland

What can’t you live without?
Ice-cream right now

Scandinavian tradition(s) you love:
It´s cliché, but I really miss sauna, rye bread and dark, silent Helsinki

Favourite travel spot:
Rather arctic than tropic…I love roadtripping, this is now my second time in this summer that I´m driving across the Nort American continent

You, in five years:
Hopefully as I am now…