Sunday, February 12, 2012

interview: PAOLA from IvanaHelsinki

I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Paola before the show about what is coming up for IvanaHelsinki, what inspires her and why, people like me, really do make a difference for a brand like hers. 

The biggest news for this brand is their new flagship store opening on Elizabeth Street, proudly next to the likes of Rag & Bone and Tory Burch. (Post to come on this!) After the successful pop up store a couple of years ago, it became a goal to find a permanent home in NYC. The scene invites the likes of IvanaHelsinki to feel right at home. The boutique will not only feature the collections but local artists and musicians. Having numerous friends within the indie scene, Paola, a film maker herself, wanted the space to be a place where artists can come together and share through different events.

IvanaHelsinki's collections have a strong bohemian feeling yet the Scandinavian countries are known to produce design that is minimalistic, simple and functional. Paola feels a much stronger influence from the Slavic countries. She clearly translates this in her 70's reminiscent fabric patterns and styles. She owns each piece in the collections, designing each piece down to the fabric patterns. 

My biggest burning question for Paola was why she valued individuals like myself, who promoted the brand through blogs and social media. I first photographed IvanaHelsinki in Copenhagen back in 2010. From then on, each NYFW I have been covering the show, keeping my readers up to date with Paola's collections. Paola feels that it is the new way to reach to the masses through the small veins that bloggers create. "I think that its the modern way of communicating with the people, that's the way to do it's part of being in this underground culture, I don't think fashion should be up there." With the likes of Natalie off Duty, Late Afternoon and Flashes of Style showing up in the front row, this really is a major way of connecting with the masses and allowing consumers to feel a part of the experience. 

Thank you to Paola for giving us an insite to IvanaHelsinki. It's about creating what inspires you and growing in today's world while keeping a true sense of style and individuality. 

Post to come: Backstage, Runway show and Store Opening 

xx Marie-Louise

Photos: P.C.H

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