In the heart of the design district, I’m not sure I should have expected anything less than utter passion from the wonderfully warm designer Minna Paussu.
We met Minna and were first introduced to her designs a few weeks ago at The Attic Trunk Show here in Helsinki. There we were wowed by the construction of her flowing silky wrap dresses and the power boss vibe from her all-black jumpsuit. First impressions did not disappoint when a few weeks later we had the honor of visiting her studio.
Her story is just as empowering as her creations. An engineer turned designer and part-time youth teacher of all things science, Minna is a woman full of surprises. After finding herself longing for change in 2015 she enrolled in the Helsinki Design School where she spent a year studying. It was on the first day the seed was planted and her imagination began to conspire the beginnings of what would soon become her own fashion line. By the end of the school year, Minna graduated the program in 2016 and soon after was launching her line in the spring of 2017. This workforce can be seen in her enthusiasm and passion when she shares the story of her work. She has a belief that our journeys are unmapped, but passion dictates speed and ability to conquer all goals and obstacles.
Text: Elizabeth Kiikka, Photos: Milja Laakso
“There we were wowed by the construction of her flowing silky wrap dresses and the power boss vibe from her all-black jumpsuit.”
Nowadays Minna is living her best life living a creative’s dream. She shares her unique storefront with other amazing designers collaborating, working, and supporting each other in their respective fields. She shared a story with us about the origin of one of her interesting and unique prints. On the surface, it looks like a minimal textural design, printed on silk. The specific piece is a long wrap dress that is a backdrop of muted chocolate browns with accent colors of blue, navy, and faint sky white. It is not perceivable to see the original idea which leads to this outcome, so I am more than grateful I inquired. From behind a curtain, Minna brought a piece of scrap paper with various landscape pictures of trees glued to one side. On the other, short parallel blue paintbrush strokes blend with cut out scraps of the same design. The outcome being a vertical image that immediately reminded me of the classic Finnish birch word forests. She continues to share her story, of why this image came to be, it’s a symbol for the individual lives we live. Each person has their own path, and only they have all of their individual parts.
It was beautiful listening to her story and then learning about this particular design in detail. I stood there amazed at her ability to live life with so much optimism. In the west, we would call her a person who sees the cup half full. That is Minna. Her designs are minimal on the surface, but deep down they represent creative powerful people. It should also be mentioned Minna is an incredibly intelligent woman. Her efforts to design with longevity in mind for the customer, so you can trust a Minna Paussu design will thrive in a healthy wardrobe for years to come. Her ideas to invest in quality fabrics from regionally sourced locations inspire ethical solutions that all designers should be considering. And her part-time efforts to expand the minds of children through science courses, just prove how versatile and intelligent she truly is. This inspirational woman proves there are no limits to creativity, passion, and growing a sustainable community. Her belief as a designer is to think of the customer in the long term. How her can her design live their longest life and serve the customer to their fullest potential. I believe her lifestyle compliments this thought process, and admire her work even more than before.
“Each person has their own path, and only they have all of their individual parts.”
If you are lucky enough to be in the Helsinki Design District area, be sure to stop by her shared studio space Frank/ie on Annankatu 13. And for everyone else abroad you can find more about Minna Paussu on Instagram and on her website, www.minnapaussu.com.