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High fashion for hire in Helsinki

By Katri Meriläinen, May 2012

Photo: Hertta Päivärinta
Fashion Library, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, FinlandCheck that out: Helsinki’s Fashion Library allows members to wear pieces that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

Fashionistas in 2012 World Design Capital Helsinki don’t need to empty their wallets in order to fill their wardrobes, now that they can borrow couture creations from the Fashion Library.

Run by Nopsa, a Finnish website that promotes local travel, the Fashion Library offers clothes by top designers; unique vintage garments; and sample pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. Each time you visit, you can borrow three garments for a period of two weeks. Many young Finnish designers are using the Fashion Library to get deeper into the scene and test-run their products.

Photo: Hertta Päivärinta
Fashion Library, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, Finland
Colourful items: Designers can test-run their products and receive direct feedback through the Fashion Library.

Liisa Jokinen and Hertta Päivärinta founded the project in 2011 and have watched its popularity take off. Jokinen says that Helsinki’s status as World Design Capital 2012 has increased interest among the international press. “The French edition of Elle paid us a visit not long ago,” she says.

A six-month Fashion Library membership costs 75 euros (50 euros for students). From a business point of view, the World Design Capital year represents a welcome opportunity for broader cooperation.

“It’s a fantastic chance to create networks and come up with projects and plans for the future with various participants,” says Jokinen. “It’s fun and useful that the whole design field has stepped up its activity simultaneously. I think this energy is going to last for many years. The most important things are cooperation, openness and activeness, and that’s what I see between the different parties right now.”

In addition to unique items of clothing, Nopsa is also involved with other treasures – in the figurative sense. In a World Design Capital project entitled Hidden Treasure, Nopsa is emphasising local tourism sites and saving them from being overlooked.

The public contributes by sharing their favourite hidden treasure locations, such as a dilapidated restaurant, a defunct village kiosk or an overgrown nature trail. Three of them will be selected and restored to inspire continued interest in them as travel destinations.

Watch for more WDC Helsinki 2012 articles on thisisFINLAND throughout the year.


Nopsa Fashion Library
Hidden Treasures
World Design Capital Helsinki 2012


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