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Kajo W16 Review: About Shoes

Image from Elina Sekki

Image from Elina Sekki

 

Footwear and clothing design students from Häme University of Applied Sciences are once again showing their creations at Kajo W16 show. It takes place on the 13th of May at Finland’s largest cultural central, The Cable Factory in Helsinki.

Different shoes can have a drastic impact on your outfit. On behalf of HÄN, Emmi Alina Toukonen reached out to a couple of young designers studying the craft and found out about their shoe philosophy and what are the things they hope to see on the streets of Finland in Winter 2016.

 

Elina Sekki

Image fro m Elina Sekki

Image from Elina Sekki

 

What is vulgar? What can you do within the limits of good taste? Those are the questions Elina Sekki, one of the HAMK footwear design students and fashion show attendees is wondering when her imagination lets loose. How would she describe her upcoming shoeline?

”She Shoe-Shamed Me collection is full of exaggerated luxury”, says Elina about her upcoming shoe line. ”The collection balances between tacky and elegant design and is not a typical simple and well balanced Finnish design. What you’ll see instead is plenty of shiny surfaces, colors, ornaments, rhinestones and rivets.”

A great deal of attention is paid to the craftsmanship of this collecton with Kaj Lindgård being the master behind the decorative woodwork on the heels of the shoes. Besides shoes, Sekki manufactures accessories and jewelery and this time the fabrics for bags are coming all the way from Dubai, where they have been embroidered with golden rhinestones.

 

Image from Elina Sekki

Image from Elina Sekki

 

Emmi: What are the three adjectives that really describe your personality as a designer?

Elina: Bold, provocative and flashy.

 

Emmi: What is the thing that draws you to the designing process?

Elina: The thing that fascinates me is the possibility to merge materials and colors together. I love intriguing materials and surfaces. I’m very material-based designer.

 

Emmi: What is the feeling you’re trying to convey through your shoes?

Elina: I want to emphasize boldness in all its forms. The whole collection I’m about to show, is initially walking on the sheer line of classy and trendy vs tacky design.

 

Emmi: What are your favourite shoes as of now?

Elina: Black Barzilla Navajo’s by Mason Garments and patent leather shoes from Palmroth Original’s.

 

Emmi: What kind of shoes would you like to see more of on the streets of Finland for winter 2016?

Elina: Colorful and extraordinary which are comfortable to walk in. Simple and clean lines are rooted too tight in Finnish shoe design, therefore I’d like to see much more variety in Finnish footwear. At the moment, my brand SEKKI is focused on jewelry only. Hopefully I can expand our range to shoes in the future.

 

Emmi: Looks or comfort?

Elina: Both are attainable and that’s exactly what I’m trying to accomplish! Personally I don’t like heels over 9 cm because of the distorted position the foot has to bend to. Heels in my collection are 9 cm and not a centimeter over!

 

Tiia Riitamaa

Image from Tiia Riitamaa

Image from Tiia Riitamaa

 

With the simplicity of her creations, the designer Tiia Riitamaa is a complete opposite to Elina. Her design philosophy is to create functional products that are visually so captivating and beautiful that they can be also used as decorative items.

She describes her collection as being delicate and beautiful, but where one can also find edges and boldness. This also reflects in the collection named Phoenix. ”For some time I had wanted to do something with feathers”, explains Tiia. ”Bird plumage and its layering fascinates and inspires me. To counteract light feathers I gave the shoes a wooden sole which are made by Joonas Suomalainen”.

 

Tiia Riitamaa

Image from Tiia Riitamaa

 

Emmi: What are the three adjectives that really describe your personality as a designer?

Tiia: Material- based, colorful, clean line enthusiast.

 

Emmi: What is the thing that draws you to the designing process?

Tiia: I love to choose and think about the materials I’m about to use. It’s all about the mix and match.

 

Emmi: What is the feeling you’re trying to convey through your shoes?

Tiia: I want my shoes to give a boost of confidence to whoever wears them. I want them to be beautiful and bold and I’d like these feelings to transfer to the wearer.

 

Emmi: What are your favourite shoes as of now?

Tiia: Red sneakers that I’ve worn for many years now, and it shows.

 

Emmi: What kind of shoes would you like to see more of on the streets of Finland for winter 2016?

Tiia: More of the word ’made in Finland’.

 

Emmi: Looks or comfort?

Tiia: The two combined makes the best shoe.

 

 

Words by Emmi Alina Toukonen.

Emmi Alina Toukonen is a journalist and stylist based in Helsinki, Finland. Check out her portfolio here.