Mai Niemi –
Fashion with Nordic flair
For Mai Niemi, 2012 is a very special year.
She has now been designing Finnish fashion for 25 years. Her creations succeed in
being both timeless and contemporary. This sounds like a contradiction, but it's really
not. Niemi just doesn't follow any trends in her designs, and chooses instead to focus
on the creativity of the wearer. The concept followed by this Finnish designer is amazingly
simple. Mai Niemi uses high-quality materials to develop her charming items of
clothing and accessories.
Her laboriously produced ponchos and shawls are real eye-catchers. But that's
not all. No woman is required to drop a few pounds in order to be able to wear Mai
Niemi's designs, or to perhaps wish for a bit more in some places. After all, fashion
should fit the woman, not the other way round. That sounds almost too good to be
true but this designer knows what she's talking about. Like many other women, she
herself, with her rather petite figure, doesn't match the standard clothes sizes. Mai Niemi
decided to make a virtue out of necessity and started creating her own, very individual
line of clothing.
The items produced by this designer take the wearer on a journey that, in the case of
the Amazon Blanket, may even transport her as far as the Amazonian rainforest. But
Mai Niemi doesn't only draw her inspiration from landscapes. A look back at history
and the world of fables in particular also provides great stimulus. As for many Finns,
the Kalevala also plays a significant role in Mai Niemi's work. This Finnish national
epic poem, based on the verbal tradition of myths and heroic sagas, is heavily influenced
by nature cults.
For Mai Niemi, these are not merely the stories of her ancestors. On the contrary, she is
able to derive something from them for use in her own trade. The notion of sustainability
is of central importance in her fashion. Less is more, that's her motto. In her designs, she
doesn't just set great store by a high-value product. Rather she invites her customers
to combine items in their own existing wardrobe with items from her collection. In this
way, this Finn's creations can be seen as an invitation to her customers to themselves be
creatively active and thus develop their own fashion line, timeless and yet contemporary.