Left: Päivi wearing the First Crush Rea dress, made of two recycled men's shirts, and the Jenny Clutch, made of recycled paper & recycled leather. Right: Mari Himmanen, the designer of First Crush. Pictures by First Crush.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a thoughtful and warm hearted person who easily gets excited by new things.
How would you describe your label in five words?
Unique, innovative, ecological, unconventional, timeless…
Why handmade / locally produced?
I love to make things with me own hands. It’s nice to see how your own creations come into existence step by step. It’s also important for me to give more eco friendly alternatives to costumers.
How are First Crush products ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
I use ecological materials as much as possible. In accessories recycled papers, eg. old music sheets and maps, are the main material. On my clothing collection, I use old men’s shirts to create innovative and timeless design for women.
As a designer I feel I have a responsibility and I try not to produce more new stuff into the world. Ecological values have always been close to my heart. Therefore it felt natural for me to start making items from ecological materials.
I also make every piece of the collection myself at my work room in Punavuori. It’s important for me that every piece of the First Crush collection is timeless and of good quality.
Left: Heidi wearing First Crush Satu tunic, Jenny clutch and Karuselli earrings. Right: the Karuselli earrings, made from recycled music notes.
What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration? I get my inspiration from everything I see. It’s a process that goes on all the time. I love the coincidence of life!
How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?
Totally great and awesome! Paloni is one of my favorite shops in Helsinki. Minna, the owner and founder of Paloni, is a wonderful person who has an eye for style and trends.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I’ve always liked to do things on my own way. Therefore I’m not really sure if I ever listened to any kind of advice. Working with your own brand is though and exiting at the same time. I like to share things with my family and closest ones. I’m lucky to have good friends and people in my life who support me. <3
Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
Find your own style, believe in your dreams and never give up.
What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
Getting a work room with other creative designers in 2010 has been one of the best things. Also the same year the TV channel MTV3 showed my bag in the news and that was really cool.
Please continue the following sentence: My passion is…
to be creative, do what I love and enjoy it!
Note from the editor: Paloni and First Crush organize an evening course on making earrings and necklaces from recycled leather on Tuesday 23.10. from 6pm to 8pm. The price of the course 19€ / person includes materials for making a pair of earrings and a necklace in your chosen color, plus tuition by Mari herself, and some snacks to keep us going. Eva from the duet Eva & Manu participated this course this summer. Below you can see her stunning outcome. To reserve your seat to the course, just join the event on Facebook. Payment at the event.