Designer of the Month: Minna Kaartinen / Vietto

Left: The Vietto Hapsu scarf is a classic piece that jazzes up any outfit - a favorite piece among Paloni's customers,
and for all good reasons. Right: Minna knitting a Hapsu scarf in Paloni. The director Aarni Vaarnamo
shooting material for the Paloni video.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Well, I’m a very contradictory person so it’s pretty hard to describe myself in only one sentence, but to keep it brief: I’m an individualistic person with a warm heart and a strong will!

How would you describe your label Vietto in five words?
Independent, innovative, intriguing, eco friendly and very much usable. (not exactly in five words…)

Why handmade / locally produced?
I have my background in Environmental management so I guess an ecological point of view is the most important thing for me. On the other hand I have been interested in fashion all my life and also been making things with my own hands for as long as I can remember. I also want to give an alternative to my customers.

How is Vietto ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
I use mainly ecological materials in my designs – either recycled, textile industry leftovers or then ecological, locally produced textiles by e.g. Orneule Ltd. I don’t renew my whole ‘collection’ twice a year. My design process is more like evolutionary. It means that my creations constantly evolve, but most of them stay in my collection as ‘classics’ for more than one season. When design is timeless and personal, the wardrobe doesn’t need to be renewed for each season. PLUS I do my best to support local production, to use ecologically produced electricity, to recycle and use all I can… Simply and truly, I try to do my best!

What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everything I see. I’m very much into urban landscapes, but at the same time I love nature and peacefulness. I love colours, but I need to create a calm canvas for them. I’m really into subcultures, but I still want my creations to look unique. AND I can’t claim that I wouldn’t follow trends at all…  I guess this reflects quite a lot my contradictory personality I mentioned before…

How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?
Totally amazing! Everything has been just great! The shop is absolutely lovely, very unique. There has been nothing like it in Helsinki before. I pretty much love everything, but one thing I’m truly extra grateful is the communication. Minna is such a doll, an absolutely lovely person! It’s such a joy to be one of the Paloni designers!

Vietto Minna Kaartinen Neppari skirt in organic cotton

Minna's clothes often have a fun and functional clue to them - this Neppari skirt in organic cotton
has an asymmetrical hem with poppers. By attaching the poppers from the hem to the waist, the skirt
changes its shape and gets fluffy pleats of different forms.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I’ve been so tenacious all my life that I’m really not sure if I ever listened to any kind of advices… 😉 But I’ve got support whenever I’ve needed it from my dear ones.

Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
This list is full of clichés (PLUS it kind of rhymes… I had my past in the hip-hop culture…): Listen to yourself, fulfil your own vision. Don’t let anyone bring you down, this business is full of competition.

What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
I wish it’s still in the future! But I guess by now, it must have been the moment I beat myself deciding to start my own label in 2007.

Please continue the following sentence: My passion is…
… to create fashion with a deeper meaning. (Note: a rhyme again 🙂