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Style, innovation & equality

Connecting the Nordics with the East and Finland’s biggest department store launches a gender-neutral shopping floor for all

Also more on the social media phenomena launching “the world’s best everyday sweater”, excellent shoe care with a Scandinavian feel, the new affordable dress shoe and a full lineup of oxfords


Connecting the Nordics with the East As one of the world’s oldest continuously operating airlines, Finnair is focused on travel between Europe and Asia. They connect over 100 destinations in Europe with 19 destinations in Asia and 8 in North America, via its Helsinki hub.

– We were the first airline to offer a non-stop flight from Europe to Tokyo 35 years ago and started flying to China 30 years ago. Japan and China are among our top markets globally also today: we are the largest European carrier to Japan, with 31 weekly flights, and had 38 weekly flights to Greater China this summer. We also fly daily to Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore, and several times a week to Delhi, says Robert Lönnblad, General Manager Scandinavia.

– Our success in connecting Asia and Europe lies in geography. Thanks to the location of Helsinki, we are able to fly to most of our Asian destinations within 24-hour fleet rotation, which means that an aircraft can fly to Asia and back in just 24 hours. This translates into effective aircraft and crew utilization, but also into effective timetables for our customers, who can leave in the afternoon from, for example, Stockholm and arrive in Japan or China early in the morning the next day.

You’ve just launched your new global campaign, East and West Side Story, and a short movie.

– Yes, we wanted to show how meaningful encounters between strangers can be, and how each of us carries our own story with us. The film was done in a unique way, with two directors – one from Sweden and one from Korea – each filming their own part of the script. Those perspectives were merging together at the end. Also the actors came from east and west – Anne Bergsted from Scandinavia and Jae Hoon from Korea. We see east and west come together every day at Helsinki airport, and we wanted to tell one story of such encounters in an engaging way. Travel opens your mind, and brings people closer together.

What are your future plans?

– We continue to connect east and west – both ways. The Nordics are very attractive to Asian travelers – the design, lifestyle, cuisine, and nature of the Nordics are clearly hot now. The Finnish Lapland has been the top destination for our Chinese travelers for two winters in a row, and our new routes in the Nordics – Bergen, Tromsø, Reykjavik, and more – are very popular among our Asian travelers. Also, Stockholm and Gothenburg are attracting Asian travelers. We want to build on this success. Next spring, we also expand our network to the west, opening a year-round route to Los Angeles, flown with our new A350 aircraft, with great customer comfort and great fuel economy and less emissions.

What’s not to be missed in Helsinki?

– It’s really becoming a hot destination, for both corporate and leisure travellers, and makes for a great weekend destination. The restaurant and cafe scene is vibrant, and there are great experiences, such as the Allas Sea Pool or Löyly for those who want to do a sauna in a new, very modern way. For art lovers, the newly opened Amos Rex art museum right at the heart of Helsinki is a must see.

Finland’s biggest department store launches a gender-neutral shopping floor for all Stockmann has gained attention for their bold campaigns, such as changing its name to Stockwomann in celebration of International Women’s Day. Their latest move is a gender-neutral shopping floor – located physically between men’s and women’s, on the 1.5 floor. It features well-known brands such as Acne Studios, Calvin Klein and Marimekko, that have previously incorporated unisex styles in their collections. As the name states that there is only one way in style – your own – Stockmann wants to question old-fashioned norms and limits when it comes to dressing.

– Department stores, especially, tend to stick with outdated norms when it comes to how they allocate their offering under different departments. At the same time, consumers are already buying quite liberally from both departments, says Laura Paikkari, Creative Director at TBWA\Helsinki, who’ve created the campaign.

– We believe that men’s and women’s departments should function as guidelines to finding the clothes that best fit your shape and style rather than definite rules to follow. With One Way we wanted to style and curate a selection of clothes that might not be designed “unisex” but that work perfectly for all people. Our aim is to inspire our customers to forget the rules and shop unbiasedly, says Anna Salmi, CCO at Stockmann.

One Way opened as a pop-up the other week and is open this entire week before the concept is introduced at Stockmann’s other department stores in the Baltic countries. More projects on the same issue is yet to be announced. Photography: Svante Gullichsen

Social media phenomena launching “the world’s best everyday sweater” With an impressive 400K-something Instagram following, Grand Frank has clearly built a strong customer base in only a few years. Unsurprisingly, their drop of affordable shearling jackets for the winter the other week sold out in hours. To follow up, they introduce what they call the smartest knitwear on the planet. First launched in a successful Kickstarter campaign late 2017, they’re designed with New Zealandic merino wool and Coolmax fibers that adjust depending on the temperature. It’s made to keep you cool as your body temperature rises, while the hollow fiber structures provide light-weight insulation when the temperature drops.

A new affordable dress shoe and a full lineup of oxfords Established in 1922, one of Scandinavia’s leading shoe repair shop, Bäckmans Skoservice in Stockholm, has just launched their private label line. Together with a shoe factory in the shoe mecca of Northampton, England, Brookman Shoes offers a Goodyear Welted line of four shoes, with more models to come.

The last year has been busy for Myrqvist, opening their own store in central Stockholm and working really hard to further increase the quality of the already strong shoe offering.

– So, now all our shoes are handmade in Portugal with leather from the French tannery Du Puy, owned by Hermès, without raising our prices, says founder Sebastian Öhrn.

The new fall collection includes new lasts, new fabrics, four new derbies and two new boots.

Stockholm-based Morjas mission is to disrupt the traditional, luxury shoe market by cutting out the middlemen. They now launch their oxford model in five new colours: Burgundy, Brown and Medium Brown Calf and Brown and Medium Brown Suede. All Goodyear Welted in Spain and joining the Black Calf launched last year. The frontman for the new campaign is writer and menswear consultant Andreas Weinås., &

Excellent shoe care with a Scandinavian feel Swedish Tangent is set to provide a superior range of garment care products. Not emanating from the chemical industry or flung off conveyor belts, but products that will naturally and effectively give your garments a long life. The same goes for your footwear as their shoe care set comes in a box designed in natural brown cardboard – embossed, scored and stapled by hand. It includes two brushes, four shoe care products made of natural waxes and fats, as well as an Italian-made shine cloth cut from organic cotton flannel.