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Finland on the rise

Following last season’s Guest Nation participation at Pitti Uomo, the line-up of Finnish brands in Florence this year stays strong. Leading the way is Helsinki-based menswear line FRENN.

Words by Johan Magnusson

Combining honest Finnish design, relaxed sophistication and urban functionality with an edge, at the core of FRENN is modern craftsmanship and a keen attention to detail, kept fresh with Scandinavian colours, rich textures and prints.

— We believe in impeccable quality and formality with exceptional ease, comfort, and freedom along with clever details. Classy athleisure meets sophistication, says co-founder Jarkko Kallio. Responsibly hand-manufactured in Northern Europe from premium quality, ecologically sourced European fabrics, FRENN clothes are widely favoured for comfort and versatility.

This spring saw the opening of their first flagship store in their native city and Kallio says:

— We’ve been dreaming of it since the beginning. Finally, it’s possible to show FRENN as we have designed it, including our made-to-measure service at the lively Fredrikinkatu street in the heart of Helsinki.

The shop has a Scandinavian calm and clean air to it, where genuine materials like wood and linen, as well as classy furniture, add warmth to the space. The indigo blue wall, designed by Jaana Puhakka, lends a bold and colourful graphic design feel. It’s a real haven for men and popular items include Helsinkian KASPERI bags, Kämmen gloves and Norwegian Kaibosh sunglasses, designed by the leading company in its field, Pentagon Design.

For the SS19 collection, with a strong combination of stripes, checks and statement embroidered sweatshirts, FRENN takes a leap towards more contemporary and sporty menswear. New functional fabrics take comfort to another level. Modern craftsmanship allied with sporty colours is accompanied with prints in collaboration with award-winning Finnish artist, Stig Baumgartner.

Found in Finland’s leading museums, Baumgartner’s works are inspired by private experiences and memories and his oil paintings are infused with a dy- namic sense of something having just happened. He makes no clear distinction between geometrical constructivism and abstract expressionism: both schools of painting having emotive and intellectually driven sides