Finland's finest opening new store right next to Santa Claus
Also more on the new line that requires 152 distinct processes to craft every individual piece from one of nature’s unruliest materials and Tom of Finland's iconic homoerotical prints coming to life on a new pair of boots.
While working in an international role at Nokia, Heidi Jaara collected ideas for her own brand during several years of travelling the world.
– I started Balmuir 10 years ago to pursue my passion for genuine materials and traditional craftsmanship – building a brand experience that is always a bit more, she says. After seeing a lot of big production lines, I also took the decision that my brand would only produce goods in family-owned companies who share our values – honesty, liability, and straight-forwardness.
You've had a strong first ten years. What's the key to the success?
– The idea was born out of the finest materials as our consumers love the excellent qualities and timeless styles that bring joy for years. Each one can find his or her own choice to update the look out of our wide shade range.
Which are your key products?
– We're an ultimate gift brand that offers lots of thoughtful gift ideas, with possibilities to add personalized features. We're known for high-quality cashmere products, luxurious Supima cotton, and linen home collections as well as wide range of home leather goods. We also offer an opportunity to personalize Balmuir products with monograms and embroideries where each of our brand stores has a monogram machine in-store.
Your men's products and accessories are quite unique in its design, including colourful Panama hats and leather goods made of salmon. Why is that?
– Our mission is to provide also men luxurious accessories and leather gift items. We have a wide range of cashmere, silk, and linen accessories for men, and unique pieces like elk leather gloves, stingray cufflinks, salmon leather wallets – all produced from the side products of food production – and handmade umbrellas from Italy.
You opened your first brand store outside of Finland, in central Stockholm (pictured), the other week. Is it true that you plan to open 20 more stores?
– Yes, our strategy is to build a strong network of stores and showrooms around Nordic and European countries combined with e-com. The next one will open already in July in Rovaniemi, Arctic Circle – where our neighbour will be Santa Claus himself!
Family-run premium eyewear brand Lindberg have won 94 international design awards since it was founded in Danish Aarhus in the mid-80s. That includes their buffalo titanium collection, which requires 152 distinct processes to craft every individual frame from one of nature’s unruliest materials. Always up for a new technical challenge, they didn't stop there but found a way to seamlessly combine buffalo horn and fine wood (or “træ” in Danish) and have each of these exotic components enhance the remarkable beauty of the other. With a wooden front available in four timber sorts — olive, padauk, ebony and smoked oak — and a multilayer buffalo horn-backing, the træ+buffalo titanium collection is a new take on premium eyewear that pairs distinct, organic resources with Lindberg's unparalleled handicraft, for a stunning, streamlined result. As wood is a natural product, colours and patterns vary making each individual frame a unique design piece.
American museum celebrating Nordic immigrants
Opening their doors this April, replacing the old one from 1980, Seattle’s Nordic Museum celebrates the city’s many immigrants from Scandinavia and nearby countries. They welcome people of all backgrounds to be inspired by the values, traditions, art, and spirit of the Nordic peoples. The largest museum in the United States to honor the legacy of immigrants from the five Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and educating. The latter shown in the first exhibitions, featuring the life of Norwegian adventurer Fridtjof Nansen. The other one, Northern Exposure, is representing a survey of contemporary arts from the Nordic countries and the autonomous regions of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland, including the likes of Outi Pieski (pictured), Olafur Eliasson, and Bjarne Melgaard.
Eytys x Tom of Finland
Touko Laaksonen is known as one of the 20th century's most influential artists, often described as its own Michelangelo. Four of his prints are now reworked into high definition artworks on Swedish shoe label Eytys' new model Magnum, inspired by 1950s military footwear, in white Ecru canvas and a rugged black rubber soles. The Magnum tof launch is a collab with Tom of Finland Foundation, which also gets a share of the sales to support a more tolerant view on sexuality and erotic art.
A 16-month-process to create the best pair of oxfords
Stockholm-based Morjas, whose mission is to disrupt the traditional, luxury shoe market, has now launched their new style; The Oxford. By cutting out the middlemen and selling direct-to-consumer, Morjas’ aim is to provide the best-looking footwear of the highest quality at an affordable price point. Since the launch in June 2017, they've strived to perfect the shape of each category in classic men’s shoes. Handcrafted out of Almansa in Spain, The Oxford is Goodyear welted on a super soft calf leather which has been infused with natural oils in the tanning process to create a sophisticated finish and a next level comfort. Its new last took 16 months of developing, 12 rounds of millimeter tweaks and countless late night obsessive improvements.
– This is our take on what probably is the most classic shoe on the market. We’ve put our hearts into creating a confident, timeless and powerful look, says founder Henrik Berg and creative director Marcus Schuterman.