Focus Finland: FINSK, crafting the ideal footprint
“I regard sustainable design as something that lasts much longer than a season, both visually and quality wise. Natural materials can add to this, for example the wood and leather that I use in my work have characteristics that improve even more with time. The ethical side of production is also very important to me – good working conditions and skilled craftsmen who take pride in their work are all part of FINSK.” – Julia Lundsten
Growing up in Finland with an architect father and interior design mother, it is no wonder that Julia Lundsten has quite the eye for structure and detail. These roots are apparent in her use of angles, materials and colours. The label is not only a fave amongst singers Rihanna and Lady Gaga, it is also highly prized as Lundsten won the Manolo Blahnik Award (which acknowledges one RCA footwear design student per year for their interpretation of a given theme) twice; the Finnish Young Designer of the Year Prize and the Smart Car Design Prize.
“My work definitely has references from Finland. The clear lines of Finnish design and architecture, the natural materials that are commonly used in Finnish buildings and furniture as well as colour combinations inspired by the landscape. However, I mix this with my life in London and other cultures I visit.”
FINSK footwear is not only strikingly bold, stylish yet walkable, it is also produced as ethically as possible. Handcrafted at an atelier in Brazil, made from locally sourced materials including leather by-products from other industries, this London-based label is all about crafting the ideal footprint.
Lundsten studied fashion in London, starting with a BA in womenswear then MA in footwear at the Royal College of Art. In 2004 when she finished school, she started FINSK while also working at Ports 1961 and Marimekko. Known for its wooden wedge, the bold esthetic of the brand is also now available in the (little) sister-line, Skin by FINSK, which just launched in 2012. Future plans include: further development of Skin, launching new products over the next few years and maybe even a shop in the near future.