FASHION

The Beautiful Functionalism of Samuji

The creative force behind the rising Finnish design house opens up.


Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Samuji is a Finnish creative studio and design house that values necessary things, simple functionality, and kindness. The Samuji women’s wear collection was launched in spring 2011, and a men’s wear capsule collection was introduced in fall 2013. Everything is crafted out from quality materials from European and Japanese suppliers and produced in Europe. Here, the brand’s founder Samu-Jussi Koski answer our questions.

How did growing up in Finland influence your aesthetic? In many ways, of course! I like to think my roots and the whole Finnish tradition can be seen in Samuji—in our aesthetics, in our values and in the way we approach design. Samuji aims to create functional, sustainable design—items that serve a purpose and yet carry a story. To me this beautiful functionalism is something very Finnish.

Do you think there is there a distinct Finnish aesthetic? On the one hand we are a part of the Scandinavian design tradition: very functional, simple, in touch with nature. And on the other hand we have strong influences from the east: bold ornamental prints, deep colors etc. So, as also geographically, Finland is a mixture of two worlds.

What’s your favorite thing about being based in Finland? Nature. It’s my never-ending inspiration. I grew up in a small village in central Finland, surrounded by lakes, and nowadays I live in the middle of fields and forests, not far from the seashore close to Helsinki. In Finland, even in the capital Helsinki, nature is very present, and always close. And I’m very happy if it influences my design and Samuji’s aesthetics, too.

Do you have a favorite Finnish designer? Vuokko Nurmesniemi is my all time favorite.

Who is your favorite international designer? Yohji Yamamoto.

Meet Finland’s Rising Fashion Stars

Elina Määttänen

“Finland is not a land of high glamour. My clothes are usually based on functional garments like workwear and military uniforms.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Lepokorpi

“We live between Russia and Sweden. I can see influences coming from both Slavic and western cultures, which makes it quite different from what you see elsewhere.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Satu Maaranen

“I grew up surrounded by Marimekko curtains and table wear, using Fiskars scissors and drinking from Iittala glasses. In away you could not help it how you got influenced by the iconic Finnish design from the golden ages.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Ensæmble

“Of course we are influenced by things beyond our borders too, but there is without a doubt a certain Finnish aesthetic which mixes with Karelian roughness and both cultures are strongly influenced by nature. “

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Sasu Kauppi

“Finland is evident in everything I do, but not necessarily very noticeably. It’s sort of a national feeling of a pacifist.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Samuji

“Samuji aims to create functional, sustainable design—items that serve a purpose and yet carry a story.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

Laura Juslin

“Finland is so far away from fashion capitals that you are able to perceive fashion from an outsider’s perspective.”

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen

R/H “Finnish people are naturally good at individualism because of our lone wolf kind of mentality.”

Hair and make-up by Emilie Tuuminen. Model: Stephanie Cook at Brand Model Management.

Photographer: Chris Vidal Tenomaa Stylist: Maija Sallinen
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Photos by Chris Vidal Tenomaa, styled by Maija Sallinen. Hair and make-up by Emilie Tuuminen. Model: Stephanie Cook at Brand Model Management.