Sophie Sälekari presented her final collection at Aalto University a year ago. While preparing to wholly finish her studies as a designer, she decided to do another collection because, “It’s my job,” and plans to integrate fur into her creations.
Sälekari has no use for the ho-hum or orthodox ways of thinking design. Her creations are distinctly non-Nordic in her novel interpretations using colours and prints.
“A lot of now designers and up-and-comings do very simple, cool things. I would wear it, but wouldn’t design it,” she says. “Response to the final collection (which was also part of H & M’s London ‘13 show) gave me confidence, and I’ve learned that your own stuff becomes cool when you know what you’re doing.”
Saga Furs is helping her to know what she will be doing with fur. “Everything for me starts with material; good material gives so much.”
The upcoming collection is a “personal project”
The young designer hasn’t worked with fur, but understands its vast potential. “As a material it can do so much and you can embellish it, which I want to do but in an untraditional way,” she states. “I want to bring originality to the material.”
Sälekari arrived at Saga Furs Design Center with ideas, “but when I saw what’s here I got new ideas to pursue.” She has ideas about combining materials, trying to do weaving with fur, and weaving fur in with ornaments. Her approach is personal and totally realistic within her scope of developing skills.
“I believe you should embrace the best side of you. I’m not a good seamstress yet, so I work in ways that are most natural. At the same time, I am adding new knowledge. Once again, it’s so much more fun when you know what you’re doing.”
Where her endeavours will take her, Sälekari does not yet know. She does, however, have a personal compass to show direction along the career path. “Before, I thought I wanted to work with a big brand, but now want my own brand – total freedom.”