Designer Du Jour is the wonderful Minna Parikka
design things that I can wear myself. All the designs come from me and they resemble my personality and the idea of beauty I have.
Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your personal style? My mother. she used to change my nappies in red lipstick and red varnished nails.
What made you decide to become a fashion designer, have you always felt drawn to this career?
I have know that I am going to be a shoe designer from the age of 15.
Favorite colour? leopard print
Did you face criticism from relatives or friends at your choice of career or were you supported throughout the process?
My sister was the one who had the idea that i was to become a shoe designer. My family and friends have been extremely supportive throughout the whole process of having my own brand. Without them i would have given up a long time ago.
How would you describe the aesthetic of the label? Sensual, fun and high quality.
What fabrics do you favor? leather. my shoes are all in leather: uppers, linings and soles. my favorite is high shine leathers or on the contrary buttery soft nappa or suede. I like to mix hard fetich image and innocent soft image.
What is the fashion scene in Finland like? Fashion scene here in Helsinki is tiny. We have only few brands that have international potential and that are ambitious. The good thing is that everybody has their own style and brands are not copying each other, everybody knows each other here.
Do you perceive that there is a pressure on you to conform to local idea's of fashion and style; does this limit your creativity? Not at all! it is totally the opposite. Here I feel like I don't need to run after seasonal trends or other influences. Here I have space to create the things that I think are beautiful and what i would want people to wear. My style is not Finnish at all. It is really difficult to spot the origin of my design style. Mostly people think that i am from London.
Do you ever draw inspiration from fashion history? I love history and nostalgia. My collections will always have a hint of the past. I used to have a very vintage look but now my style has grown up more and I am going into a more high class and elegant look without losing the enjoyment of designing.
Who do you see wearing your collection? I have so many different kinds of women as my fans here in Finland as well as internationally. It can be a sharp business woman, fashion victim, older lady or a rock star. Pretty much any woman with attitude and personality.
What would you like to achieve for the company over the next 5 years? We are working hard to get the brand known internationally. I am well known in my own country we have a boutique and a webshop and we are stocked in 10 different countries. I want to get more retailers internationally.
What’s your take on the plus size model debate? Luckily shoes don't have this problem. A pump will fit a size 0 or plus size model.
If you could give an aspiring designer one piece of advice what would that be? Find your own style, stick to it but always remember to follow your time and keep your senses open. People will have so many opinions and suggestions what you should be doing. Trust yourself.
Do you ship worldwide? we ship nearly world wide.
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to design shoes that are fun and attractive. I find that sometimes when men design shoes they are bit too over the top. They are not actually something that I as a woman would like to wear. It is important that there is a certain sense of wearability. There is always some elements that can be added to shoes to make them just that little bit more comfortable.