Like Alice in Wonderland wearing a new pair of shoes
Is success coming
too fast, Minna?
All kind of
attention is good and it is nice. I enjoy it and it is good for my business,
but my goal has been to move forward very quickly. It is exactly what I wanted.
I did not want to start with a small thing, I wanted to start with a big thing
and move fast because also financially, it is my company and I founded it
Is it hard to
take full responsibility of the company?
Yeah, because I
studied design, and I suddenly had to be “business woman”. I learnt a lot in
1.5 years. I am kind of very proud myself that I have managed to do as well as
I have, without any kind of selling or business experience before, so it’s just
matter of finding out, and asking questions, and learning through mistakes.
Luckily there have not been huge mistakes so far…
You have said
that you wanted to be a designer since you were 15. Were you the typical
teenager burning time and money at the clothing shops?
Yeah, I have
been traveling with my family on holidays since I was tiny, all over Europe, Japan,
all kind of places, and I got used to be in all kind of shops and seeing all
kind of designs, things that we did not have in Finland. In the 90´s we still did
not have so many great shops here.
Getting experience in England
When you were 19
you moved to Leicester, England, to study Footwear Design
in Demontfort University. Why?
I wanted to go
somewhere else than staying in Finland,
I wanted to go and try out a new place and experience a new culture, and learn
the language perfectly. There were only 2 design schools in England, the other
one in London and the other one in Leicester, and when I was 19, London sounded
quite of quite scary…too big… and I just decided to go to Leicester, even when
I had never visited the place.
Tell me a bit
more about this prize you got: Young British Glove Designer?
Well, it is given
by the British Glove Association , the main glove thing in the U.K. there were
400 people taking part in that competition, so in that way it was quite a big
thing to win it. I got the title of Young British Glove Designer, even if
I am not British, which it was quite funny, and they had this way of doing it
in the center of London, in this mansion house , so they were quite “proper
English”, old men and old women with their hats and their gloves exclaiming “oh
yeah marvelous!”, “well done!”
After 6 years
abroad, why to settle again in Helsinki
and not somewhere else?
Well, it had been
easier to have started abroad, like in England, Italy or Spain, it is much bigger, you get
the producers there, and in England
you get the British Footwear Association that does support the designers. They
apply for big fairs where I cannot get in because I have a small company and I
am from Finland.
But I miss home. I miss my friends, after being out for such a long time it is
good to return. It is peaceful and calm here and there is a lot of space to do
new things. The environment allows new things and people here are very excited
about new things as well, so I thought that this would be a very good base to
create my own things in peace, and then travel a lot around the world.
and summer fantasies
What makes Minna
Parikka´s designs different from others?
They are very
girlie, girlie shoes with girlie details, very feminine, like high curvy heels,
lots of inspiration from the 30s, 40s, 50s, when the woman was true woman and
they dressed up head to toe perfectly, with fun and quality. I always try to
offer something that is amusing, wearable and still doesn’t go over the top.
The shoes have a lot of details but people can still imagine that they can wear
them. Color is very important, colors suitable for the season, I m not a big
fan of browns and blacks. The buyers always say like “Hum, lovely colors, but I
will take the browns and the blacks instead”
Do people take
care of their style in Finland?
In general people
still do not spend much money on clothes. But I think that Helsinki is great, you get all kind of styles
here, people like to be quite individual, and not everybody is from “the same
Can you explain a
bit more about your new Spring/Summer collection?
It is a very candy
collection. It has candy colors, pastels, bright reds and it has very cake
shapes, hearts…very romantic. The collection is called holiday romance, so it s
everything that you could expect from a holiday romance to be like:
lighthearted and fun and playful.
How many pairs of
shoes have u bought lately?
Nowadays I do not
have to buy shoes since I get them for myself. I got 50 pairs of shoes just for
this summer just for myself. For Finnish summer, 50 days, one for every day…
Maybe I have 150 pairs in total, I always go to fly market to sell my stuff
later, I don’t keep things, I do not have the space to keep things.
What are the
future plans for Minna Parikka?
Sell a lot and
design a new collection!!!