INTERVIEW / SAMUJI

Samuji

What is your background? Is it specifically in fashion design?
Well yes I studied fashion design originally (first in Lahti, Finland, and then in Florence, Italy), but I have always had interest in a wide range of aesthetic and artistic fields. I'm happy that within Samuji I have been able to explore these other fields as well: homeware, interior design, film, visual arts etc.

Did you ever doubt yourself as a designer? If so, do you have any
advice for those trying to conquer similar doubts?

All the time, with every collection! I feel this moment of desperation is almost a crucial part of my creative process. And it doesn't get better with time and experience, I'm sorry to say.

What keeps you stable during the chaos of your work?

Other aspects of life. Luckily my life is not all fashion and design -- I escape to do gardening, take walks in the forest with my dog and husband, or travel.

What people/place/things do you find yourself consistently going
back to for inspiration?

The Finnish nature. I grew up in the middle of Finland in a small village surrounded by forests and lakes, and that continues to be my endless inspiration.

Do you feel there is a specific piece that is iconic within your
AW16 line? Maybe, one that you feel most inspired by, or simply your
favorite?

I was really inspired by this amazing moss green wool fabric from Italy. I made two A line coats of it, shorter and longer, and some how I feel that they are key pieces of this collection!

How much do you think about your audience or customer during
the designing process?

A lot. I don't see design so much as art, to me it's more about serving people and purpose. When I design collections, I have a couple of close friends in mind: different kinds of women with different lifestyles, tastes etc. I try to see that each collection has something for each of them.

When designing do you fancy collaboration or are you more of an
independent artist?

Definitely collaboration. This is just why I'm so happy about our artistic collaborations with film makers, painters, musicians... And I also get very inspired from the collaboration we have with other designers within Samuji. I design the clothing collections together with Jenni Väänänen, and we both use prints designed by our own print artists. In our Samuji Koti homeware collection we have even more designers and artisans collaborating.

If you weren’t a designer, what other occupation could you see
yourself in?

At one point I was supposed to become a photographer, so maybe that then. Or a gardener.

Current book you’re reading?

I love Haruki Murakami, and right now I'm looking forward to getting to start his newest novel.

Flip to a page in the last book you read and give us an excerpt.

Well as said, I'm only waiting to get my hands on the newest Murakami, so can't give an excerpt yet :)

What are 3 products you can’t live without?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (works for everything imaginable!), 'Joutsen' down pillows and duvets, and my iPhone (sadly. I'd like to be less dependent on it).

Where is your favorite place to pass the time, or take a break?

I want to say the nature again. From my house in Porvoo I can take a walk straight to an ancient forest. A stroll there with a cup of coffee and my dog -- that would be a perfect break for me.

What’s your life mantra?

Be kind.

Shop the Samuji Collection here. 

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