I don’t know about you but I have recently started planning my A/W sewing and my heart is beating faster for Named 1st collection. Their patterns have a chic understated style, with clean lines and very contemporary feeling. Seriously in love with their work. Saara and Laura are here today to say hello and talk to us a little more about their love for sewing!
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your background?
We are Finnish designer sisters Saara and Laura Huhta. We were born in Helsinki, and have shared the passion for sewing and DIY since we were just little girls. Named is not the first mutual design project of ours, and it feels very natural for us to work together. We do pretty much everything together anyways, having the same hobbies too. We love to create and express ourselves through design, sewing and in our dance and circus hobbies.
We both studied design, Saara clothing and Laura shoe design. After working for different companies for a while, we realized that maybe it wasn’t what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives.
How the idea of starting a sewing pattern company started? and why?
The idea of starting our own sewing pattern company came a little out of the blue; about a year ago we sat in a bus to go to our parent’s place after a workout. Somehow we got to talking about work, and how wonderful it would be to do something that you love and believe in for a living. We both knew that it would be too late for us to make it as a dancer or a circus artist, but we could turn our love of sewing into a career. Creating our own do-it-yourself clothing collection seemed like a natural way to fulfill this dream and to share the joy of creating with others too! So as we got to our parent’s house, we grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and started to write our business idea down. It literally started from that single bus trip J
Can you give my readers an insight into a typical day in your ‘studio”? what does it look like behind the scenes.
Right now there are no ‘typical days’ for us – everything is so new and each day is different. We launched our first collection on August 1st, and it’s really hard to predict what the future will bring. We have been planning and preparing this launch for almost a year, and it has included designing, pattern making, sewing prototypes and samples, organizing a photoshoot, branding and a lot of paperwork to get the business up and running. It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of surprises, but we’re so excited to have done it all!
At the moment we do not have an office or a workshop, so all work – be it sewing or computer work – happens either at our homes or at our parent’s place. We design, sew and plan everything together and help each other so there are no clear roles between us, although Saara is mostly in charge of the technical tasks, such as pattern making, and Laura of marketing and branding. All decisions are made together though.
What’s the inspiration for your first collection?
For the first collection we got inspiration from men’s formal attire and menswear in general. However, we did not want to make this collection too masculine or formal, so the challenge was to turn the inspiration into feminine, comfortable and easy-to-wear garments, and not to forget that they need to be nice to sew as well! The inspiration can be seen in shapes and detailing: There are shirts, collars, tailcoat-like hemlines and a cummerbund waistband.
Where do you get your pattern ideas from?
The ideas could come from pretty much anywhere. At the beginning of a design process we look for the coming season’s trend forecasts and of course follow our instincts. It is interesting to pick a theme and research what could be borrowed from there, like we did with the ‘First Named’ collection. Sometimes the ideas could come accidentally; sewing projects and materials are a great source of inspiration. While sewing you might see something interesting in an unfinished garment, and a nice material might make you think ‘wow what can we make of that?’
Our style in general is quite Scandinavian and simplistic, but with a hint of romantic and feminine form language and nice details. We want to keep things simple, but to create garments that are flattering and have a good form. In a collection there should be a little something for everyone, meaning that we have simple patterns for beginners and some more advanced patterns for those who have more experience of sewing.
What is your absolute most favourite item of clothing you’ve sewn?
The absolute favorite sewing project would have to be the ‘First Named’ collection, as this is the biggest and most important project that we have ever done so far. It is impossible to distinguish a single piece of clothing as a favorite. The second best mutual project would have to be ‘The Ballet in Spotlight’ collection that was a competition entry to a student fashion design contest NRJ Fashion Awards (which we actually won with this collection).
Do you have any absolute fashion disasters / faux pas that you’ve sewn?
There are no total disasters, or at least not ones we could recall, but Laura has made herself a pair of high-waisted tight jeans of white and gray jungle pattern Versace denim. They are not a disaster – actually they fit very well – but just a little hard to wear, since they are quite extravagant and need to be dressed down with a rough sweater and right pair of shoes to prevent the overall look from being too flashy J. Maybe it would have been wiser to pick a classic blue denim so the jeans could actually be worn more than twice a year…
What’s next for you and Named?
Right now we are in the process of designing our SS14 collection, and we think it’s going to become awesome! We have lots and lots of development ideas for the Named and our products, and we are constantly seeking to improve the brand. Therefore we would also love to receive feedback and comments!
To celebrate their first collection, they are giving one of their patterns specially to you!
For a change of winning see below.
Open to all HOP readers
Closing date is 25 August GMT London 8pm.
The winner will be announced on 26 August 2012.
To enter you must: