at the ‘awake showroom’ in helsinki we met the brains behind the fast-growing luxury finnishbrand lovia, the story unfolds.

an entrepreneurial course at aalto university is where outi korpilaakso and anniina mustalahti met. outi was a designer and anniina an aspiring journalist, the duo had ambitions to create something new and fresh. as the ship set sail tiina kosonen head of sales was brought on board creating a powerful trio in this space.

 

fun fact – did you know lovia began by designing and selling clothes? – well, now you know!

 

the journey for lovia like any start-up has come with its fair share of obstacles. lovia is in the luxury bag and jewellery sector, however, lovia, in the beginning, were slightly unorthodox in their business strategy. they would contact leather manufacturers and suppliers acquiring their left over materials. somewhat initially strange to an untrained entrepreneur but the outcome of this strategy will soon become genius.

lovia were convinced that even the smallest pieces of leftover leather could be used when making bags, using braiding techniques you could create wonderful designs, hence one of the signature styles of lovia bags. in our opinion this approach by lovia is ecologically clever and should inspire other brands to be innovative with some of their production processes, the concept is simple and transparent, lovia’s ‘product dna’ allows anyone and anyone to see who they are working with and where their products come from.

in this day and age it’s great to see a company that focuses on exposing the stages of the design process in such an open way, many brands skip this educational part of building brand loyalty and understanding, lovia is taking this transparency to the next level, wouldn’t you find it intriguing to know what you are buying?

lovia produce their bags mainly in italy so you can rest assured that quality is inevitable. italian leather bag manufacturing is centuries old, an art form, and although lovia ideally would like to produce them in finland, the facilities to create such creative and complex designs just aren’t available in the same way.

so we asked lovia about their consumers, ‘the feedback and support have been amazing’ to the say the least. it’s not hard to fathom that the amount of material information, information about the suppliers, the craftsmanship involved, stories and the creativity has gone a long way to really establish this brand as a great finnish export in this space – who knows where lovia will be heading next.

so what’s next for the lovia party

well, lovia has now gone international, opening up to the fashion world. japan could be a very interesting market for them as they share many common values. sustainability and the fusion of nature into fashion are very challenging however, it has always been japanese culture and somewhat finnish to try – a match made in ‘japafinnish’ heaven. the pine is a sacred tree for lovia and finnish people, interestingly enough also for the japanise; pleasant surprise –  you see this influence even through the shapes and designs of lovia products.

lovia is working towards strengthening their position within the international market, with a special focus on japan, america and europe in the next 5 years. the brand will be pushing forward with their bags and accessories collections; do we sense a men’s collection too? – yes, please!

the lovia party has just begun, and it’s not ending at midnight –  watch this space.

60-second questions

where do you get your inspiration from?

inspiration comes from nature and folklore, the name lovia derives from old finnish and karelian mythology and folklore kalevala. kalevala loviatar is the queen of the northern lands, dark and powerful woman. lovi also means the gap between two rocks. power, mythology, mystical traditions, lappish mythology and vikings all form part of lovia’s inspiration

which celebrities would you like to see using lovia products?

elon musk –  we value his vision, he has authority and power and uses it very well.

leonardo dicaprio – the influence he has as a celebrity is amazing, he has voiced his concern on environmental issues including ‘kuhmo’ an area of forest in Finland condemning the cutting down of the forest.

livia firth – as one of the pioneers in promoting sustainable luxury fashion we really admire the work she does, she is at the forefront of something that is really close to our core values as a brand.

Seela Sella –  she is wonderful and just wise, what else can i say she is just a powerful inspiration for life…check out our collaborative video with her.

how would you describe your ideal fashion show?

it would definitely involve tesla. models would arrive at an eco-sustainable hotel in teslas, the audience would be watching the show through virtual reality glasses with jumping power-animal ‘tamagochis’.

what is your mission for lovia

our mission is to influence people and by growing the company it gives us the possibility to show how we can use more ‘waste’ materials to produce great products

you are stranded on a desert island and you can only take one of your products, which would you take?

the diamond bag, you can fit a coconut inside, would work very well as a coconut-carrying bag.

what advice would you give younger aspiring designers?

to have an ethical view and your own ideology. think about how your brand will influence other people and do what feels right.

check out some cool finds from lovia’s latest collection, be sure to stay tuned for their new collection dropping soon…oh and remember they do jewellery too, amazing…yay!