Fashion with a message by Minna Palmqvist

We got to see her show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Stockholm. It really left a strong impression on us as it was not only about the clothes, but also about the women wearing them. We felt like it shared a lot of values and messages that we support too, so we wanted to talk with the creative mind that was behind it all. Her name is Minna Palmqvist and we are super excited to share with you her interview.

How did you become interested in fashion?

I actually never really know how to answer this question, because I am not sure there was a clear moment in time. I grew up in Åland, a small Finnish island, in the 80′s and 90′s where fashion was not much talked about. I was always very drawn to the creative world though, and when 16 I started designing and sewing most of my own clothes. Out of boredom and a will to be seen I guess, but it wasn’t until I was 22 and half way through my bachelor in clothing design that I understood that being a fashion designer was something you could actually do for a living.

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Who are your favorite fashion designers, people whose work you follow and who you feel address some important issues with their work?

As most designers working with some sort of deconstruction I strongly admire the work of giants like Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garcons and Vivienne Westwood. I am also a big fan of Dries Van Noten and eagerly follow the development of Bruno Pieter’s transparent label Honesty By.

What is it that usually inspires you?

Always the same thing – The stress we put upon women and their bodies. How we still in 2013 degrade women to be judged by their weight and shape. In general I also get very inspired but contradictions, which is maybe not so strange since I have chose to work in a business I in many ways have huge problems with.

What type of woman do you have in mind when you design?

_kl11114A woman that is allowed to be and act out everything from strength to weakness. A woman somewhat fed-up with the narrow minded system of fashion and of society in general. She is angry, she wants to act for change, and want to look good for her own self while doing it.

If not fashion design, then what?

This is another question I always find it difficult to answer… Maybe music. I wish I wanted to be a mid-wife like my mother and sister though, I find that to be the most beautiful job in the world. But it is not for me.

What are in your opinion the best and the worst side of fashion industry as it is today?

Best: New innovative ways to use materials and more and more designers skipping the traditional fashion season stress. Worst: Greed which is the root to the massive environmental devastation and the way the people making our clothes are treated with no dignity.

Which is the period in fashion/art that you liked the most?

I am not so nostalgic. I like the now because I can feel things bubbling under the surface and I am hoping for a fashion revolution to come really soon!

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Which is the quality you like the most in people?

Self-distance.

What do you do when you do nothing? How do you relax?

I have a long breakfast, preferably in a nice cafe. I sleep, watch TV-series and try to get some quality time with my boyfriend.

What are some favorite places in Stockholm you would recommend our readers to visit?

The Modern Museum and the book shop Konst-ig.

Where do you see you and your brand in five years from now?

_kl11054The fact is it is so tough running a fashion label in the economic melt down we are experiencing world wide, so I have difficulties predicting what is going to happen. But I am hoping to have come up with a sustainable way of working that will engage people to start investing in clothes in a more thoughtful way. At that point I will also have a team of co-workers helping me to grow and to get even better at what I am doing.

We want to thank Minna for her time and to wish her best of luck with her future work! We hope to see more of her amazing collections and that she keeps inspiring women to be strong and real, not letting the society pressure them into being something they’re not. Keep up with Minna’s work on her Official Facebook page and her website.

Doina

Co-founder of The Smoke Detector, social media manager, writer, art lover, dog-petter, music listener.

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