When three bright fashion-savvy students from Turku, Finland (Nora Peltoniemi, Inka Kiuru, and Johanna Hakala) came together to combine their skills and ideas, a beautiful clothing brand was born. JULJA Finland, founded in 2012, is a Finnish womenswear line meant for the outgoing, independent, and strong woman who loves making a fashion statement. JULJA’s first ready-to-wear collection for Fall/Winter 2013 was released last spring, and only better things are in store for the brand this year. Below we chat with designer Nora Peltoniemi about her lifelong dream, her designing process, and her inspiration.
Cliché: What got you first interested in fashion design? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Nora Peltoniemi: When I was a little girl, I loved to play with Barbies. Unfortunately I had no money to continuously buy new clothes for them, so my mom and other relatives taught me how to sew those clothes myself. Since then I’ve always known that I wanted to be a fashion designer.
What kind of customer do you have in mind when designing?
When I’m designing, I always keep in mind the woman that I’m designing for. We’ve defined a JULJA woman who is outgoing, strong, independent, loves her body, and is not afraid to show it.
Do you have any muses or inspiration?
I get my inspiration from different fashion blogs and the way people dress. I also like to browse beautiful pictures, and I think part of my inspiration comes from there also—and of course from my everyday life.
What’s your designing process like?
The designing process begins with the need to create a new collection. After that we define the borders for the collection such as season, usability, sex, etc. After that the inspiration takes over and I start doing sketches. At the same time I’m thinking about materials for the collection. Then I make the first prototypes of the collection and we will test them. At the end, of course, there’s a photo shoot for the new collection and then the manufacturing process begins. We have our manufacturing in Estonia, as it’s unfortunately not possible to produce such a big scale of clothes in Finland nowadays. We wanted to keep the manufacturing as close as possible, so Estonia was a natural choice for us. This way, we know who makes the clothes and in what kind of condition they are in since it’s easy for us to visit the factory every now and then.
Which pieces do you enjoy designing the most, and why?
I enjoy designing unique evening dresses because I can really release my inspiration and be creative. I don’t have to think about commercialism and if the clothes are going to sell after I’ve designed them. When designing unique pieces, I can really be creative and do what I want.
Which piece for your shop is your favorite, and why?
The Annaliina dress because it’s festive, showy, and comfortable to wear. I like the way it makes a woman’s body look and how it highlights the best parts of a woman’s body.
Any big plans for this year?
I’m really looking forward to launching our next collection (F/W2014) and having my baby (in June).
To shop the collection, visit www.juljafinland.com.
BY MEGAN PORTORREAL
Photographs courtesy of JULJA, Photographed by Katja Virolainen