Retail - Helsinki - Travel | Monocle


Frenn, Kamppi 

Founders and partners Jarkko Kallio and Antti Laitinen launched this flagship shop on a bright corner plot in Kamppi in 2018. Together they design effortlessly elegant, practical and modern men’s clothing that’s neither formal nor casual – one of their made-to-measure jackets is as suited to the opera as it is to after-work drinks. “For us it’s not natural that at work you look like one thing and in leisure time like something else,” says Kallio. He and Laitinen want men to feel comfortable and well presented at all times. In addition to suits and shirts, they put out brightly coloured jumpers, simple T-shirts and woollen parkas.

24 Fredrikinkatu, 00120 
+358 (0)40 777 1943

Artek, Kluuvi

Artek is the homeware brand started by Alvar Aalto, his first wife Aino, art collector Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl. And since you can’t take Finlandia Hall back with you, this is the place to get your Aalto memento. You’ll find handmade wooden furniture, graceful drinks trolleys, floor lamps and more. Many of these pieces have become icons of Finnish design, including Aalto’s Stool 60 from 1933 and the ziggurat-like Angel Wing lamp from 1954. Over the years, Artek has also collaborated with some of the world’s top designers, including – but not limited to – the Bouroullec brothers, Tapio Wirkkala and Konstantin Grcic.

1B Keskuskatu, 00100 
+358 (0)10 617 3480

Iittala, Kluuvi 

Finnish design and Iittala are synonymous. A staple in all Finnish homes, the brand specialises in glass – an expertise that has been at its roots since its conception in 1881 in the town of Iittala. Over the past century-plus it has expanded its remit to ceramics, lighting and tableware, and has collaborated with some of the greatest Finnish designers. Alvar Aalto’s seminal collection launched in 1936; Kaj Franck, renowned for his deep-blue tableware and glassware, joined the roster in 1952; and Timo Sarpaneva’s cast-iron casserole dish hit shelves in 1960. Iittala continues to produce these designs – probably because they’re as good as it gets.

23 Pohjoisesplanadi, 00100 
+358 (0)20 439 3501

Company × Salakauppa, Punavuori and Kluuvi

South Korean Aamu Song and Finland native Johan Olin met while studying at Aalto University. The two designers bonded over their love for traditional handicrafts and set out on an epic journey across the world. Collaborating with craftspeople in Finland, Russia, Japan and beyond, they create artisanal toys, clothes and the occasional homeware piece with a modern twist. “It’s a fantastic excuse to travel,” says Song. Drop by the duo’s workshop for a chance to learn about their craft over a cup of tea but note that the venue has irregular opening hours as the pair are often away. You can also pick up all the designs at the kiosk, which runs like clockwork, near Helsinki Central Station.

Workshop: 10 Laivurinkatu, 00150 
Kiosk: 1 Postikatu, 00100

Karhu, Kamppi

Established in 1916, Karhu is the pioneer of modern trainers, having created air-cushioning support long before the big sports brands. The original logo used to be three stripes but the owners sold the patent to Adidas in the 1940s for two bottles of whisky and the equivalent of €1,600 (it must have been a wild night). The current “M” insignia is said to originate from the fact that only Finnish Olympic champions – mestari – could once wear the brand’s shoes, though today everyone is welcome. Karhu re-emerged a decade ago, with the new proprietors bringing back the colourful, comfy, old-school designs.

Lasipalatsi, 22-24 Mannerheimintie, 00100 
+358 (0)45 668 5737

Images: Juho Kuva

Go back: Helsinki


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