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Over time, climate and harsh conditions have shaped nordic life into pursuing functional and straightforward design. The initial idea of Makia was to bring timeless, durable, and functional clothing for our customers at fair prices and beyond trends. Read more about our design team and design process.
Our design department is a small four-person team led by head designer and original Makia member Jesse Hyväri. Jesse has studied and worked as a tailor and owner-operated a small boutique of hand-tailored products, before joining the founding group to form Makia. Designer Aleksi Helisten works with Jesse on the men’s collection, and Elina Lappalainen is in charge of the rapidly growing women’s line. Minna-Leena Martikainen works on technical design and quality control.
Over time, climate and harsh conditions have shaped nordic life into pursuing functional and straightforward design. The initial idea of Makia was to bring timeless, durable, and functional clothing for our customers at fair prices and beyond trends. No-nonsense clothes that you won’t want to throw away.
As one of the world’s northernmost capital cities, our home town of Helsinki ( 60° 10’15” N ) is a perfect testing ground for weather enduring clothing. Depending on the season, we get bombarded with every form of rain and snow, with winds typical to a peninsula facing the Baltic Sea. That is where our idea for a clothing company originated. We want to minimize the problem of getting dressed appropriately, so you’ll have time to worry about the bigger picture, whether it means waking up to a hectic routine with kids, an overwhelming day at work, or just plain harsh weather.
Living amongst these harsh elements gives our designers first-hand know-how, as their experiences transition to the drawing board. Every detail carefully thought out, while a new design develops from an idea into a finished product. Our design process has its foundation on functional thinking. As the climate dictates much of how we need to get dressed, the materials we use need to be adaptable to varying temperatures and moisture levels. The process of an idea into a finished product on a store shelf is complicated and takes many stages from sampling the right fits and materials over a time frame of one and a half years, in general. The inspiration for colors and details come from local features like autumn foliage and old harbour buildings. The seasons affect everything we do since they are opposing in light and colors, as well as in temperature from dark polar nights to the endless midnight sun.
Elina might be smaller in size but her relentless work ethic and humane approach for design have made her a giant powerhouse in our design department. Combining timeless style into functional solutions make her designs top acquired items from season to season.
With one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year in progress, amidst all the consuming hysteria, we want to emphasize the responsibility for sustainability that lies within all of us. This is why we encourage our customers to take a moment and ask themselves – “Do I really need this product?”
Kimmo Syväri is a longtime Makia family member and the other founder of KOSKI SYVÄRI, a Helsinki based entrepreneurial venture. In the early years of Makia, Kimmo was a large part of creating the high standard visual identity behind Makia, and today continues to push the envelope through his own company.