ASK Scandinavia x Teija Eilola
Whether it’s Vogue Italy, Grazia UK or Michelle Obama, this designer has caught the eye of many - and for a good reason. Today we had the absolute pleasure to have a chat with Finland born, London based designer, Teija Eilola.
First and foremost, could you introduce yourself in your own words?
T: My name is Teija Eilola, and I am a London based designer. I moved to London from Finland to study when I was 19 years old and have been living here ever since. As a designer, I would describe myself as someone who loves combining exciting and interesting shapes with comfort. It’s important for me to find a balance between modern and practical.
How was your brand started?
T: I had a dream of starting my own brand and therefore took part in a competition where I was offered a budget to create my own collection, have photoshoots, get some legal and PR training as well as a spot at London Fashion Week, where I was able to showcase the collection. All of this happened in a very short period of time, just three months, so afterward I had to make a decision whether this was the thing I wanted to keep doing.
What/Who gives you inspiration for your work?
T: I get inspired by experimenting and working with my own hands. I’m very interested in different materials and textures and the ways in which you can mold and shape them, which is why in all of my designs the details are very well thought out.
We are honored to have the opportunity to use some of your designs for an upcoming photoshoot! How does it make you feel as a designer to see your own creations styled and used by other people?
T: It inspires me back to see other people wearing my clothes! It’s very energizing and gives me new ideas and excites me, granted that the styling is done well, which isn’t always easy.
How do you stay relevant in the fashion industry today?
T: Mostly by discussing my designs and ideas with other industry people and clients, and seeing their visions and how they’re changing. It’s important to keep questioning everything you see and do and to keep challenging your own ideas.
In what kinds of situations have you got your best ideas for your designs?
T: Very rarely in my studio actually! I often get my best ideas in quiet and relaxed spaces, like my own living room or even sometimes at the hairdressers’.
How do you feel about the globalization of the “Scandinavian” style?
T: I think the Scandinavian style is something that’s always been cool and a bit retro. It’s pretty timeless and therefore comes around time and time again, even if the people who represent it change.
How did it feel to have your design worn by the ex FLOTUS, Michelle Obama?
T: It was a complete surprise, but a good one! This was actually the first time after the 50s that the FLOTUS had worn a piece by a Finnish designer, which was exciting.
The word of the hour in the fashion industry at the moment is “sustainability”. How does this new generation of conscious consumers affect your job as a designer?
T: Personally I’ve always been interested in sustainability, and most of the materials we use are already natural and organic. We are constantly evolving when it comes to this topic, you know. Our standpoint currently is to be local, make products that are both high quality and easy to care for, and to use factories that have good working conditions and sustainability in mind. We also offer a service for our customers where if the item they purchased breaks for some reason, we will fix it for free, which will make the lifecycle of the garment much longer.
How much do you follow trends in your work? How about in your own life?
T: I don’t really worry about trends too much with my brand. It’s good to keep in mind how women are dressing depending on the year and the decade, but ultimately I make clothes that’ll last through trends. Personally, I think it’s good to try trends every now and again though, because they’re a good way to play around with your own image, and sometimes you might accidentally find something that’ll become a staple in your own style.
Lastly, name a thing you carry in your bag every day?
T: I carry a lot of things… the first things that come to mind are my notebook and pencils because inspiration can come to you anywhere and anytime, as it did for me at the hairdresser’s, and also 1-5 lipsticks, even if I don’t end up using any of them.
Follow TEIJA on Instagram @teijaeilola :)