Designer sisters Hammi and Maikku Mettinen are masters of three-dimensionality

Designer sisters Hammi and Maikku Mettinen are masters of three-dimensionality

Photo: Marje Uusihauta

The gorgeous Joutsen light down coats are the creations of fashion designers Hammi and Maikku Mettinen. Already in their childhood, the creative sisters were able to innovate and realise their own fashion ideas, since all the necessary equipment and supplies were available at their home. The reason for this was that their grandfather and two of their father’s brothers were tailors. The girls were allowed to test their ideas and make a mess without anyone restricting their creativity. Thus, the sisters inherited their interest in the profession of a fashion designer and were able to develop their three-dimensional perception already at an early age.

The prerequisite for becoming a successful fashion designer is the ability to remain curious about the surrounding world. Designers must also understand the ongoing change. Furthermore, designers must have the ability to sense coming trends and create future in the present. ‘In a way, we have to see into the future’, says Maikku Mettinen.

Seamless collaboration and twice as many ideas

What is it like to work with your sister? ‘Straightforward. Perhaps the best part is that you can always say what you really think. There is no need to please the other person. You can trust the other person completely, and you value the other person’s opinion’, says Hammi Mettinen. Division of labour is also easy to carry out between sisters. One starts and the other continues the process seamlessly. ‘And since there are two of us, there are twice as many ideas, too!’, she notes happily.

The sisters are inspired by a blank paper, a new model that has not yet seen the light of day. ‘The goal is to create a new baby, a new model and shape for the Joutsen family. The finest and best light down coat of all time, a coat that stands the test of time as well as the test of wear and tear on a happy customer’, the sisters elaborate. The designing of down coats is a particularly suitable task for these masters of visual perception. Maikku describes with enthusiasm how ‘a dense, thin, flat, and through-stitched fabric is shaped into a three-dimensional light down coat without a separate lining by blowing down into it.’

The design process in guided by questions such as for whom and why is the coat being designed. ‘Sometimes the shape, the length or stitching, serves as the source of inspiration, but the function is always just as important’, points out Hammi. The sisters always design the coats to be functional, light, warm, and versatile and ensure that they provide protection against the weather. In addition to the needs of the customer, the climate change must also be taken into account.

Coats that exceed the expectations of users

‘A Joutsen down coat must have a fresh and balanced look, and it must be well patterned and excellently executed. It must meet the consumer’s needs and exceed their expectations. It must be a must-have coat’, lists Maikku. The extensive experience gained in connection with their own collections, i.e., the tested styles, dimensions, and features, help the sisters meet these goals. They have tried-and-tested knowledge of what kinds of models are suitable for production and, above all, for the consumers.

On the basis of the images provided by the designers, the design team of Joutsen selects the models that will be turned into prototypes. The garment technician creates the patterns and the prototype seamstress produces the sample coats that are tried on, examined, and modified with the necessary changes. The prototypes are modified by a group of highly skilled professionals until the desired result is reached. When the prototypes have been completed, the team selects the final models for production.

‘There have been a few “ugly ducklings” that have grown into true long-time Joutsen favourites’, the designers note with satisfaction and a twinkle in their eye.

Coat-buying tips by Hammi and Maikku Mettinen:

  • Keep an open mind.
  • Try each model on. Also try on coats of various sizes and colours.
  • Do not just try on coats in your regular size, as some other size may fit you even better. Sometimes a coat that is one size smaller is better and a coat that is one size bigger is trendier.
  • Select a coat that best suits you and your needs. Look for functionality, lightness, and the level of warmth required for the changing climate.
  • You can wear these lovely coats all year round! And what is more, you can layer them.
  • The Joutsen light down coats are durable and washable, and their design remains fresh for a long time.