Ivana Helsinki is an independent art, fashion, design and cinema brand, delicately merging Slavic melancholy with pure Scandinavian moods and eclectic Americana Vintage with a hint of nostalgia.
Ivana Helsinki started as a personal art project by Paola Ivana Suhonen and her brand was established in 1998. It is a family owned company and the family’s roots run deep in the clothing business. Paola’s father, Pentti Suhonen, has been working with fashion since the 60’s. In over 20 years, Ivana Helsinki has become one of the leading Scandinavian design houses with a recognizable design identity.
Ivana Helsinki is the very first Fashion Company in the whole world to introduce a totally new sustainability philosophy based on the limited production volume. Revolutionary ” Edition of 50 pieces” concept means only 50 numbered pieces of each design will be manufactured. Each piece will be individually labeled and numbered, thus elevating them to the level of a collectors item, or a piece of art. Ivana Helsinki has always been a leading brand in the field of holistic sustainability.
”Over consumption, over producing, over marketing and shopping lobbying are the most toxic things in the fashion. This ” Edition of 50 pieces” is the new way of thinking and next generations 2.0 sustainability approach. We are not on social media, we believe in real life encounters, humanity and earth rights. For our part, we want to create a responsible future that preserves the importance of presence, the beauty of personal experiences and individuals lifelong adventures. As an artist, I’m privileged to make brave decisions and question the prevailing norms. Ivana Helsinki is 100% family owned and also fully vegan brand.”
All Ivana Helsinki designs are based on Paola Suhonen’s childhood memories, her endless desire to be on the road. Her cinematic, eccentric universe blends together her love for eternal love stories, northern seasons and the cycle of light. There is always present a humble respect for nature and animals. Her memories and inspirations translate into beautiful, bold, Scandinavian heritage prints and nostalgic shapes, that are loved all over the world. She wants her dresses to act as independent statement pieces for everyday adventures.
Ivana Helsinki’s holistic sustainable universe spans from fashion to art, from curated design to immaterial items such as music, interior design, films and even to an own indie festival, the Superwood Festival. There are thousands of original prints in the Ivana Helsinki print archive. The design ideology of Ivana Helsinki comes from art. It creates trends, new way of thinking, instead of following them.
Ivana Helsinki is the only Nordic Fashion brand that has made it to the prestige main show calendar of Paris Fashion Week. Ivana Helsinki has cooperated with numerous international brands, such as Uniqlo, Coca-Cola, Topshop, Swarovski, Google and Carrefour.
In 2018 Ivana Helsinki House opened in Eastern Helsinki. Architecturally dashing building contains Ivana Helsinki flagship gallery store, design studio, mini motel and showroom – as well as a cute café during the summer season. House has hosted a lot of events from music gigs, cinema clubs to midsummer dance.
Paola Ivana Suhonen (born in 1974) has been recognized with two of the most valued art prizes, Pro Finlandia (2013) and Suomi-prize (2018). She has two masters degrees (Master of Arts / Aalto University and Master of Fine Arts / American Film Institute). Paola is also member of the folkrock band Lone Deer Laredo, being one of the songwriters/composers.
The purpose of the brand is to involve and to be involved also in the future. To create powerful, thought provoking popular culture and to write a new brave chapter in the Finnish, internationally renowned design heritage.
“Ivana Helsinki started as my personal art project; now it’s a way of living. I could easily spend my life as a nomad, raising stories of love, life and time and going to my road trips and write my ballads — but it is pretty much ok to do cute, serious cotton dresses for charismatic dreamer girls with beautiful souls instead.
They are the ones who carry the fire, not just the shine.
My world is for the ones whom love moonlit cotton fields, pirates, dark forests, crummy motels, fragile butterflies, passionate relationships, cowboys and guardian angels. Eventually, we all are just after a love of our lives, rarely seen peaceful madness; just waiting to see, will he be a rockstar a cosmonaut or a sailor.”
— Paola Ivana Suhonen