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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

INTERVIEW || Julia Lundsten for Nokian Footwear




Well I do, because Finnish Nokian has been running the game since 1898 and has shown to be the manufacturer in quality rubber footwear.
Nokian expanded their range by adding ski, bowling and disco shoes.

Coming from a country where it often rains I found Nokian Footwear to have found the perfect solution by giving the classic rain boot a make-over!



Nokian is constantly developing and have recently collaborated with designer Julia Lundsten.
This fashionista graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 2003. While studying there, and managed to win the prestigious Manolo Blahnik Award two years running, wow!

I was excited to have the opportunity to ask Julia and the Nokian team so of my burning questions on their latest collaboration.

Grab a cup of tea and get introduced to product manager Päivi and in-house designer Mariska from Nokian and of course the lovely designer Julia Lundsten



Päivi of Nokian:




 1. Do you approach the designer or does the designer approach you?
 
In most cases, designers approach us.
Nokian Footwear is widely known of good design and quality which brings us quite a number of contacts on yearly basis. The initial contact to Julia was already in 2008 when she was acting as jury member in our design competition.  

2. How does the process work?

Concerning designer collaboration
Based on our design strategy we focus on Finnish design/designers. We evaluate carefully whether the proposed collaboration fits to our strategy and product portfolio. In most cases our product development is done by in-house team and only true treasures like Julia Lundsten will pass the criteria.

Development process in general
We work with two yearly collections –> spring/summer and autumn/winter. The development cycles takes minimum 1 year, often more (rubber is challenging material). Right now we are already working with ss2016 novelties.

3. How closely does the designer work with your in-house design team?

Since the rubber footwear technology differs clearly e.g. from leather shoe industry that most designers are familiar with, our team is tightly involved with the process. General concept for whole collaboration was created together with the designer.  Based on those outlines, the designer works out a range plan which is approved by our team for each collection. Our team helps the designer with rubber technology, structures and materials so that the designer’s vision can be reached within the project frames.  Our team has the responsibility of taking the project through factory processes. There is lot of communication until the product is ready for production.

4. How many times has Nokian collaborated with a designer and do you have more in store for us?

Julia Lundsten project was first of its kind for us. We have had several co-op proposals before but none of the earlier proposals was filling the targets for various reasons.
Julia Lundsten collaboration will continue also in the future and cover both ss2015 and aw2015 collections.

Marika of Nokian design team:


1. How long are you a part of the Nokian Team?
I have been working with the Nokian Design team for 2,5 years

2. Did you have a chance to give your input?

Design work with Julia has been easy and inspirational, the main design work is done by Julia and together we make the technical decisions and I help her choose colours.

3. Is there a challenge when working with another designer to get to a collection and maintain Nokian’s vision at the same time? How is it to work with another creative lady in general?
 
Like I said it has been easy with Julia. Nokian and Julia share the same design values and we trust her vision so it has gone smoothly all the way.

4. How long does it take to get from a sketch to a final concept?
 
The cycle is more or less half a year but usually we have a final approved prototype in approx. two months. If the prototype is accepted for production, it will reach shops after an additional year.
Question I had for Julia Lundsten:

 Julia Lundsten:

    1. Tell us about the Julia Lundsten signature you brought into this classic collection.

In my own line FINSK I like to work with traditional materials such as leather and wood but work on very modern shapes and details letting the materials own characteristics become part of the design, rather than adding ornaments or decoration. With Nokian, the material is also natural, rubber so it was a new but very interesting material for me to start working with. I treat it in many ways like leather, letting the natural rubber become a very central part of the design, and keeping everything else quite simple. I also wanted the shapes to be much more like leather boots rather than wellington boots which are much heavier, to create a rain boot for the city.
2. What items do you think will be the best sellers?

I think it's better to discuss sales with the sales people! But I would say the strap wedge has been very popular in London, as it's such an easy boot to wear to work as well as the park (or countryside). The low lace up wedge is also a classic favourite already.

3. What is it like to have a huge name like Nokian asking you to create your own version of these classic and trendy boots?
 
It's of course a privilege, I think the best part is that Nokian have been very brave, and open minded about the product. Big companies can sometimes be a challenge to work with as they have so many rules to follow. But Nokian are the perfect client as they trust the designer with the designs, but bring in their own expertise on technical aspects and history, which is the reason the collaboration has worked so well.
4. You stated that your collaboration with Nokian is a reflection of the Scandinavian style of dressing; can you explain a bit about that?
 
Scandinavian dressing is quite casual, urban and straight forward. I wanted these boots to fit with that mentality. Practical, simple and cool. There is also an open-mindedness towards new different product. In some countries wellington boots are regarded very much a "country weekend" type product, but I wanted these boots to function almost like waterproof trainers or casual shoes/boots, which I think the Scandinavians were quick to understand and appreciate.
5. I assume you have a few pairs of these fashionable rain boots of your own, how do you style them?
 
It depends on the day! But it does rain a lot in London so I do wear them most weeks. I actually just wear my normal clothes (I dress quite a lot in black, grey and off white) and whatever mood I feel I either choose a more subtle black lace up boot or a colourful strap wedge if I want to add a little bit of a highlight colour to my outfit. I think of them as my leather boots, but when it rains I of course choose the Nokians.

6.   How would you describe the collection in three words?
 Modern, functional, comfortable
7. Do you have a designer that you admire?
Many. Some of my favourites are Eero Saarinen and Alvar Aalto. They were both very brave and talented, doing something new at the time.
8.  Are you working on something new?
I'm always working on something new! I have just finished the FINSK AW15/16 designs and already working on the next project. I don't have time to stop :)



 For more info check out the Nokian website HERE

 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

WEBSTORE TIP || Treatwell Beauty Health Hair



Ever had to find an emergency nail salon, or you might want to treat yourself with a facial?
Look no further, because Treatwell is here to save the day!


 
Treatwell is a portal full of information of health, body and hair treatments which can easily be filtered from your city or zip code.  
 

                                                   © Fotografie: Treatwell.nl
Not only does Treatwell show you best treatment options nearby, you can select a salon and read the reviews of thousands before you before making your selection.
If you decide to go for a treatment you can easily book an appointment or simply pay at the salon.

Overall the website itself if clean and easy to use. I was able to get a quick and large list of treatments in local salons I didn’t even know where so close to me.

Treatwell only shows the best treatments in the Netherlands but also have an English version of the website so tourists can also enjoy the best nearby.

                                                       © Fotografie: Treatwell.nl
With their genius mobile app, you can have access to salons while already on the go!

Stay tuned for my review because I’m looking forward in testing the app and be on my way for a lovely treatment at a salon recommended by the  Treatwell App.

                                                       © Fotografie: Treatwell.nl
In the meantime ladies don’t wait to get your nails done for the weekend and hop over to the Treatwell website or download the app!

Monday, September 22, 2014

EVENT || Rotterdamse Kost





Rotterdam is growing more and more, and I must say that the last 2 years my city has become
The place to be for cool events and festivals.
The past weekend I attended the an cultural and culinary festival  named Rotterdamse Kost in the city of Rotterdam.


http://www.rotterdam.info/data/offer/offerid24682/large/2014-RotterdamseKost-140601706722.jpg


This festival was the place to be this weekend if you were looking for a huge dose of music and good portions of quality dishes from the best restaurants of Rotterdam.
Rotterdamse Kost latterly gave it’s visitor a taste of different dishes from op restaurants like New York, up to our favorite French fries of Bram Ladage.
Since I wanted to try something new I ordered a portion of squid rings from New York which tasted delicious!


 








You could also follow a cool Jenever workshop from Ketel1 which looks absolutely worth the low price!
It was a great sunny day, so I was happy to arrive to a crowded festival with great live music and a cooking contest between 4 top chef’s which was pretty cool because you had the opportunity to watch these chef’s in action while even being able to ask them a quick question, the contest itself was over an hour which gave everyone the chance to see them cooking live. I myself walked around and ended at this stage several times to see what they were cooking next.
The festival itself was a nice size and several different stands were spread in a large circle of bakery goodies and places to sit, eat and chill!




I do have to give a shout-out to a delicious hot dog stand Hans Worst which is based a great main location next to the metro station in the centre of Rotterdam.


This cool set of gentleman make the greatest hotdogs and actually the only ones a truly LOVE!
So it was pretty cool to see them at this festival baking there dogs with Jack Daniels a soft bun with and a great sauce!

Check out his FACEBOOK HERE







I ended of with a little sweet treat from the Koekela bakery located at the “Binnenweg” in Rotterdam.
I got 2 pieces of carrot cake for me and my boyfriend to enjoy later in the evening.


If you are in Rotterdam, take the time to go to this bakery for a tea and a large selection of pies and cookies to choose from and also take a few on the go.


I can tell you that I’ve spend a good amount of my salary to this addicting bakery!.



Rotterdamse Kost was amazing and tasty.

I have seen a bit more of what restaurants I can find in Rotterdam and gave me a good preview of what food to expect, and all of this under the pleasure of live music and live demonstrations
The people seem to have a great time, I had a great time so I’m certain you would too.

The second edition was amazing, and well organized by the team!


I’m looking forward  to next year!