Helsinki is known for its hard-working residents, amazing design culture and variable weather patterns…I arrived in Helsinki in the evening to glorious sunshine and a bitter cold spell in the middle of April. In the morning I woke up to explore the city and opened my curtains to be greeted with a snow blizzard – not typical discovering weather. But the next two days were for exploring the 2012 ‘World Design Capital’ – and I had read that in the district of Kallio, a student hang out hotspot, designers are making and producing alongside the heritage shoe makers that Kallio was once known for. A very much emerging place I managed to explore Kallio on a weekend…which is not the best time to be going into shops and studios in Helsinki as they are mostly closed. However, I spent the days I awe of Kallio church and the surrounding area and on Monday I returned a couple of hours before my flight and waited outside Field Day where fresh new Vinyl logos on the windows and a quick look on their website told me that the shop & studio had just opened here in Kallio – and with no opening times and an impending flight time I waited outside hoping that someone would arrive shortly. And eventually I was greeted by Iina and her partner Unto who warmly welcomed in into Field Day.
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Iina created Field day in 2013 with the vision to making and selling handmade leather accessories that last, and which can be enjoyed all year round. It is only in 2017 that she opened her workshop-studio in the heart of Kallio. A recently renovated ground floor space with a dark room in the back, the building was one of the first built multi-storey (5) blocks in Kallio. Here Iina crafts the selection of accessories in-store herself, and with the help of Unto’s professional photography they together make Field Day a physical store and online business.
Iina uses ethically sourced Swedish cow and reindeer leather, both naturally vegetable tanned to ensure that each product stays pure and true to her own design and craft values. With her design table and Finnish made leather tools Iina creates a special experience as visitors can witness the crafting process while browsing in the store.
Alongside her partner Unto they have created a beautiful and welcoming shop in the heart of Helsinki’s bohemian Kallio district. You can find camera and eyewear accessories, wallets and laptop cases in store and at www.fieldday.fi.
I couldn’t leave Field Day without purchasing one of Iina’s leather pieces, and something that I know I’ll use a lot is the glasses chain. Demonstrated here with our Kallio frames in Crystal acetate and emerald green lenses. And yes…that’s my case in the background – from pale natural leather to chestnut brown, one of our first samples of the MONC leather case.
HELSINKI DESIGN MUSEUM
A must visit in Helsinki is The Designmuseo, which exhibits the history of product industrial design from Helsinki, and celebrates the use of sustainability and charity within the design industry.