Where were you born?
In Kokkola on the west coast of Finland. When I lived in Kokkola there was a flourishing fashion industry and it was known as Finland’s Paris, so it was a good place for me to grow up.
Where do you live?
In Kauniainen, in the middle of the town by the lake, surrounded by beautiful nature. Isn’t that the dream of all the Finns? Kauniainen is only 14 minutes from Helsinki by train.
If money were no object, where would you live?
I lived for five years in London, which is a fashion city. I like the creative atmosphere of New York, Shanghai, and Monaco. So maybe one of them.
Which city is your favourite shopping destination?
I like to shop in any city in Germany, because the city centres are built with everything within walking distance. Kokkola is a great town to shop for clothes, too.
Which are your favourite stores?
I am not fond of big department stores or shopping malls; I like small, intimate atmospheres. My favourite stores are, of course, the ones where I have chosen to sell my designs. Kiseleff House in Senate Square and Bock House are the places to find exquisite, genuine Finnish design and fashion. Esplanadi’s Kankurin Tupa is an experience. In the Espoo Centre you will find the Omnia Shop for sustainable design – the place to find something different and to experience Finnish creativity.
And your favourite restaurants?
I live in Kauniainen, which is part of Espoo, and I normally go to local restaurants like Henricus on Kirkkokatu in Espoo, which is an organic restaurant. In Helsinki I like to visit any of the Sushibars. If I want to combine business and pleasure I go to Vltava for business meetings. There is space, quietness and cosiness right in the middle of Helsinki’s buzz.
Do you have a favourite local café?
Lähellä Deli is an organic café in the Kauniainen shopping centre. They have the most delicious cakes and organic coffee. In Helsinki I very much like the Kiseleff House café.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
I take them to see Finnish design, art and architecture in the midst of nature at the Gallen-Kallela Museum in Espoo and Hvitträsk in Kirkkonummi. Or to exhibitions and places where we can connect to Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, and Finnish lifestyle, history, mythology and nature. Or I just take them for a walk around the lake, forest and cliffs near Kauniainen. And, of course, to Helsinki Kauppatori (Helsinki Market Square).
Do you have a favourite walk?
Around the Gallträsk lake near Kauniainen, where you can see the famous wooden villas. In Helsinki I like to walk by the sea in Kaivopuisto.
Which do you think is the best museum in Helsinki?
The Ateneum Art Museum.
Where do you most like to travel for inspiration?
To central Finland, to natural landscapes anywhere in Finland, the Kuhmo and Savonlinna areas and Lappeenranta. The archipelago between Turku and Ahvenanmaa is another world.
What can’t you live without?
My own knitwear pieces are practical travelling companions that work everywhere. They follow me in all my travels. And I travel a lot.