SAMUJI X OONA MÄKELÄ
What is the fulfilment and the ultimate success of an agent’s work? Well, of course, it’s when a perfect match between a designer and the client! This collaboration, which is finally being announced, doesn’t only feel right in thought and look good on paper, it’s also really good in reality! This one we’re super excited about: hear hear to Oona Mäkelä x SAMUJI!
Samuji is a very appreciated and internationally appealing design brand with Nordic roots. They create thoughtful, free-spirited and sustainable clothes that serve a purpose in the wardrobe. When our illustrator and pattern designer Oona Mäkelä, who had only been on Napa Agency’s roster for a year, told her agent about her dream to design for the Samuji brand, the saying “Match made in heaven” occupied the agent’s mind very quickly. Of course, it was realized that this was just my own opinion – you can never fully predict another brand’s views and future outlooks. So it was time to build suitable visual material and think about how the agent could approach a potential partner!
The stars finally aligned when Samuji’s chief designer Anne-Mari Pahkala became interested in Oona’s handprint and earthy colour palette. From Oona’s comprehensive collection of patterns, the wonderful pattern “Varret” (in English “Stems”) ended up being picked to work on! Now the wonderful pattern can be admired as part of the Samuji FW 2023 collection. We asked Oona for her thoughts on cooperation, read all about it below!
How did the collaboration with Samuji start?
I’ve wanted to make patterns for Samuji for a long time, but I didn’t feel like I was quite ready yet. However, a while ago, I put together a collection of patterns made especially for Samuji, and they got interested! This is where the cooperation started.
What does cooperation with Samuji mean to you as a designer?
For me, it is one of the biggest achievements in my career. I admire Samuji’s aesthetics, but also the brand’s values in terms of ecology and ethics. As a designer, I think a lot about my own responsibility in consumer society and who I work with.
Tell us something about the background of the “Varret” pattern. What technique did you use? Is this technique typical for you?
The “Varret” pattern is made with ink, which is one of my favorite mediums! I think ink has a lot of possibilities in terms of patterns. I have painted a lot with water colours before, so the technique is familiar to me. It was really nice to be able to make a pattern in this style for Samuji, I had dreamed about it before.
Collaboration with Samuj is indeed significant. What do you dream of as a designer next?
My goal is, at some point, to try my skills in the international market. I would love to make patterns for different brands that I admire. At the same time, I would be able to develop my own know-how and also challenge myself as a designer. I think I want to try and see what I’m capable of.
From the agency’s point of view, this work was not only a “match made in heaven” when a suitable designer and client met – but it’s also a motion forward to an entity that respects the values of sustainable development. It’s a win-win times 10000000!!