A runway show, trotted out on an airport runway — that's almost too meta to be true. Except that it's really happening this May: Finnair is hosting the inaugural "Match Made in HEL" runway show at Finland's Helsinki Airport. ('HEL' is Helsinki's airport code.) The multi-designer show will be comprised of seven designers, hailing from China, Korea, Japan, the U.K., Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Why the mini U.N. of designers? It's a nod to Helsinki's aim to be the "gateway airport" for connecting flights between Europe and Asia, given Finland's geographical location.
A new designer will be revealed each week between now and the May 24 show; none of their names have been announced yet. The seven designers were selected by Tuomas Laitinen, fashion director at SSAW, a Finnish fashion magazine. "Helsinki Airport presents a fascinating backdrop for the designers to showcase their work," Laitinen said in a statement. Check out the video below for more intel on how Laitinen selected the show's designers (looks like he spent a lot of time on planes and in airports during the process). This isn't the first time Finnair has transformed the tarmac for a creative endeavor. Back in October 2014, Finnair threw a skateboarding invitational at Helsinki Airport. The concept practically seems ripped out of a Zoolander 3 spec script (or like it could be a month-early April Fool's joke), but we've confirmed that the slightly zany catwalk spectacle is, in fact, legit. As the industry continues to ponder the future of the traditional fashion-show format, could a really far-fetched, unexpected venue be the ticket to reviving (not scrapping) the catwalk experience? Just expect check-in to take much longer than at a typical show if airport security is involved.