Finnish womenswear may not be an apparel category you’re familiar with, but AALTO is here to change that. The Finnish brand started showing collections at Paris Fashion Week in 2014, and it didn’t take long for AALTO’s designs to begin making waves within the industry. In 2016, it was a finalist for both the prestigious LVMH Prize and the Andam Prize.
Most recently, the brand collaborated with photographer Johan Sandberg and makeup artist Karim Rahman to produce “FACES” as part of its AW19 collection launch. The end result? A visual installation that explores the face as a cross-cultural way of communicating our inner selves to the world. In this project, Sandberg and Rahman take inspiration from the different ways of using face paint and makeup across diverse regions and traditions. And when these influences are mixed, layered, and combined, they illuminate how beauty can emerge from cultural clashes and encounters.
Fittingly, the fabrics used in AALTO’s AW19 collection are focused on the ideas of fluidity, airiness, and volume. The cuts are generous, the colors are bold, and the prints are intense. Refinery29 caught up with AALTO founder and creative director Tuomas Merikoski to discuss this unique collaboration, the powerful message behind it, and how the brand makes diversity a priority.
Credits: Photographer: Johan Sandberg. Photo Assistant: Olof Österlind. Makeup Artist: Karim Rahman. Agent: Sonia Gollino / Open Talent Paris. 1st Makeup Assistant: Lauren Bos. 2nd Makeup Assistant: Saloi Jeddi. Hairstylist: Sergio Villafane. Agent: Mathilde Wacogne / Artlist Paris. Casting: Alexandra Sandberg Casting. AALTO Women: Mona Angoud, Esther Deboaisne, Otto Zinsou, Mao Xiao Ling, Yom Benjamin, Athina Fourneret.