EXPLORE: HELSINKI — The hip and hot design city of the Nordics [not to be bias, but these are worth checking out]

May 17, 2018
Anna Lokki

Looking for a perfect social media approvable shopping day in Helsinki but don’t know where to go to? We’ve got you covered! We gathered a short list of must-see stores in Helsinki — stores that offer so much more than every other city in Europe. And what is even better — they are not in the main shopping streets, so it’s a great opportunity for you to discover the not-so-touristic parts of Helsinki as well! In addition to see more of what beautiful Helsinki has to offer, these iconic brands will introduce you to the Finnish way of life. Even here in the capital, the nature and the archipelago are part of our every day life, something seen in the values and designs of the brands below.

‍Karhu + Makia

1. Makia

Makia — a local streetwear label known for their iconic parka jackets in Helsinki streets during the winter time. These guys focus also on other apparel, shoes and accessories for men, women and kids — inspired by the Finnish archipelago and that Nordic way of life. Their garments are designed to last — even in the roughest weather conditions we get up here in the north! Even tough Finland is place of all our four seasons, Makia have recently taken steps towards more sustainable consumerism and stock non-seasonal collections. So Makia is not the place for seasonal discounts craze but rather for valuable garments that last time and all adventures. Makia is also known for their passion for the environment — they have done collaborations for example with the Pidä Saaristo Siistinä Oy, in order to getting the sea and coasts of Helsinki cleaner.

Discover in their new flagship store in Lasipalatsi.

Mannerheimintie 22–24, Helsinki, Finland

2. Karhu Concept Store

Sneakers that are known for generations but are now probably more street approvable than ever. Karhu has provided running shoes in Finland for over 100 years — also the running legends like Paavo Nurmi and Olavi Suomalainen have trusted the brand. Karhu has also done collaboration collections with the brands like Finland 100 collection for Finland’s independency celebration last year with French brand colette as well as Aalto University. In addition, they have collaborated with brands like Flat, Concepts and Patta. Go check out their funny yet classy sneakers —you can also find fascinating stories behind the shoes, collaborations and history from their blog!

The new concept store can be found also from Lasipalatsi — right beside the Makia Concept Store.

Mannerheimintie 22–24, Helsinki, Finland

‍Samuji House + Design Museo

3. Samuji House

One of the hottest and most followed brands Samuji — is a Finnish creative studio and design house, designing sustainable, timeless and high quality womenswear from European and Japanese materials. Samuji takes pride in their enduring aesthetics and their beautiful womens collections are divided into two — Classic and Seasonal. Samuji is definately worth visiting for their bold yet simple patterns and designs in both apparel and homeware. Tip: check out story behind their annual scarf from their website (link for all the websites in the titles)!

The almost gallery like space of Samuji House is well hidden at an Erottajankatu courtyard, but trust us this gem is worth the hunt!

Erottajankatu 9 B, Helsinki, Finland

4. Costo Concept Store

In the months of the dark winter, us Finns are often found head to toe in black winter clothing (and mood that matches the climate). However, almost like a quiet demonstration against the brutal winter in the past few years, Costo’s hats and beanies with their interchangeable colourful bobbles have become a visible part of the city view in Helsinki. In addition to the mood rising color pops, they also stock other accessories such as backpacks, bows and much more in their collection. Costo is currently collaborating with a Finnish textile designer Johanna Gullichsen.

Costo Concept Store

Yrjönkatu 34, Helsinki, Finland

‍R/H + Anton&Anton

5. R/H Studio

Ahoy! Real Finnish female power in the horizon! Colorful designs “made for women, by women” full of joy and life. Apparel that mix the Nordic love for minimalism and the happiness with they’re unique designs that have won the hearts of Finns over the last years. The R/H clothing focuses on sustainable values and ease of use. And what better way to describe the Helsinki way of life! Did we already mention that the R/H collections are manufactured in EU? Big thumbs up from us!

You’ll find R/H from Fredrikinkatu, Punavuori with many other lovely boutiques in the area.

Fredrikinkatu 18, Helsinki, Finland

6. R Collection

Seeking for that street credible “Helsinki” or “Suomi” (=Finland) shirt or sweatshirt? Refusing to buy one from a gift shop? Well behold this is the place to find the coolest ones there are! R Collection is a Finnish family run business, from Kajaani (FYI — thats’s way up in the north). Their story goes all the way to 1970s and many Finns have grown up wearing the R Collection casual apparel at summer houses and wanders in the woods. A rebranding of the label brought it back to the younger generations and it has been increasing in populary ever since. Their small boutique in Helsinki shows the story of Finnish outdoor fashion through their timeless collections, yet designed with a modern eye. If you’ve never owned an anorak — this would be the place to buy one!


Fredrikinkatu 34, Helsinki, Finland

‍Sauso + Frenn

7. Sauso

Oldie but goodie alert! Sauso has provided handcrafted fine leather gloves for the Finns since 1929. The gloves are handmade and the collection is broad — offering something for every taste and price level. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll fell in love with more than one piece of those luxury gloves. The brand is still owned by the same family and the store is worth visiting also to hear the fascinating story of the fabrication of the gloves. Or just go in to find yourself trying on far too many — and finally understanding there’s leather gloves and then there’s Sauso leather gloves.

Eerikinkatu 1, Helsinki, Finland

8. Frenn

Looking for trendy yet comfortable menswear? A newcomer in the local design scene — Frenn got you covered! Offering ecological men’s apparel with an urban touch, including a mixture of smart details and Nordic simplicity. Manufactured in Europe of course! You can also find Frenn in Tokyo, Munich, Paris and Marlow, but their brand new flagship store in Helsinki should be on list to visit for any scandi design enthusiast!

Fredrikinkatu 24, Helsinki, Finland

‍Katariinankatu, Torikorttelit

Bonus ones worth at visit:

… If in need for some healthy, sustainable and quilty free picnic snacks — go check out the Anton&Anton Kioski at Lasipalatsi!

… Most delicious handmade chocolates to bring home (warning: after these, all other chocolates will taste very booring) at Annan Suklaatehdas in Merimiehenkatu 23, near R/H!

… quick Helsinki history tour Helsinki City Museum in beautiful Torikortteli district near the Helsinki Cathedral or Helsinki Design Museum to learn more about the history of Finnish design not far away from Samuji House.

… and if you want to finish your shopping day with amysterious drinks go discover Katariinankatu in Torikorttelit (near Helsinki Cathedral) and try to find Trillby & Chadwick, the old private detective agency…

For more cool shops and “go to” places, please visit Helsinki Design District website.

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