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Terhi Polkki

Published by Noora Uusitalo on 28-Mar-2013 Conversations, Fashion
Tags: terhi plkki

Simplicity, minimalism, quality and functionality. These are the words that come to mind when you think of Scandinavian Design. And all these things combine in Terhi Pölkki's design. Pölkki is a Finnish shoe designer who graduated from London College of Fashion in 2008. Her final collection was made of ecological Finnish reindeer leather. The collection was widely noticed as the first and new innovative way of using reindeer leather in shoes. In 2008 Terhi was awarded Shoe Designer of the Year in Finland.

The five years that she spent in London only confirmed her own style and identity and made her a stronger designer. Therefor after designing for UK premium brands, including Topshop and Urban Outfitters, she decided to launch her first collection under her name in 2012. The main focus is design, combined with ecological and high quality materials.

Pölkki's SS13 collection is an ensemble of strong elements, like cork wedges and chunky heels with clear cuts and lines and pointy toes that give the  collection a fresh and sharp look. She got inspired by 70’s summer vacations and the dream like atmosphere of Gregory Crewdson’s photographs. The collection is made of chrome-free leather materials. Pölkki is currently working on her SS14 Collection.

What inspires you?

At the moment I am inspired by black&white photographs from my grandmother's house. A lot of my family moved to America during 1920´s to 1930's and they send a lot of photographs back to the family in Finland. I am hoping to capture some of that to my next SS14 collection.

How would you describe Finnish fashion?

Finnish fashion is something that is really up and coming at the moment. A lot of great Finnish designers are working world wide. I guess I would describe it as  something minimalistic and Slavic. I would consider simple and dark as an example of Scandinavian Fashion. In Finland we have a background in Design and I think industrial and product design is something that drives me a lot in shoe design.

Who are your favorite designers?

I like designers such as my friend Jaclyn Mayer and the bigger fashion houses Celine and Martin Margiela.

How would you define your personal style?

My personal style is simple and I always start dressing or planning my outfit by choosing the shoes first. The shoes really define my outfit.

What makes a good shoe?

Three things. First I would say last, because the shoe needs to fit well. Secondly materials - I use Vegetan leather throughout my collections. And finally, the style. These three things make a perfect combo that makes you want to buy that pair!

How did you get the idea to use reindeer leather in your shoes?

I contacted a tannery based in Finland for collaboration and they were instantly interested in my shoe collection. I knew that reindeer leather is widely used in high-end accessories like gloves and handbags but it was not used in shoes before. I wanted to use something that has a meaning for me – it reminded me of those childhood road trips we did to Lapland with my family in the 80's.

What does your dream shoe look like?

I believe I have already designed that. I love my work and I'm happy to continue designing a practical, beautiful and sustainable shoe collection.

Noora studies Fashion Design in Finland, but is, currently, an exchange student at Winchester School of Art

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