One To Watch – A Chat With Emerging Designer: Satu Maaranen

Last Tuesday, I attended the Première Vision NY and Indigo NY (textile and print design shows), for Fall-Winter 14/15. I This was the first time the two shows have been combined into one big event. I had a great time checking out the predicted print and textile trends for next year.

Right before I left the shows, I noticed a “featured display” corner of fashion and photography work that was so unique and creative. It ended up belonging to the winning designer of this year’s Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography  competition, which partners with Première Vision. The designer was Satu Maaranen, who hails all the way from Helsinki! I was glad chat with her a little about her design aesthetics and the competition.

Designer Satu Maartanen

Designer Satu Maaranen

Before I get into my chat with Satu, here are my brief takeaways from each show: Première Vision – in regards to textiles, lace is here to stay, fabrics will have both texture and cut design work, and there was metallic embroidered (pliable) plastic. Indigo – in regards to prints, bold color saturated prints are going to be very popular, multi layer prints and ethnic prints are here for another season as well. I definitely had some literal takeaways from the shows (see below), and I also ordered some great swatches from one of my favorite art fabric companies – Liberty London! (can’t wait until they come in, so exciting)

takeaway image

Shots from the show…

goodie bags

My nautical stripe show bag, Liberty London print bag, show badge and directory.

Now back to Satu Maaranen… As the winner of the Grand Jury PrizeSatu will be featured many more times at the upcoming Première Vision shows throughout the world. Here’s what Satu had to share with me about the competition, her work and her vision:

Satu 4

The young (and petite) designer is pictured here in front of photographs of her work that are almost larger than her.

TB: So, when did you start working on the collection that you presented at the festival show?

SM: The collection was almost ready when I applied for this competition. It actually was my graduation collection.. and then for a year I specialized in making the accessories, for example (points to backpack on display), to make it stronger.

TB: Oh ok, can you tell me a little bit about the competition…

SM: It was this spring, and it was held in in a town in the south of France in a town called Hyères. Ten finalists got selected from over three hundred participants.

TB: Wow, that’s great to be chosen as the winner, but I can see that you have a unique aesthetic and artistry about your designs that could make you stand out. So, what are your favorite materials/fabric/medium to work with?

SM: I like to be very experimental with fabrics, and develop new kinds of techniques for the surface, for example. I also think the three- dimensional part goes hand-in-hand with the textile design.. so that’s why the sculptural shapes are added as well.

TB: Yeah, I noticed you have several great techniques… all of the twisted large knots, hand painted textiles, and visible textures that might have been added.. on top of the fabrics?

SM: Yes! some of the items are coated with sand and grass and sawdust… raw materials from nature.

One of Satu's textural pieces with applied grass and paint at the Premiere Vision show.

One of Satu’s textural pieces with applied grass and paint at the Premiere Vision show.

TB: Was there any particular theme that inspired you for this collection?

SM: Well, the theme is “Landscape”, and in three words it would be: 1) “land art”, 2) old haute couture from the 50s and 60s, and 3) the raw materials.

TB: Yes, the I can see remnants of 50s and 60s Balenciaga in how you have designed and styled your pieces…

SM: Ok yeah, yeah.. I love Balenciaga also. I get inspired from that time… with the dress, the hats, the gloves.. when women used to really get dressed.

Example of actual garment and paint testing on the fabric. Image courtesy of

Example of actual garment and paint testing on the fabric.
Image courtesy of

A great design by Satu that's full of volume and textures from raw materials. Image courtesy of

A great design by Satu that’s full of volume and textures from raw materials.
Image courtesy of


TB: So now, you’ve won the competition… what is next? Are you going to start your own line? Are you looking to work for someone, since you just got done with school?

SM: Yes, I just got out of school… so this year will be full of traveling, because I won the competition, I will have exhibitions around the world…

TB: How exciting, that’s great!

SM: Yeah, and so all of my time on that.. and also collaborations with different companies. For example, a French company called *Petite Bateau  I will design a special collection for them, and also a Finnish company called Marimemekko, I’m making textiles for the womenswear design. (*author side note: not sure if caught the company name correctly)

Examples of Satu's hand painted textile techniques. Image courtesy of

Examples of Satu’s hand painted textile techniques.
Image courtesy of

TB: Wow you kind of are the best of both worlds, because you can do both.. you can design and you can do textiles.

SM: Yeah, Yeah, exactly… but let’s see after this one year what I will be doing (laughs), I have so much work that my hands are in this moment.

TB: well I wish you the best and thank you for taking a moment to chat with me!

SM: Oh yes, thank you.


 I’m excited to seeing where Satu Maartanen’s journey takes her next… aren’t you?

Follow Satu here:



I am a Fashion Entrepreneur, the Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief at Dose of Vitamin F. My blog and website showcases unique and creative doses of fashion, trend news, and accessories. In my spare time I enjoy going finding out about new fashion, music, and art. I hope to expand Dose of Vitamin F into a version of the Huffington Post with a focus on all things creative.

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